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Starting college, for most students, is a time of new discovery and new responsibility. Getting a first credit card might be one such occasion and this card would make a fine choice.
College students often choose to open a credit card account to help them pay for the cost of attending college. Of course, getting a little bit of credit as early as possible can also help establish a strong credit history, which could result in a big payoff a few years down the road. This is why many credit card issuers develop competitive financial products for students and young people. The right credit card can ultimately provide both short term and long term benefits that make the transition to full independence just a little smoother.
First and foremost, a good first-time credit card is one that carries competitive interest rates. Many first beginning credit cards carry high interest rates since a student or someone new to credit might be a higher liability than someone who has established a responsible credit history. As a new student, then, it is most important to look at what kinds of balances your new card can carry and what the interest rates will be for these balances. For example, credit cards can carry several kinds of balances:
- Retail purchases
- Balance transfers
- Cash advances
- Access checks
First-time credit card holders, of course, will need to worry so much about the balance transfer rate but it is something important to know down the road. The purchase rate is, however, the most important aspect with which to concern yourself; followed by, perhaps, the cash advance rate since many students find themselves in need of cash every now and again.
You may also be pleased to know that one primary benefit of many credit cards is an interest free grace period. This benefit can save you money by allowing you to avoid interest when you pay new charges in full within a certain amount of time. The grace period for this MBNA credit card is 21 days.
The rewards point program is common to almost all credit cards these days and the MBNA Rewards Studentawards can definitely compete. Some of these cards offer specific or exclusive rewards like Frequent Flyer miles or cash rebates. This card lets you earn points with every purchase, points which you can redeem for a wide variety of rewards. These rewards include:
- Cash rebates
- Charitable donations
- Travel reservations
- Brand-name merchandise
- Retail gift cards
You can earn points with every purchase, as well as bonus points when you sign up and for every year you keep your account open:
- Earn 1 MBNA rewards point for every $1 in qualifying retail purchases
- Earn a 1,000 MBNA rewards point bonus after your initial qualifying purchase
- Earn another 1,000 MBNA rewards point bonus every year
Finally, you will be pleased to learn that this card has no rewards point limits so you can earn them as quickly as you would like in order to redeem them for bigger rewards as you see fit.
Of course, in order to truly compete in today's market this card will need to have other benefits that can help in a variety of ways. That is why this card features several other benefits that you are quite likely to appreciate:
- Convenient foreign currency conversion with an admirably low conversion rate
- Low wire transfer and balance transfer fees
- Low cash advance and access cheque/deposit fees
- No annual fee
Perhaps the most notable of these benefits is the lack of annual fee. This is not something easily found among credit card products today and is definitely a welcomed feature for young people who are just starting out. It is important to note, however, that credit card companies will still maximize their fee allowance so it is crucial that you educate yourself about the fee schedule and structure of this card (and all of your credit cards, for that matter).
The MBNA Rewards Studentawards Card is definitely one that college students who are new to credit should consider. It offers decent interest rates, a handful of competitive benefits, a simple rewards program, and reasonable fees that make it easier for young people to establish a credit history.
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*Terms and conditions apply Rate and product information are subject to change at any time and does not constitute financial advice. Please contact supplier for complete details.
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