The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a good cashback credit card for students that includes cell phone protection, rental car protection and one year free of Amazon Prime.
Students looking for a cashback credit card should consider the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. It automatically earns 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases you make and includes several attractive benefits. There is a $0 annual fee, while foreign transaction fees are waived, making it a good card to travel with.
Cell phones and rental cars are covered against damage or theft when using the card. Plus, new cardholders receive Up to $59 in statement credits for Amazon Prime Student when you spend $500 within the first three statements.
These benefits make it a solid card for American students — it's an even better choice for international students, as it doesn’t require a Social Security number to apply.
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®.
Apply without a Social Security number
One of the major advantages of the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is the ability to apply without a Social Security number.
For international students coming to the U.S., it can be difficult to get approved for a credit card from most banks. Deserve EDU fills this need by helping international students build credit for their future borrowing needs.
U.S. students that don't have an existing credit history can also benefit from Deserve EDU's underwriting standards. Getting started with credit can be a challenge for young adults, so this credit card can be an important first step towards establishing good credit.
During the application process, you'll be asked which type of student you are — U.S. student or international — and you'll provide your personal details and source of income or assets that will enable you to pay for your charges, such as a job, scholarship, grant or family savings. (If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you’ll also be asked for your Social Security number; this prompt doesn’t come up for international students.) While an existing credit history is not necessary, if you have a credit score, it may be factored into the bank's decision on your application.
While some competing student credit cards have higher earnings rates on different purchase categories, you earn 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases with your Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students.
This fixed rewards rate doesn’t require enrolling in or memorizing any bonus categories, which allows you to focus on being a student.
However, this also means that you won’t generally have the opportunity to earn higher levels of cash back on your purchases. Students who want to earn more rewards should consider the Discover it® Student Cash Back — this card earns up to 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.
Get a year of Amazon Prime Student
Instead of earning a cash bonus when signing up for the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students, you’ll receive one year free of Amazon Prime Student after meeting the minimum spending requirements.
Deserve will reimburse you Up to $59 in statement credits for Amazon Prime Student when you spend $500 within the first three statements
Amazon Prime Student memberships include a six-month free trial for all students. After that period ends, you can pay for your membership monthly or for an entire year upfront. Deserve will reimburse monthly memberships of $6.49 per month for up to nine months, while the $59 annual membership fee is reimbursed in full. Based on these details, you'll get a longer membership if you pay annually versus monthly.
Redeeming cash back
Rewards earned with the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students are automatically redeemed as a statement credit in $25 increments. Whenever the total cash back from your purchases equals $25, the bank will automatically issue you a statement credit of $25.
There isn’t a complicated redemption structure, and you won't have to remember to cash in your rewards. As long as your account remains open and in good standing, there is no expiration of your cashback rewards.
Other Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students benefits
Beyond earning and redeeming cash back from your spending and the ability to earn a free year of Amazon Prime Student, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students offers other attractive benefits for students.
When you pay your cell phone bill with your Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students, you'll be covered with cell phone protection. Coverage starts the first day of the month following the payment of your cell phone bill with your credit card. As such, if you paid your cell phone bill on April 20, cell phone protection would begin on May 1.
This protection includes the following limitations:
- The primary phone line and up to the first two additional lines on your account are covered
- You’re protected against damage or theft up to $600 per claim and up to $1,000 per 12-month period
- For each claim submitted, there is a $50 deductible
When you make purchases while traveling internationally, there are no foreign transaction fees charged by the bank. Some student credit cards, like the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students, charge up to 3% of each international transaction — for students who visit other countries, those fees can really add up.
Rental car companies often try to upsell you on their insurance coverage. With your Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students, you can decline the collision/loss damage waiver offered by the rental car company and still be covered in case of theft or damage to the car. Keep in mind, however, that this coverage only protects that rental vehicle, and won’t cover passengers or any other vehicles or objects that may be involved in a collision.
How does the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students compare to other cards?
While the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students has many attractive features, the card may not be right for everyone. Some competing student credit cards offer higher cashback rates and other benefits that may be more appealing.
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students vs. Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One credit card enables students to earn cash back today while building credit for the future. It earns an unlimited 1% Cash Back on all purchases; 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. There are no annual fees or foreign transaction fees. Plus, you may be eligible for an automatic credit line increase after six months.
For the first year, you'll also receive a $5 statement credit every month towards your purchase of select streaming services, including:
While the total first year bonus of $60 is approximately the same as the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students, the higher cashback earnings from the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One make it the clear winner.
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students vs. Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers quarterly rotating 5% cash back categories that can really add up over the year. You'll earn 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.
If your spending hits the $1,500 maximum on the bonus categories each quarter, that's a $300 bonus cash back opportunity every year (all of your other purchases earn 1% cash back automatically). Plus, after the first year, all of the cash back you've earned is matched. In addition, students can also earn a $20 statement credit each year for up to five years when they keep their GPA at 3.0 or higher.
The Discover it® Student Cash Back is an excellent choice over the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students: It earns bonus cash back on purchases and provides extra time to pay off purchases without interest charges.
Is the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students worth it?
For American college students, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a good choice to earn cash back while using its benefits. Your cell phone and rental cars are protected when charged to the card. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees when traveling internationally. Some student credit cards offer higher cash back on purchases but you usually won't receive the same benefits from those cards, so you'll have to decide which is more important to you.
The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is an excellent option for international students because it doesn’t require a Social Security number to apply. While its cash back and benefits are appealing, the most important feature is the ability to build a credit history for life after college.
To learn about other options, visit our reviews of the best student credit cards to explore the latest offers.
The information related to Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students, Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students and Discover it® Student Cash Back has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.