Best Credit Cards for Students Studying Abroad

credit card in jean pocket

Imagine this: you’re a student with big dreams, ready to embark on an exciting adventure studying abroad. As you plan your travel purchases for this international acceptance, don’t forget to consider the needs of your family. As an international student, managing your financial information while studying abroad is crucial.

When preparing for this life-changing experience, it’s important to be aware of the international acceptance of your finances. Additionally, considering family travel expenses is also essential. Finding the perfect credit card from a financial institution is crucial for International students. It should suit your needs and allow you to make the most of your time abroad. Consider balance transfers and statement credits, and seek advice from a finance expert to ensure you choose wisely.

Whether it’s building your credit history, enjoying welcome offers, or accessing global entry benefits, these student credit cards from a financial institution have got you covered. With statement credits and convenient payment options, you can manage your finances with ease.

With limited credit history and specific financial needs, finding the right student card for balance transfers can be perplexing. But fear not! We’ve gathered all the essential details about student credit cards with credit requirements from various issuers to help simplify your decision-making process.

Whether you’re looking to build a healthy credit history or take advantage of balance transfers, we have all the information you need. From understanding credit limits to cashback rewards tailored for college students, we’ll guide you through it all. Whether you’re a college student looking for a card issuer with a great welcome bonus or simply want to maximize your rewards by strategically spending, our comprehensive guide has got you covered. Explore the latest tips and tricks from CNET Money to make the most of your credit card experience.

So, if you’re ready to discover the details of how a study abroad credit card can enhance your international experience and provide financial peace of mind during your journey as a student overseas, let’s dive in! Learn about the account fee and bonus associated with this credit card.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Study Abroad Credit Card

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for students to earn valuable experience by immersing themselves in new cultures. Additionally, students can also earn spending bonuses by applying for the program. However, it’s essential for students to consider the financial aspects of studying abroad, including student cash and spending. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of student credit cards and any associated fees.

When choosing a study abroad credit card, it’s important to consider factors such as student cards and student cash to ensure you make the best choice for your needs. You should also take into account any fees associated with the card, as well as your spending habits.

Low Foreign Transaction Fees

One crucial factor to consider when selecting a study abroad credit card is the foreign transaction fee. This fee is important for students who want to manage their student cash while making purchases with student cards. It is essential to choose a credit card that offers low or no foreign transaction fees to avoid unnecessary charges on your account.

These cash fees can quickly add up and eat into your student credit card budget if you’re not careful with your purchases. Make sure to keep track of your account. Look for credit cards that offer low or no foreign transaction fees, as this will allow you to earn cash back on purchases and have it deposited directly into your account without incurring additional charges.

Online Banking Features

Managing your finances while studying abroad can be challenging, especially if you’re in a different time zone from your home country. One way to make it easier is by using student credit cards, which allow you to access cash without incurring a fee. That’s why it’s important to choose a study abroad credit card that offers convenient online banking features for your student account.

With this card, you can easily manage your cash and pay any required fees. With online banking, you can easily track your cash expenses, make payments with student credit cards, and monitor your account activity from anywhere in the world. Additionally, there is no fee associated with using a student card for online banking.

Rewards and Perks

Another aspect worth considering for students is the cash-back rewards and perks offered by different study abroad credit cards. These cards can help students save money on fees while studying abroad. Some student cards may provide the best cashback on certain purchases or reward points that can be redeemed for travel-related expenses. Take some time to compare the cash back rewards programs of various credit cards and choose one that aligns with your student’s spending habits and preferences.

Additional Travel Benefits

In addition to low fees and attractive rewards, it’s also beneficial for students to look for study abroad credit cards that offer additional travel benefits, such as cash back. These student credit cards may include cash back rewards, which can provide peace of mind during your time overseas. Additionally, they may offer travel insurance coverage. Other benefits, like cash back and roadside assistance, can come in handy if you encounter any unexpected issues while traveling with student credit cards.

Choosing the right study abroad credit card for a student requires careful consideration of factors such as credit requirements and history, along with other aspects like cash back.

