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I’m new to credit. Should I get the Discover it Student Cash Back card?

I’ll be entering college soon for my first year and I’m not very knowledgeable about credit things, like credit score and credit history and such. I may have a general sense of how it works but I don’t know if it’s correct. Can someone ELI5?

I keep getting mail about the Discover it Student Cash Back card. Is it a good card? Should I apply for it, or are there better cards than this? I do regular banking with my local credit union btw.

I would appreciate your help.

Edit: thanks so much everyone for your help, I learned some new things and I applied for this card! And please no more DMs about referral links.

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6 Comments

  1. This is a great starter card, commonly recommended here.

    Some tips for success with credit cards:

    1. Use your card for everyday spending within your means to pay it back from your bank account.
    2. Each month, you’ll get an account statement with the details of what you’ve purchased, the account balance, a minimum payment, and a due date.
    3. Pay at least the minimum amount by the due date to build positive credit history.
    4. Better yet, pay the statement balance in full each month and (for most cards) that will mean no interest charges. Check your account’s terms and details to confirm.
    5. Repeat each month.

    Don’t worry about credit scoring right now, as success there will develop out of the good habits you maintain.

    You may see advice about how much of your card’s credit limit (how much you can owe at any time), thresholds like 30% utilization, or 10%, or 1%. Don’t worry about this factor unless you’re getting ready to apply for new/additional credit. Just use your card normally, and pay off the balance after the statement posts.

    At this stage, it’s really that simple.

  2. There is no reason to pay in cash if you can pay with a credit card. Pay with cash devalued you, while you could have that cash invested until you actually need to pay the credit card off. Having cash gaining interest for 30 days, or even having that invest in the market for 30 days may not seem like much but over the course of 30 years, it adds up.

    Using cash or debit means that if there are any issues, it is on you. Using a credit card means that the issue is handled by the credit card company. If your debit card is stolen and used, it takes a long time to prove and get your cash back, if you use a credit card, that responsibility falls on the credit card company.

    Having a credit card builds credit history. Sure it doesn’t mean anything in college, but when you want to buy a car, house, boat, or need a loan … it becomes really important.

    As a bonus, credit cards give you some perks like cash back, points, or discounts. But the bottom line is that unless you have so much cash that you don’t know what to do with it… you should use a credit card where you can.

    The discover card is an excellent card to start with especially for students. You are their target audience. The Apple Card is also a good starting option. Alternatively you may be able to get a credit card from your bank, or even a secured card. But as a student, the discover is the way to go in my opinion.

  3. Yes it is, I have it and it is great. There is pretty much not a better card out there to start out with. Get it AND PAY BACK THE BALANCE IN FULL for every statement. Ideally you should utilize less than 30% of your credit limit, if you really want to improve your credit score pay the balance down before your statement comes in to keep utilization below 10%.

  4. If you apply through the referral (preferably from a person you know), you and the referrer both will get additional 50$.

  5. Discover student can be a great first card (I commuted to college myself, so the gas/dining once would have probably have been better for me personally.

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