The Verdict: The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a solid choice for anyone who’s currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university, particularly international students and fans of Amazon.com. Deserve EDU doesn’t charge an annual fee, as is the norm with student credit cards, and it offers rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases. That’s roughly average among all rewards credit cards, not just those for students.
Deserve also gives you a year’s membership in Amazon Prime Student after you spend $500 in the first three billing cycles, which offers savings on everything from textbooks and electronics to music and movies. And while many student credit cards require you to have a Social Security number (SSN), Deserve EDU is available to students who were born abroad. International students simply need a passport, U.S. bank account and Student Visa.
Whether you’re a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or international student, you don’t need any prior credit experience to get the Deserve Student Credit Card. Just be prepared to pay your balance in full every month. There’s no 0% introductory APR. The regular rate is above average for a student credit card, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. And balance transfers aren’t even allowed.
At the end of the day, Deserve EDU certainly is deserving of consideration, but it’s far from the clear-cut top choice for college students. Below, you can learn more about the offer and see how it stacks up against some of its most popular competitors.
- 1% Cash Back on All Purchases: Deserve Edu’s rewards rate is good but not great. The average credit card, market-wide, offers only slightly more. The Deserve Student Card looks good by comparison, considering that most cards with better rewards used credit responsibly in the past. But its rewards are still about average, and many student credit cards have it beat in this regard, thanks to either a higher everyday earning rate or initial rewards bonus.
- $59-Worth of Amazon Prime Student: Amazon Prime Student is a cheaper version of Prime, specifically for college students. It gives you a six-month free trial period, during which most Prime benefits – such as free two-day shipping – are available. After six months, you get access to all Prime benefits, including unlimited music streaming, at half the usual price. Your two options are $59 per year or $6.49 per month ($77.88 for a year). And Deserve will cover the first $59 charged to your Edu Mastercard for Students if you spend $500 within the first three billing cycles. So you can score free Prime services for up to a year and a half just by using this card.
- No Annual Fee: This saves you $19 per year compared to the average credit card. It’s par for the course among student credit cards, though.
- Above-Average APR: It’s generally unwise to carry a balance from month to month in the absence of a 0% introductory APR, which the Deserve Edu Credit Card doesn’t have. And it’s an especially bad idea to do so when you’re being charged interest at a high rate, which Deserve Edu does. Its regular APR – 18.74% Variable – is well above the average for a student credit card.
Other Things to Consider
- Credit Limit as High as $5,000: Deserve doesn’t provide much information about the Edu Mastercard’s credit line, other than it’s based on your overall creditworthiness and can be as high as $5,000. Most applicants are unlikely to be approved for that much spending power, though.
- Available to International Students: Not all credit cards are available to international students who don’t have an SSN. And those that are typically require an Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) instead. Few cards are available with just a passport (from any country) and some other basic documentation, as is the case with the Deserve Edu Mastercard.In addition to a copy of your passport, you will need to provide proof of a U.S. bank account as well as copies of your Student Visa and I-20 form, also known as a “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”
- Balance Transfers & Cash Advances Not Allowed: Cash advances are very expensive and are best avoided, anyway. And students generally don’t have enough credit card debt to warrant transferring a balance. But it’s still good to know ahead of time that these normally standard features won’t be available.
Compared to the Competition
There are lots of great student credit cards on the market right now. To help you find the right fit for your needs, we compared the Deserve Edu Mastercard to some of the most popular alternatives. You can check out what each card brings to the table below
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||$5 monthly Streaming Offer||25,000 points|
|Rewards Rate||1% Cash Back||1 - 1.25% Cash Back||1.5 - 3 points / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||0% for 12 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||18.74% Variable||26.99% (V)||13.99% - 23.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||3.5 / 5||5.0 / 5||N/A|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|