Are you already an international student? Or, do you want to study abroad in the US or another country? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, it would be best to have a credit card because having the right card can help you in several ways. A credit card, managed well, can enable you to build a credit history, act as an emergency backup when you need to fund an unexpected expense, purchase essentials, and offer great convenience in airports or where cash is not accepted.
However, since there may be several options open to you, it may be hard to know what the best credit card choice for international students is. Below are some tips that could help you select a great plastic money option as a student in a foreign country:
Consider the credit limit
Most likely, you will currently have a very low credit score or a limited credit history. Unfortunately, this can restrict the limit you get on the card you apply for. So, as you shop for a viable option for credit cards for international students, pick one that has a limit that suits your circumstances and needs. You need a limit that will be enough to cover your needs but not so high that you get tempted to overspend.
Check the annual fees
In your search for the best credit card for international students, you will learn that some cards have annual charges. In some cases, the fees are justifiable since some cards have a ton of benefits and come with great rewards. However, given that you have limited income and don’t want to waste your money on unnecessary expenses, you should look for a card without an annual fee or one with very low charges. Fortunately, you can check out Interstride for some guidance on credit cards for international students and other crucial information.
Consider the interest rate
All credit cards do not have the same interest rates, and the rates change over time. When seeking a credit card for international students, you should go for one with a competitive interest rate. This is vital if you sometimes intend to roll over the balance from one month to the next. You don’t want to end up in debt due to high-interest rates on your card and mess up your credit rating leading to future trouble.
Consider the foreign transaction fees
Because you are an international student, the chances are that you will be traveling to various countries or even spending holidays in your home country. You may need to use your credit card in other countries, so you have to pick an option that does not come with foreign transaction fees. If you are not cautious, such fees can add up quickly and increase the amount you have to pay for goods or services.
Look at the rewards
Many credit cards offer rewards to their customers. These can come in multiple forms, including redeemable points, cashback, and others, it’s crucial to analyze if the rewards make sense for you. You should check how well the bonuses match your financial goals or spending habits. Also, compare the rewards different card issuers offer and choose the best for you.
Check the customer service
Given that you can have problems any time you use your card—as you look for great credit cards for international students, consider the customer service those companies offer. Go for cards with several ways to get in touch with the customer support team and the highest customer ratings.
Now you know what to look for when choosing credit cards for international students. The key things to consider are the credit limit, annual fees, interest rates, rewards, foreign transaction fees, and customer service.