The Deserve Edu Mastercard is designed to help students build credit and responsible money management habits. The card earns cash back rewards on all purchases, plus it comes with a number of Mastercard perks. However, the cash back can only be redeemed for statement credits, which may take some of the fun out of earning rewards.

Deserve Edu Mastercard Review

Here’s a quick look at the Deserve Edu Mastercard for students:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 20.99% Variable
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $0
  • Benefits:
    • 1% cash back on all purchases in the form of statement credits
    • Reimbursement for Amazon Prime Student up to $59
    • Credit limit up to $5,000
  • Minimum Payment: $15 or 3% of your ending balance, whichever is greater
  • Grace Period: 23 days after the close of the billing cycle
  • Other Fees:
    • Up to $25 for late payments
    • Up to $37 for returned payments

Why to Apply for the Deserve Edu Mastercard

Here are some reasons you may want to consider applying for the Deserve Edu Mastercard for students:

  1. You want to start building credit. The Deserve Edu Mastercard is a great choice for students who are looking to secure their first credit card. You don’t need a cosigner or a security deposit, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have much of a credit history. You can apply for the card online and then log back in at any time to check your Deserve application status.
  2. You like to earn rewards on a credit card. The student card offers 1% cash back on all of your purchases with no spending caps. Plus, the card issuer will reimburse you for the cost of your Amazon Prime Student subscription. But the most impressive perk is being a Mastercard Platinum cardholder. Benefits include travel and roadside assistance, and cell phone insurance if your phone is lost or broken. Plus, if the price drops on any item that you’ve purchased within the last 60 days, the card issuer will automatically refund you the difference.
  3. Your budget is tight. The minimum payment for the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students is only $15 or 3% of your balance, which is affordable. Its APR is also pretty low for a student credit card, especially one that offers rewards, so it’s a good choice if you carry a balance. Ideally, this won’t be necessary, as the card has a grace period of 23 days before any interest is charged.

Deserve Edu Mastercard: Drawbacks and Downsides

While the Deserve Edu Mastercard has a certain appeal to students, here are a few reasons you may want to stay away:

  • You don’t get to choose how you spend your rewards. Every time your rewards balance hits $25, that money is automatically added to your account in the form of a statement credit. While it’s nice that the Deserve Edu Mastercard enables students to earn rewards at all, this isn’t as appealing for some people as credit cards that give you a choice of gift cards or cash back.
  • Credit limits are a little low. The highest credit limit available is $5,000, and you may not get even that much. While most students making everyday purchases may only spend a few hundred dollars each month, this low credit limit is not ideal if you need to make a big purchase. If this is the case, you’re better off using the card to build up your credit history, and then applying for a better card with a higher limit when your credit score improves.

Deserve Edu Mastercard Alternatives

If the Deserve Edu Mastercard isn’t your style, one of these other student credit cards may be more to your liking:

Discover it Student Cash Back Card: Up to 5% Bonus on Rotating Categories, Flexible Redemptions and Matching Cash Back

If you want rewards that you can spend how you choose, the Discover it Student Cash Back Card is worth a closer look. You’ll earn up to 5% in cash back on rotating categories each quarter, including gas, grocery stores, restaurants and (up to $1,500).

Plus, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all your other purchases. Discover will also match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. There’s no annual fee, and depending on your credit, the APR might be higher or lower than what the Deserve Edu Mastercard is offering.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students: 0% APR for Seven Months and Double Points on Dining

Those looking for a credit card that rewards fun will be interested in the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students. There’s no annual fee and you can earn 2,500 bonus points if you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening.

You’ll also earn double points on dining and entertainment, and one point on everything else. You can redeem these points for gift cards, statement credits and other rewards. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first seven months that you have the card, then the rate goes up to anywhere from 16.24% to 26.24%, depending on your credit.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Deserve Edu Mastercard?

The Deserve Edu Mastercard is a good way for college students to begin building their credit. Its rewards aren’t as enticing as some of the top credit cards, but sometimes too many rewards can encourage overspending. This won’t be an issue with the Deserve Edu Mastercard, so it’s a solid choice if you’re looking to build responsible habits along with a credit history.

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