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The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is an excellent option for students who lack 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 Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students Compare to Other Options?
Review: Our Thoughts on the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students, 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 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 Mastercard for Students goes one step further than helping students without SSNs build a credit history in the United States. Cardholders also 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases.
Bottom Line: The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Studentsis 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 Mastercard for Students
- Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after your first purchase with your new Deserve EDU Mastercard (Lifetime Value of $59).
- Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning cash back on all purchases.
- Feel secure with cell phone protection up to $600.
- No deposit required. No annual fees.
- No international transaction fees on purchases abroad so you can travel with confidence.
- No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
- Refer A Friend Program: Refer anyone to Deserve using your personal referral code. Upon approval, card activation and use, you'll receive $30 and so will your referral. Referral bonuses are unlimited!
- Manage and track your spending, set automatic payments and securely freeze your card all through one easy to use app.
- See if you prequalify with no impact to your credit score in minutes.
- Deserve Mastercards are issued by Celtic Bank, Member FDIC.
- Enjoy Mastercard Platinum Benefits intended to make your life easier like Mastercard ID Theft Prevention™ and Master Rental®.
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students Benefits & Features
The primary benefit of the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students 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.
Cardholders 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases. This does not apply to cash advances, balance transfers or any purchases that you return.
Currently, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students comes with a special promotional offer: Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card . That represents a $59 value, which is on par with the value of sign-up bonuses we see from top student credit cards.
How Does the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students against other student credit card options.
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students. Cardholders can 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically, thus matching the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students at its worst. 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 2021, the categories include grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS (January-March), gas stations, select streaming services and wholesale clubs (April-June), restaurants and PayPal (July-September), Amazon.com, Target.com 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 Mastercard for Students, 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 Mastercard for Students vs Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is a better option than the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students 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; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
- $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 Mastercard for Students 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 Mastercard for Students. 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 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases and enjoy this foreign transaction fee: 0%.
- Nonresident aliens can apply in-branch with no SSN.
- 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases
- $0 Annual Fee.
- Other Bank of America Student Credit Cards