Finances can be tight whilst you are studying at University. A temporary solution can come in the form of a credit card. Check out the following article for information on some of the major banks student credit cards including rates, conditions and feedback from other students.
NatWest offer a student only credit card, with a minimum credit limit of £250 and maximum credit limit of £500. There is also a direct debit service to avoid late fees, and no annual fee. When choosing to set up a NatWest student credit card, you also receive discounts from a variety of companies, including HP, Lonely Planet and Firebox.com, as well as travel discounts for various air tickets and hotels. Customers also receive free email and text alerts for reminders of current balance and when payments are due. The other advantage is the fact that you don’t have to use it on a regular basis, but can keep it in case of an emergency (which is particularly useful for students who don’t want to overspend).
NatWest Student Credit Card Standard NatWest Credit Card
18.95% purchase interest rate 17.95% purchase interest rate
18.9% APR 17.9% APR
“I was initially worried about getting a credit card whilst at University in case I overspent – but with NatWest’s online banking and text alerts I can keep an eye on how much is going out of my account” Rachel, Sussex ****(4 stars)
“Since choosing to set up a credit card with NatWest, I’ve received no problems and no unexpected charges. I’ve found it very easy to manage my finances thanks to the reminder services and would definitely recommend this card to others.” Adam, Newcastle *****(5 stars)
“I cancelled my credit card within the first two months of starting University as I found the extra things I needed could be covered by the interest-free overdraft offered in the student current account. The 10% discount for HP came in handy though as I needed a new printer!” Joe, Bedford ***(3 stars)
Lloyds TSB offer a student credit card as an option when customers choose to set up a student account with them. The card has a minimum limit of £500 and minimum repayment of 1%. Internet fraud protection is offered to protect customers who shop online. The card can be used abroad, although international charges are slightly higher at a rate of 2.95%.
Lloyds TSB Student Credit Card Standard Lloyds TSB Credit Card
19.94% purchase interest rate 17.95% purchase interest rate
19.9% APR 17.9% APR
“I didn’t set up a credit card until the summer before my semester abroad in Hong Kong. However, I soon cancelled it once I realised the excessive amounts I was being charged. I would not recommend this card to other students unless they want to be in high levels of debt.” Carrie, London *(1 star)
“I shop online a lot, and when doing research on which bank offered the best student credit card, I noticed Lloyds had more emphasis on protecting customers’ accounts with ClickSafe and internet fraud protection. Although the APR and purchase interest rate are slightly higher than some other banks, I haven’t had any problems as of yet, and am very happy with the service.” Will, Chesterfield ****(4 stars)
“I’ve had my Lloyds TSB savings account all my life and without really looking into other banks, decided to set up a student credit card with them. However, having done a bit more research, I’ve realised the purchase interest rate and APR are slightly higher than what the others have to offer. As a result, I decided to switch to a Halifax credit card and feel much happier with this.” Jenny, Lewes **(2 stars)
The Halifax Student MasterCard offer an adjustable credit limit, which means the limit is automatically set at £500, but you can decide to decrease it to as low as £100. Halifax also remind students when to pay their bill and the minimum payment required, as well as sending weekly balance updates via free text alerts. Customers receive cover against online fraud when purchasing goods online. Finally, customers can choose the exclusive student designed card or one of the five other colours available for a more personalised feel.
Halifax Student Credit Card Standard Halifax Credit Card
17.95% purchase interest rate 17.95% purchase interest rate
17.9% APR 17.9% APR
“I feel safer shopping online because of the online fraud protection – this is handy considering I’m such a shopaholic!” Lucy, Cambridge ***(3 stars)
“I’ve been with Halifax ever since I had my first young savers account and really glad I chose to stay with them. The service is always great and the adjustable credit limit on this card gives me the extra flexibility I need as a student.” Ben, Plymouth *****(5 stars)
“My older brother convinced me to set up a credit card with Halifax because he’d been very pleased with it during his time at University. I’ve only set my credit limit at £200 because I don’t want to be paying back huge amounts.” Sarah, Harrogate ****(4 stars)
The HSBC student credit card offers up to £500 credit and no annual fee. To make sure you don’t overspend, you can manage your card online. You can also receive discounts of up to 8% on leading tour operator holidays when booking through the HSBC Travel Service. The card does, however, offer a slightly higher minimum repayment than the other cards at a rate of 2.5%.
HSBC Student Credit Card Standard HSBC Credit Card
18.9% purchase interest rate 16.9% purchase interest rate
18.9% APR 16.9% APR
“Although I have a HSBC credit card, I still use my debit card most of the time and have this card as more of a back-up in case I’m having money troubles and need to borrow more. However, a lot of my friends have said they’ve been tempted to spend more just because they can, so unless it is vital, I wouldn’t suggest getting one.” Liam, Brighton **(2 stars)
“I didn’t need a credit card so much in my first year as I was still living off money I’d earned in the summer, but now I’m a second year student I’ve found myself spending slightly more. Having the option to manage my card online also saves me the walk into town if I have any problems!” Andy, Coventry ***(3 stars)
“Because my accommodation is slightly more than in first year, I’ve found my loan doesn’t stretch far enough. The HSBC student credit card offers up to £500 credit, which is very convenient for when my payments are due.” Alex, Wakefield ****(4 stars)
*All terms and conditions are correct at the time of publishing this blog entry
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