Why to Choose Student Credit Card for Study Abroad

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Credit Card for International Students – Studying abroad may be an exciting experience, and there will be a lot to think about as you plan your trip. If you’re a student, you might be wondering where to discover the best eateries or gift shops. If you’re a parent, the safety and general experience of your child may be your main focus. Finances are one area where these issues may intersect. Having a safe financial status while studying abroad can be critical to having the best experience possible. Credit cards are a payment option that frequently comes with a slew of insurance and other safeguards, making it one of the most convenient and secure methods to fund a vacation.

Credit Card for International Students

What is a Student Credit Card for International Students?

A credit card specifically intended for college or university students, who may have little or no credit history, is known as a student credit card. In comparison to a typical unsecured credit card, student cards frequently have less stringent credit requirements and charge very little in fees. Additionally, most student cards provide rewards programs that are affordable for students. Groceries, food, entertainment, streaming services, and ridesharing are typical bonus spending categories on student cards.

General Travel Cards v/s Student Cards

Even though using a travel card to pay for travel expenses can seem simple, there are a few important distinctions to be aware of, particularly if you’re a student intending to study abroad.

The top travel benefits on these credit cards, such as lounge access and travel insurance, are what really make them stand out, but the best travel cards will probably avoid foreign transaction costs as well. The drawback is that the greatest travel cards are frequently very expensive, with annual fees ranging from $95 to over $600.

Additionally, in order to be approved, travel cards frequently need at least a decent credit score, which may put these options out of the price range for students with little to no credit history.

Due to their lower fees and different credit requirements than travel rewards cards, student credit cards might serve as a good interim solution before committing to a full-fledged travel credit card. With a student card, you might not be able to obtain rewards specifically for travel, but you could still benefit from rewards on other top categories within your budget.

How to Select the Top Student Card for Overseas Study

Here are some things to think about while looking into the best student cards: perks, credit requirements, and price.

Does the card impose a fee for overseas transactions?

An extra fee, often 3 percent, is applied when processing payments in a currency other than your own. This is known as a foreign transaction fee. It can quickly become costly to use a credit card with foreign transaction fees in a nation where you might spend four months or more studying.

What areas do you plan to spend the most money on?

Even though some student credit cards might not have benefits specifically for travel, they frequently have reward schemes tailored to the spending patterns of the individual students. What will be the main uses of your card be: dining, school supplies, or souvenirs? To get the most of your rewards program, choose a card that corresponds with your top spending categories, depending on where you spend the most.

Without a Social Security number, is it possible to apply?

If you’re an international student studying in the United States, you still have the option to apply for a credit card for international students. International students who wish to use credit may find student credit cards more accessible if they require an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of Social Security number for application submission. Examine the short list cards and application conditions for those that accept forms of international identification.

What will the average card costs be?

Think about how you will use the credit card before you go shopping for it. Will you use this as their main source of income? Is it only to pay for unforeseen bills or emergency medical expenses? Or is there a middle ground?

The kind of travel credit card that is best for them can be determined by taking into account how the card will be used.

Is there a broad acceptance of credit cards where student is going?

Foreigners don’t always use credit cards as frequently as Americans do. For example, it would be foolish to use a credit card only when studying abroad in Namibia, as most establishments accept cash.

There are some nations where credit card for international students acceptance is nearly universal. GlobalData reports that nations like Sweden and the United Kingdom are leading the way in creating cashless societies, so your student may be able to rely almost entirely on credit cards there.

To find out what forms of payment are most commonly used for daily transactions—cash, credit cards, debit cards, etc.—you can do some research on the area you want to visit.

Which credit cards are accepted the most frequently where they are going?

Internationally, the credit card networks that are most extensively accepted are Visa and Mastercard. More than 200 nations globally accept Visa credit cards, compared to 210 that accept Mastercard.

Worldwide, American Express is accepted in about 160 markets. This implies that AmEx might not be as practical for you when traveling.

Should you give the student a credit card of their own or add them to yours?

As a parent, you can designate your child as an authorized user on your credit card instead of giving them a whole separate one.

Your desire to add a new line to your account, your child’s credit approval amount (you might not want to send your youngster overseas with a $200 monthly credit limit), and your child’s financial responsibility should all be taken into consideration while making this decision.

Technology using a chip and signature or a chip and PIN?

The tiny metal squares seen on a lot of American credit cards are called EMV chips, after the three corporations that invented the technology: Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. Chip-and-signature cards are popular in the US since many retailers who use EMV chip credit cards also need a signature.

However, you may have heard that retailers more frequently accept chip-and-PIN cards, which require customers to input their personal identification number after swiping the card, in other countries, particularly in Europe.

When using a chip-and-signature card at an automated ticket system in a European rail station, for instance, this used to be a major issue. Even though the card wasn’t PIN-enabled, the terminal would still require one to finish the transaction. Compared to earlier, this isn’t as serious of an issue. Modern credit card processing technology can typically detect whether a PIN is used on a card, thus the machine at that European rail station is unlikely to ask for a PIN that you do not possess.

What effects would currency rates and foreign transaction fees have on their spending?

Up to 3% of the purchase price is usually charged as a foreign transaction fee. If your college student is living overseas for several months or relies mostly on their credit card for financial support, they can mount up quickly.

There is an additional $30 added for each $1,000 spent. Positively, a lot of the top international credit cards are free of foreign transaction fees for college students who are studying or travelling abroad (more on them later).

The currency rate is another expense for which you should budget. Every credit card company has different daily exchange rates, therefore, it’s normal for the posted currency rate to differ from your bank statement.

After selecting a travel card for your student, you can determine how much a purchase made in a foreign currency will cost you in US dollars by using the online calculator provided by the credit card company. A €50 transaction, for instance, might not cost you the same in USD the following day, the following week, or the following month. Both the Mastercard currency converter and the Visa currency converter are available online.

Alternatives to Student Credit Card for International Students

Here are various alternatives to open your own line of credit for a study abroad trip if that’s not what you are interested in doing.

Obtain authorization

If a parent, guardian, or other trusted individual possesses a travel card, you might want to inquire about obtaining authorization for them. As an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account, you can borrow against that credit just like you would if it were your own. This gives you access to that person’s available credit. However, you should be very explicit with the primary cardholder about your spending limits and whether or not you should accept any portion of the card payment.

Remain with cash

Cash is another form of payment that is nearly always accepted. If managing your own credit card seems too much, you can use cash to swap for the currency that is accepted in the destination nation and make purchases overseas. It’s crucial to remember that carrying around big sums of cash raises safety concerns, so students should exercise caution. You should also be prepared for the possibility that some retailers may choose to implement a cashless payment policy in the post-pandemic environment (and vice versa).

Funds for scholarships

Submit a financial aid application to your home university or the university of the nation you are visiting. Students might utilize any additional funding in addition to lodging and study materials.

Are you planning to Study Abroad?

When determining how to pay for their stay overseas, students have a wide range of options to consider. Spending money abroad has a number of options, so be sure to weigh them all before choosing to use a student card, travel card, cash, or authorized user status. Be ready for circumstances in which a merchant accepts only cash or only cash, and know exactly what you’ll need most from any financing plan you select. Getting your financial affairs in order before of time will free up your time while traveling, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the language and culture.

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Jaipreet Kaur

I've had the opportunity to learn more about the educational systems of many various countries thanks to my 13 years of experience in this subject. This involves coordinating applicants, keeping in touch with students, answering their inquiries, and counselling them about studying abroad.

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