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The Deserve® Edu Credit Card is an excellent option for student who lacks a social security number (SSN). The card can help this group of people get a first credit card, and foot in the door of credit bureaus so they may begin building out their credit file. The Deserve® Edu Credit Card is especially useful for international students, who frequently struggle to get a regular U.S. credit card because they lack the necessary credentials in this country.
- Benefits & Features
- How Does the Deserve Edu Credit Card Compare to Other Options?
Review: Our Thoughts on the Deserve® Edu Credit Card
The Deserve® Edu Credit Card serves a very specific purpose. It's an excellent card for international students who lack social security numbers or credit histories. This consumer group is often turned down by other credit card issuers—most of whom require all applicants to possess a SSN.
|Good for…||Bad for…|
|Students (both domestic and international) without a SSN.||Individuals who already have a U.S. credit score.|
|Students interested in building a credit history.|
Once you're approved for the Deserve® Edu Credit Card, Deserve will begin reporting your financial account to the credit bureaus. If you continue to make your payments on time, keep your credit utilization low, and keep the account open, you will establish a positive credit history. However, you should tread carefully. If , on the other hand, you don't manage your credit card well and are late on your payments, that behavior will also be reported. And as someone completely new to credit, you should be be aware that these mistakes will carry greater weight now than if you made the same errors after, say, 20 years with an excellent credit history.
The Deserve® Edu Credit Card goes one step further than helping students without SSNs build a credit history in the United States. Cardholders also get 1% cash back on all their purchases. If you demonstrate financially responsible behavior, you can eventually upgrade to the Deserve® Pro Card which provides even better cash back rewards.
Bottom Line: The Deserve® Edu Credit Card is a useful product that helps students without a social security number to receive a credit card, and to build and establish a credit history.
Deserve® Edu Credit Card Benefits & Features
The primary benefit of the Deserve® Edu Credit Card is to help students—both domestic and international—establish a credit history. The card doesn't require applicants to submit a social security number, nor do the applicants need to have an established credit file. The Deserve® Edu Credit Card is available to individuals with Fair or Good Credit (FICO score 650/660), who are between the ages of 18-25. It is also available to those with limited or no credit, which is why we recommend it for international students. Deserve also uses alternative data to verify identity and assess creditworthiness. For example, it may use information from your bank accounts to see whether you keep your balance high, whether you often have overdrafts, etc.—all factors that will influence whether you're approved. Once you get either of these cards, your account and activity are reported to the credit bureaus, therefore helping you build and establish a credit profile.
The card awards 1% cash back on all purchases. This does not apply to cash advances, balance transfers or any purchases that you return. If you make all your payments on time and are financially responsible, you can eventually graduate to the Deserve® Pro Card. This step-up card also has No Annual Fee, but provides substantially better cash back reward;. you'll get 3% back on travel and entertainment, 2% back at restaurants, and 1% back on all other purchases. The Deserve® Pro Card also comes with a larger credit limit. You can receive a limit of as much as to $10,000, which is double the maximum limit on the Deserve® Edu Credit Card.
Currently, the Deserve® Edu Credit Card comes with a special promotional offer. If you charge a Amazon Prime Student membership to the card, Deserve will reimburse you the fee for one year. That represents a $59 value, which is on par with the value of sign-up bonuses we see from top student credit cards.
Comparing All Three Deserve® Credit Cards
There are three Deserve® credit cards in total. The only one we haven't yet mentioned is the Deserve® Classic—which is the worst of the bunch. The Deserve® Classic has no cash rewards to speak of. It also requires a SSN to apply, making it a poor choice for both international students and immigrants.
|Deserve® Classic Mastercard||Deserve® Edu Credit Card||Deserve Pro|
|Annual Fee||$0||No Annual Fee||$0|
|APR||24.49% Variable||20.24% Variable||17.49% to 24.49% Variable|
|Credit Limit||Up to $1,500||Up to $5,000||Up to $10,000|
|Cash Rewards||None||1% back on all purchases|
|Builds Credit History?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
How Does the Deserve® Edu Credit Card Compare to Other Options?
Before you apply for a credit card, it's worth taking time to evaluate your other options. We compared the Deserve® Edu Credit Card against other student credit card options.
Deserve® Edu Credit Card vs Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back is one of the best student credit cards. We recommend it over the Deserve® Edu Credit Card for most people. The only caveat is that the Discover it® Student Cash Back, like most cards, requires a social security number. It's not a viable option for international students. If that's not an issue for you, then you should apply for the Discover it® Student Cash Back over the Deserve® Edu Credit Card. At its worst, it provides 1% cash back, thus matching the Deserve® Edu Credit Card. Besides that, the Discover it® Student Cash Back also awards up to 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (activation required). For 2020, the categories include grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS (January-March), gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com (October-December). Also, for new cardmembers, the Discover it® Student Cash Back doubles all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
Like the Deserve® Edu Credit Card, the Discover it® Student Cash Back reports your activity to the major credit bureaus. That will allow you to build up your credit history over time.
- Can be used to build your credit history.
- Discover it® Student Cash Back Review
Deserve® Edu Credit Card vs Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is a better option than the Deserve® Edu Credit Card if you make a lot of small purchases. That's because Citi rounds your points to the nearest 10 whenever you make a purchase. For example, if you buy a $2 water bottle, you'll get 10 Citi ThankYou® Points. If you pay $12 for a taxi, you'll receive 20 points. It's easy to see how quickly points can add up if you frequently make small purchases. It's worth noting that the card doesn't charge users an annual fee.
- Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening
- $0 annual fee.
Info about the Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Deserve® Edu Credit Card vs Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
If you live next to a Bank of America branch, you may be able to apply for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students. The card is better in every way than the Deserve® Edu Credit Card. The only catch is that BofA requires all online credit card applicants to have a social security number. If you are a nonresident alien, however, they may still work with you. But, you need to visit a branch to find out. This option is less than ideal. With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students, you'll get a 1.5% rewards rate on all purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
- Nonresident aliens can apply in-branch with no SSN.
- 1.5% rewards rate on all purchases.
- No Annual Fee.
- Other Bank of America Student Credit Cards