Enjoy up to $600 in cell phone protection when you use your card to pay your phone bill. For international students, a social security number is not required to apply.
Deserve was founded in 2013 in Palo Alto California. They currently have over 100 employees and are valued at over 100 million dollars. Deserve specializes in offering credit to college students and young people who may have traditionally been overlooked by the larger banks.
In addition to the Deserve branded cards, Deserve also looks to help other companies offer their own credit products through a co-branding service.
Deserve is not a bank. Rather, it is a technology company that services credit accounts. Deserve adds a layer of technology on top of a credit card that is issued by a banking partner. Deserve's EDU cards are currently issued by Celtic Bank, Member FDIC. Celtic Bank has been operating since 2001 and is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. This arrangement means that Celtic Bank may appear on your credit report if you open a Deserve EDU Mastercard, but they will not service your account or be your point of contact.
The Deserve EDU Mastercard has some interesting features. As a general product, it is fairly middle of the road. It does, however, offer some unique perks, which is why it appears on our best student credit cards list. Let's take a closer look.
The Deserve EDU Mastercard earns 1% cash back on all purchases. For a student card, 1% is the standard earning rate. You can find higher rewards, but as a student, an extra .5% is unlikely to make a difference over the course of a year. This may become more important as your income increases over time. Rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit once you've accumulated $25. For context, this means you've spent $2,500.
The Deserve EDU has moderate fees. It has no annual fee, a must for a good student card. The interest rate on purchases is very middle of the road. If you think you'll be carrying a balance, we might recommend looking for a lower rate, but you can certainly do worse than the APR offered on the Deserve EDU. The card also charges no foreign transaction fee, which is perfect for a card that is well suited for international students.
The Deserve EDU offers new customers a year of Amazon Prime Student if you're able to spend $500 on your new card within the first 3 months of account opening. This perk is only valid for a one-year subscription, for a total value of $59. This is a decent bonus for a student card.
Deserve EDU has two additional benefits worth looking at.
1. It is available to international students without a Social Security Number. Most cards will require a SSN on application.
2. It offers cell phone protection. If you pay your cell phone bill with your card, you are eligible for up to $600 in cell phone protection for damages to your phone. This perk is most commonly seen on higher end cards for those with good to excellent credit, so it's a nice feature for a student card.
The Deserve EDU Mastercard may be available to you with a limited credit history. This generally means that you have no credit extended to you, or you've been using some credit products (like a student loan in repayment) for less than 3 years. Your credit history should be free of any major delinquencies. If you've had credit issues in the past, you may want to consider one of the best credit cards for building credit.
Deserve puts all applicants through a prequalification process before you submit an application. The process is fast, taking only a few seconds to get a response. If you're matched to an offer, you can submit an application. Once you submit an official application, a hard credit inquiry will be conducted.
The people of Reddit have spoken, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Most users report a positive experience with the application process, receiving a card and dealing with the company.
The Deserve EDU card does seem to have robust security in place, with some users reporting that transactions are declined when traveling. This is fairly common practice if your card is used internationally. Remember, if you're traveling abroad or even out of state, it doesn't hurt to notify your card issuer so they can pre-clear transactions.
Over 80%of the Trustpilot reviews for Deserve are positive, which is good considering this is a financial company. Many of the negative reviews are from users that were declined for a card.
The Deserve EDU Mastercard is a solid option for those looking for a card with cell phone protection and those that need to apply without a SSN. Even if you don't fall into one of those buckets, this is still a decent card that you are likely to be happy with as you make your way through school.
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