  • Credit Required: Understand the credit requirements for each cash-back credit card option, especially if you are a student. Some cards may require a healthy credit history, while others may be accessible even with poor credit. Whether you’re a student looking for cash back, or someone with bad credit in need of a card, there are options available to you.
  • Credit Score: Evaluate your credit score to determine which study abroad credit cards are eligible for student cash back. Different cards have varying minimum credit score requirements.
  • Available Credit: Consider the available cash back limit on each student card, as it will impact your purchasing power while studying abroad.
  • Student: Look into the interest rates charged by different study abroad credit cards to manage your cash effectively. Lower rates can save you cash in the long run if you need to carry a student balance.
  • Credit History: Your past credit history as a student plays a role in determining which study abroad credit cards you qualify for. It is important to consider your cash situation and financial background when applying for these cards. Be aware of any negative marks or missed payments that could affect your chances of approval, especially if you are a student in need of cash.
  • Scoring Formula: Each card issuer has its own scoring formula when evaluating applications for cash-back credit cards for students. Familiarize yourself with these cash formulas to understand how they might impact your chances of student approval.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, students can find the best study abroad credit card that suits their financial needs and enhances their experience while studying overseas.

Understanding Foreign Transaction Fees and Best “No Foreign Transaction Fee” Credit Cards

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and gain valuable life experiences. However, it’s important for students to be mindful of their finances while they’re away from home. One aspect that can significantly impact a student’s spending is foreign transaction fees.

How Foreign Transaction Fees Impact Your Spending

For student purchases made in a currency other than their own, credit card companies impose foreign transaction fees. These student fees typically range from 1% to 3% of the total transaction amount and can quickly add up over time. For students studying abroad who often make frequent purchases in local currencies, these fees can become a significant burden on their finances.

To put it into perspective, let’s say you, as a student, spent $1,000 during your semester abroad. If you are a student and your credit card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, you would end up paying an additional $30 just for using your card overseas. This might not seem like much to a student initially, but when combined with multiple transactions throughout your stay as a student, it can become quite substantial.

The Advantages of “No Foreign Transaction Fee” Credit Cards

Using credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees can be highly advantageous for students studying abroad. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Student Cost Savings: By eliminating foreign transaction fees, students can save a significant amount of money over time.
  2. Convenience for students: Carrying cash or exchanging currencies can be inconvenient and potentially unsafe for students. With a credit card that has no foreign transaction fee, students can make payments easily wherever major credit cards are accepted.
  3. Trackable Expenses: Using a credit card allows you to keep track of all your expenses in one place, making it easier to manage your budget and monitor your spending habits.

Comparing Different “No Foreign Transaction Fee” Credit Cards

When selecting the best credit card for studying abroad, it’s essential to compare the various options available. Here are some popular credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Discover it Student Cash Back Card
  • Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Each of these cards comes with its own set of benefits and features. It’s important to consider factors such as rewards programs, annual fees, interest rates, and additional perks when making your decision. Check if the card offers any special benefits specifically tailored for students studying abroad.

Understanding How Foreign Transaction Fees Are Calculated

To avoid unnecessary charges while using your credit card overseas, it’s crucial to understand how foreign transaction fees are calculated. These fees are typically a percentage of the total transaction amount and can vary depending on the credit card issuer. It’s also worth noting that some credit cards may charge additional fees for balance transfers or late payments.

To ensure you’re well prepared and minimize any surprises on your billing statement, consider the following tips:

  1. Research: Thoroughly review the terms and conditions of each credit card you’re considering to understand their fee structures.
  2. Plan Ahead

Ensuring Safety and Security of Your Money while Abroad

Studying abroad can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to take steps to protect your finances while you’re away from home. By choosing a secure study abroad credit card, you can safeguard your money from fraud and theft. Let’s explore some key points to consider for ensuring the safety and security of your money while studying overseas.

Choose a Secure Study Abroad Credit Card

Prioritizing security features is crucial. Look for cards that offer advanced security measures like EMV chips. These chips provide an extra layer of protection by generating unique codes for each transaction, making it difficult for unauthorized individuals to access your information.

Opt for credit cards issued by reputable financial institutions that have strong fraud detection systems in place. Research the different options available and compare their security features before making a decision.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Cards

Losing your credit card or having it stolen can be stressful, especially when you’re in a foreign country. Familiarize yourself with the procedures for reporting lost or stolen cards before you embark on your study abroad journey.

Make sure to note down the contact information of your credit card issuer’s customer service department or helpline dedicated specifically to international customers. This way, if unfortunate circumstances arise, you’ll be able to quickly report any issues and prevent unauthorized charges on your account.

