The credit cards with the lowest typical APR are shown first
Why get a student credit card?
A student credit card can be a helpful way to budget for unplanned costs while you’re studying.
They are designed for students studying at university or college so are slightly different to a normal credit card. Here are some features you can expect to find with a student credit card:
- benefits tailored to student needs, such as travel perks or mobile payments
- low interest introductory rates for purchases and balance transfers
- lower credit limits to keep your spending under control
- different application criteria
Who offers student credit cards in Ireland?
There are three banks in Ireland that offer a student credit card:
- Bank of Ireland
How to apply for a student credit card
To apply for a student credit card, you need to prove you are a current full-time student at a third level institution, such as a university, college or an institute of technology.
You also need to:
- be over 18
- have an active student current account
- provide certified proof of identity, e.g. a valid passport, drivers licence or EU ID Card
- provide certified proof of current address, e.g. utility bill, a letter from a financial institution
- provide your PPSN or TRN
You will be required to have a student current account with the bank that issues your credit card.
What are the disadvantages of a credit card?
Using a credit card is great if you can borrow responsibly, but, if you don’t use it sensibly or make your repayments on time, you could end up with debt and financial difficulty.
Here’s a summary of the pros and cons:
- Spreads cost of purchases
- Can provide a safety net for unplanned expenses
- Good for travel abroad and fares
- Offers fraud protection
- Tempting to spend beyond your means
- Interest charges will add to purchase costs
- Late payment charges and overlimit fees
- Your credit score is affected by late or missed payments
Are credit cards free?
In Ireland, you pay a ‘Government Stamp Duty’ on your credit card account. The rate for credit cards is €30 per year per credit card account. Your card issuer will typically collect Stamp Duty on 1st April, in arrears.
Student credit card FAQs
How do student credit cards work?
Student credit cards are a type of payment card. You can use it to pay for goods and services on credit which you need to pay back within a specified time frame. Your card issuer will set a credit limit so you know the maximum you can spend.
Repayments can be made in monthly instalments to spread the cost or you can pay off the amount you owe in full at the end of each month. The card issuer will charge interest on the amount you owe but if you pay off your balance in full each month, you won’t pay any interest charges.
What does APR mean?
Annual percentage rate (APR) is used to help you understand the cost of borrowing. It’s the official rate used for comparing credit cards and unsecured loans, and is shown as a percentage of the amount you’ve borrowed.
The lower the APR, the cheaper the cost of borrowing should be.
It takes into account the interest rate and additional charges of a credit offer, but not penalties, like late payment fees.
What is a credit limit?
Your credit limit is the maximum amount you can spend on your credit card. In effect, the amount the card issuer is prepared to lend you on the card. In the first year, it is normally around €500.
What is the difference between a student credit card and student debit card?
When you use a debit card, you are using money in your current account from earnings or student funding. Whether you’re getting cash from an ATM, spending in-store or shopping online - you can only spend what is in your bank account and agreed overdraft.
When you use a credit card, you are borrowing money from the credit card issuer. If you don’t repay that full amount within the specified time (typically 56 days), you will be charged interest on these purchases, unless you have a 0% introductory rate on purchases.