Graduating from college can be an exhilarating and daunting experience — all at the same time. With the average student leaving college with record levels of debt, managing your money now is much more complicated that it has been in years past. For these reasons, it makes sense to watch for new credit card opportunities as they arise.
There is a common school of thought that suggests the use of credit cards — any use of credit cards — is a always bad thing. But nothing could be further from the truth. Credit cards are actually a great way to efficiently manage your budget by keeping and recording all of your expenses in one place. Here, we look at some of the best credit card choices for recent college graduates in 2015.
Best Cardholder Bonus: BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Credit Card
For those interested in a great initial bonus, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Credit Card might be the best option: When you spend $500 in your first 90 days after opening your account a $100 cash bonus will be credited to your balance. After that, you can still capture 3% cash back on all gas and 2% on groceries (on the first $1,500 spent in those categories each quarter) in addition to 1% on everything else. You’ll also get a 10% rewards bonus when you redeem for a BofA bank account contribution. There is no annual fee.
0% Balance Transfers: BankAmeriCard Travel Rewards for Students Card
Since most college students are already leaving school with at least some debt, many will want to consider a 0% balance transfer card. These cards will allow your to pay off your current creditors and give you since extra time to get your finances in order before making your payments.
The BankAmeriCard Travel Rewards for Students Credit Card offers a 0% interest rate on both balance transfers and new purchases for the first 12 months you hold the card. Interest rates normalize to 14-22% after this grace period completes itself. But for those looking to make large purchases after college, this is one of the most flexible options out there. On the downside, there is a balance transfer fee of 3% but there are no annual fees associated with this card and there are extra rewards point for purchases made while traveling.
You can apply for the BankAmeriCard Travel Rewards for Students Credit Card here.
When we look at these choices, some key characteristics should become obvious for college students and recent graduates. Specifically, these cards are designed to allow you to maintain low interest rates on your previous balances and even for new purchases. This is critically important because the average college student is starting to accumulate significant debt loads for the first time.
If you have difficulty paying your minimum balances during these years, it becomes easy to quickly ruin your credit score before you even start to enter the workforce. In personal finance terms, this is a clear recipe for disaster — and something that could create significant problems for your long-term financial health. For these reasons, students and recent graduates need to pay special attention when choosing the card that is most appropriate.