Safeguarding Personal Information

While studying abroad, it’s essential to take precautions to safeguard your personal information and prevent identity theft. Here are some tips:

  1. Avoid sharing sensitive information. Be cautious about sharing personal details such as social security numbers or passport numbers unless necessary.
  2. Use secure internet connections. When accessing online banking or making transactions, ensure that you’re using secure Wi-Fi networks.
  3. Monitor accounts regularly: Regularly check your credit card statements and bank accounts for any unauthorized charges. Report any suspicious activity immediately to your financial institution.
  4. Be mindful of currency conversions. Understand the exchange rates and fees associated with currency conversions to avoid unnecessary charges.

Best Travel Credit Cards for Students and Gappers in 2023

Are you a student or gap-year traveler planning to study abroad in 2023? If so, finding the right travel credit card can help you make the most of your international adventures.

Exclusive Travel Rewards Programs

One of the key benefits of travel credit cards is the exclusive rewards programs they offer. As a student or gap-year traveler, these rewards can significantly enhance your experience abroad. Certain travel credit cards provide access to unique perks such as discounted flights, free hotel stays, and cashback on transportation expenses.

Here are some examples of popular travel credit cards with exceptional rewards programs:

  • 1. Chase Sapphire Preferred: This card offers generous sign-up bonuses and allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for travel expenses at a higher value through their portal.
  • 2. Capital One Venture Rewards: With this card, you earn unlimited miles on every purchase, which can be used towards various travel expenses without blackout dates or restrictions.
  • 3. American Express Platinum: Known for its premium benefits, this card provides access to airport lounges worldwide and offers statement credits for eligible purchases made with select airlines.

Maximizing Savings on Travel Expenses

Studying abroad often involves frequent travel between different cities or countries. Having a travel credit card can help you save money on these expenses by offering discounts and rewards specifically designed for travelers like yourself.

Consider these options when choosing a travel credit card:

  • 1. Citi Premier Card: This card provides bonus points on airfare purchases along with other categories such as dining and entertainment.
  • 2. Discover It Miles: With this card, Discover will match all miles earned within the first year at the end of that year, effectively doubling your rewards.
  • 3. Bank of America Travel Rewards: Ideal for students with limited credit history, this card offers flexible redemption options and has no annual fee.

Flexible Redemption Options

When studying abroad, you want a travel credit card that gives you the freedom to choose how you redeem your rewards. Whether it’s booking flights, accommodations, or even using your rewards as statement credits, flexibility is key.

Consider these travel credit cards known for their flexible redemption options:

  • 1. Capital One Venture Rewards: This card allows you to redeem miles for any travel expense at a fixed rate, giving you the flexibility to book through any platform.
  • 2. Chase Sapphire Preferred: With this card, you can transfer your points to various airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio, providing endless possibilities for redemption.
  • 3. American Express Gold Card: Known for its versatile Membership Rewards program, this card lets you use points towards travel bookings or transfer them to partner airlines and hotels.

Maximizing Rewards and Benefits of Study Abroad Credit Cards

Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to broaden your horizons, immerse yourself in a new culture, and gain valuable life experiences. While you embark on this exciting journey, it’s essential to make the most of every aspect, including the financial benefits that come with the best credit cards for students studying abroad. These study abroad credit cards not only provide convenience but also offer enticing rewards and benefits that can enhance your overall experience. Let’s explore how you can maximize these rewards programs and take advantage of exclusive perks while studying overseas.

Earning Bonus Points and Maximizing Rewards

One of the key advantages of study abroad credit cards is their travel rewards programs, which allow you to earn bonus points on your purchases. To maximize these rewards:

  1. Choose the right card: Look for study abroad credit cards that offer generous rewards rates specifically tailored for students traveling internationally.
  2. Understand bonus categories: Familiarize yourself with the bonus categories offered by your credit card, such as dining or transportation expenses, where you can earn additional points.
  3. Leverage online bonus points: Some study abroad credit cards provide extra incentives for online purchases or specific partner merchants. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities.
  4. Utilize welcome bonuses: Many credit cards offer attractive welcome bonuses when you sign up, providing a significant boost to your rewards balance right from the start.

Exclusive Benefits for Study Abroad Students

In addition to earning rewards points, study abroad credit cards often come with exclusive benefits designed to enhance your travel experience:

  1. Travel benefits: Enjoy perks like complimentary airport lounge access, priority boarding privileges, or even free checked bags when flying with partner airlines.
  2. Concierge services: Take advantage of personalized concierge services available 24/7 to assist with travel arrangements, restaurant reservations, or local recommendations.
  3. Insurance coverage: Some credit cards provide travel insurance, including coverage for trip cancellation, lost baggage, or emergency medical expenses. Make sure to review the policy details and understand the extent of coverage.

