Nowadays, we see many students studying away from home, either in India or abroad, who have to manage their day-to-day expenses at hostels, buy books, commute from one place to another, etc. Being technologically savvy, they obviously prefer to make monetary transactions either by through mobile wallets or the online route.  

The problem with mobile wallets is that they have to be recharged frequently. There is also a limit implied on the mobile wallet transactions for Non-KYC compliant individuals. All these make transactions through mobile wallets not very convenient.  

To make transacting easier and convenient, banks are now coming out with credit cards especially targeting the student community. Student Credit Card is a popular concept in the western countries and is slowly gaining ground here as well. These are issued to students who have no credit history of their own. 

We bring to you all that you should know about the eligibility criteria, documentation, banks that issue student credit cards, and other features specific to student credit card

Eligibility Criteria for Issue of Student Credit Card  

  • An individual has to be above 18 years of age 

  • The individual would need to be a student of a college or university to be able to obtain a student credit card.  Student identity card would be required as a proof of identity 

  • Certain issuers of student credit card may require a student or his parents to open a fixed deposit account with a pre-determined amount to be able to get a student credit card. This would be just as a security as credit cards are unsecured forms of credit 

  • Some banks may mandate opening a Savings Account with a certain minimum quarterly balance to qualify for a student credit card 

  • Some banks allow student credit cards only for those who have availed an Education Loan through them 

  • Student Credit cards can also be applied as an Add-On Credit Card. However, in this case, the Add-On Card will be issued within the overall limit of the Primary Card 

Documentation Required 

As it is a student credit card, the documentation required is bare minimum. There cannot be any salary or income statements.  

The documents that are required are 

  • Proof of Identity/ Birth Certificate 

  • Proof of Residence 

  • Student ID Card  

  • Photograph 

  • PAN Card 

Details of parent or guardian’s account and identity documents may also be required on a case-to-case basis.  

Benefits of Owning a Student Credit Card 

Convenience of Operations: Many transactions become much easier with a credit card in hand. It allows you to pay for all your transactions at once at the end of the month rather than topping up your mobile wallet frequently. It makes monitoring of expense too easier as the credit card issuers give you break down of category wise spend.  

Minimum Documentation: Whereas issue of other credit cards requires the usual load of documentation, with a student credit card, minimal documentation is required which saves you a lot of trouble. This also means that the time required for processing a student credit card will be less.  

Helps Students Build A Habit Of Regular Repayment: Student years are the years where solid foundation for future days are built. The same is with the usage of credit card and its prompt repayment. As the limits and expenses on student cards are less, students can build up a habit of prompt repayments. This will help them build a strong credit health from their early years on.  

Credit Score: As student credit cards are also considered as normal credit cards, prompt repayment contributes towards building a good credit score. This is an important factor that helps an individual when they apply for future credit.  Often individuals who enter the workforce struggle to get credit from as they do not have a credit history. But with a student credit card, you have a chance to get a good start on your credit history if you are prompt on your payments and spend within your limits.  

Earns Reward Points: A student credit card earns points and rewards just like any other credit card. So, it can be used to accumulate reward points and make use of other co-branding offers just like any other credit card.  

No Joining Fee: As it is a card meant for use by students, no joining fee is charged. Moreover, no/very low annual fee is payable on the card. So, when used properly, student credit card comes across as an excellent proposition along with the benefits available on the card.  

However, when it comes to forex student credit cards, they are issued against a fee and there are charged on reloading cash on them as well.  

No Cost Duplicate Credit Card: Very often people do misplace their cards or wallets resulting in the need for a duplicate card. When it comes to a student credit card, the duplicate card is issued free of cost. However, you will need to follow the standard procedure of reporting the loss of your cards as soon as you realize it is lost/misplaced. Your delay may end up costing you dearly.  

Important Features of a Student Credit Card  

Though student credit cards are designed on the lines of normal credit cards, there are certain unique features of the card. It is good to know about these features before you apply for one.  

Low Credit Limit: Student Credit Card comes with a low credit limit, unlike a normal credit card. It can be as low as Rs 15,000. This restriction is placed so that students do not overspend and get into debts. 

Very Low Cash Withdrawal Limit: The student card also comes with a low cash withdrawal limit, which may be 10% of the overall cash limit. This restriction is placed so that during an emergency the student has an option to withdraw limited cash from credit card.   

These do not apply for forex student credit cards.  

Extended validity of the card:  While normal credit cards come with a validity period of 3 years, student cards have longer validity which can go up to 5 years. 

Convertibility to Normal Credit Card: As and when the student finishes there period of education, the existing student credit card can be converted into a normal credit with increased credit limit based on the employment and income status of the student.  

This is particularly helpful as it enables the student to have a long credit history. Longer credit histories contribute to better credit score. as long as the usage of credit has been responsible.  

Some Of The Popular Student Credit Cards That You Can Apply For  

 Axis Bank Insta Easy Credit Card  

  • This card is issued against Fixed Deposit for students.  

  • Just like any other card, it comes with partner dining benefits, fuel surcharge waiver and option to convert spends into EMI.  

ICICI Bank Student Travel Credit Card 

  • This card is specially designed for those students traveling abroad for studies. This comes as a prepaid forex card 

  • Student Travel Card is available in 5 currencies – USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD 

  • Membership of International Student identify Card (ISIC) voucher worth minimum ₹575. 

  • Buy and reload Travel Card online through Forex@Click or the ICICI Bank iMobile app 

  • Complimentary Comprehensive Travel Insurance & emergency travel assistance 

  • Free Replacement Card as part of the Kit 

  • Easy refund of unspent amount with no extra charges 

  • Up to 20% discount on dining, shopping, travel, and stay 

ISIC Student ForexPlus Card by HDFC Bank 

  • HDFC Bank ISIC Student ForexPlus Card is specially designed for students traveling abroad for studies, keeping in mind their unique needs and requirements 

  • HDFC Bank ISIC ForexPlus Card is a valid global student Id which comes with a number of Special discounts on Books, Food, Shopping, Accommodation, Leisure activities, and travel across 41,000 partners covering 130 countries 

  • The student forex card can be used just like any other prepaid card – just load it with the currency of your choice (USD, GBP, Euro) and pay for your purchases online or offline. You can also use it to withdraw cash from ATMs 

  • The prepaid student forex card carries free insurance against stolen or lost card, air accident and loss of baggage and personal documents like your passport. 

  • With access to prepaid NetBanking, you can perform a range of transactions online -- check your balance, reload money, change IPIN, track transactions etc. 

Student Credit Cards are mostly the first credit instrument that an individual will use. It pays to use it responsibly so that you make a good beginning of your credit history