Redeeming Rewards for Valuable Perks

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial number of rewards points, it’s time to redeem them for valuable perks:

  1. Travel redemptions: Use your rewards points to book flights, hotels, or rental cars at discounted rates or even for free.
  2. Cashback options: Some study abroad credit cards allow you to convert your rewards into cashback that can help offset your expenses while studying overseas.
  3. Other valuable perks: Explore additional redemption options such as gift cards, merchandise discounts, or experiences unique to the destination you’re studying in.

By strategically earning and redeeming your rewards, you can make the most of your study abroad credit card and enhance your overall experience while staying financially savvy.

Tips for Applying for a Study Abroad Credit Card without a Social Security Number

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and gain valuable experience. However, having the right credit card can make all the difference. If you don’t have a social security number, applying for a study abroad credit card may seem challenging. But fear not! Here are some tips to help you navigate this process and find the best credit cards for students studying abroad:

Explore alternative options for applying

Not having a social security number doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Many financial institutions offer alternative options that allow international students to apply without providing a social security number. Some of these options include:

  • Secured credit cards: These cards require you to provide a cash deposit as collateral, which acts as your credit limit. It’s an excellent way to build credit while studying abroad.

Understand the importance of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

When applying for a study abroad credit card without a social security number, having an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) can be crucial. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues an ITIN that serves as identification for tax purposes. It allows individuals who aren’t eligible for a social security number to comply with U.S. tax laws and access certain financial services.

To obtain an ITIN, you’ll need to complete Form W-7 and submit it along with supporting documents to the IRS. Once you have your ITIN, you can use it when applying for study abroad credit cards or other financial products.

Establish creditworthiness through other means

If you don’t have a social security number or an ITIN, there are still ways to demonstrate your creditworthiness when applying for study abroad credit cards. Financial institutions may consider alternative factors such as proof of income or a cosigner arrangement. Here are some options to explore:

  • Proof of income: Providing evidence of a steady source of income, such as part-time work or a scholarship, can help lenders assess your ability to repay credit card debt.
  • Cosigner arrangement: If you have a trusted family member or friend who is willing to act as a cosigner, their good credit history can strengthen your application and increase your chances of approval.

Remember that each financial institution has its own eligibility criteria, so it’s essential to research and compare different options before applying.

The Top Choices for Study Abroad Credit Cards

Congratulations! You are now equipped with valuable information on how to choose the best credit card for your study abroad adventure. Remember, finding a credit card that suits your needs is crucial, as it can save you money and provide valuable benefits throughout your time overseas.

Now that you understand factors like foreign transaction fees, safety and security measures, and maximizing rewards, it’s time to take action. Research the top credit cards recommended for students studying abroad and compare their features, benefits, and eligibility requirements. Look for cards that offer perks such as no foreign transaction fees, travel rewards programs, and fraud protection. Don’t forget to consider whether you need a Social Security number to apply.

So go ahead and explore the options available to you. Apply for a study abroad credit card that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle. With the right card in hand, you’ll be ready to make the most of your international experience while keeping your finances secure.


Can I apply for a study abroad credit card without a social security number?

Yes! Some credit cards may allow international students or individuals without a social security number to apply. Look for cards specifically designed for students studying abroad or those that cater to non-U.S. residents.

Are there any credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees?

Absolutely! Many credit cards now offer no foreign transaction fees as part of their features. Look out for these types of cards when researching options for studying abroad.

How do I ensure the safety and security of my money while studying abroad?

To ensure the safety of your money while overseas, opt for credit cards with robust fraud protection measures in place. Keep an eye out for cards that offer zero-liability policies in the event of unauthorized transactions.

Which type of rewards should I prioritize when choosing a study abroad credit card?

Consider your spending habits and preferences. If you plan to travel frequently, look for cards that offer travel rewards such as airline miles or hotel points. Alternatively, if you prefer cashback rewards, search for cards that provide attractive cashback rates on everyday purchases.

Can I use my study abroad credit card for everyday expenses in the host country?

Yes! In most cases, study abroad credit cards can be used for everyday expenses in the host country. However, it’s essential to check whether the card is widely accepted and if there are any additional fees associated with using it abroad.