Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

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Chase Freedom® Student credit card

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ByDoug Milnes, CFA
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Reviewed byBrett Holzhauer
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Updated: March 19, 2024

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You can compare the features, fees and rewards of these two student credit cards to see which one is right for you.

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a solid choice for international students and students with poor credit histories. You won't have to pay an annual fee or put down a security deposit, and you'll get 1% cash back on all of your purchases.

As for the Chase Freedom® Student credit card, every purchase you make earns you 1% cash back with no annual fee. Additionally, you can qualify for a $20 yearly incentive by maintaining an excellent credit rating for a maximum of five years.

Comparison Overview: Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students vs. Chase Freedom® Student credit card

  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
    Chase Freedom® Student credit card
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
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  • Travel Rewards

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students At a Glance

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students card is designed for students with limited or less than perfect credit history. When you have the card, you will also receive a year of Amazon Prime Student for a year and cell phone protection. Additionally, this card is an excellent choice for international students in the United States since you don't need a Social Security number to apply.


  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

    Best student cash back card for limited credit history


    • 1% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 23.99% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • None–PoorRecommended Credit

Chase Freedom® Student credit card At a Glance

Students who seek a no annual fee student credit card that will help them establish good credit could find value in the Chase Freedom® Student credit card. The card features a modest rewards program, where you’ll earn 1% back on every transaction. And when you make your first purchase within the first three months of card membership, you will earn a $50 bonus.


  • Chase Freedom® Student credit card

    A solid card with rewards students are sure to appreciate


    • 1-5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 19.99% VariableAPR
    • $0Annual Fee
    • Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit

Comparison Summary

By comparing the differences between Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students vs. Chase Freedom® Student credit card on MoneyGeek, you can determine the best student credit card for your needs.

Card Detail
Comparison Summary

Foreign Transaction Fee

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, which makes it a great choice if you're traveling outside of the United States. The Chase Freedom® Student credit card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Winner: Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Regular APR

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students has a high variable APR of 18.74%, much higher than the rate on several other cards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card carries an APR of 14.99% on purchases.

Winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards

Both of these credit cards will give you a flat 1% cashback on all purchases. Many other cards have better rates and bonus categories that make it easier to get rewards faster.

Winner: Tie

Annual Fee

Both cards have a $0 annual fee.

Winner: Tie

Credit Score

Because both cards are student credit cards, the barrier to entry is quite low. There are no verifiable credit scores needed for either card, but it’s best to have at least a 640 credit score to give yourself a chance of being approved.

Winner: Tie

Which Card Should You Get?

When deciding between the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students and Chase Freedom® Student credit cards, it's important to consider your financial situation.

Who Should Consider the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students?

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is designed mainly for students with a low credit history and need to establish credit quickly. Typically, those with poor credit histories would be required to put down a security deposit or have a co-signer authorized for a credit card.

  • worldTraveler icon

    Because there are no foreign transaction fees with this card, it’s an excellent choice for anyone traveling overseas.

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    Pre-qualification for this card is possible without negatively impacting your credit score.

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Who Should Consider the Chase Freedom® Student credit card?

For students who want to use a card often in the U.S. and receive cash back, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card is a great option.

  • rewards icon

    There is no expiration date on your rewards, and there is no minimum redemption amount required to get your cash back.

  • rewards icon

    If you make your first purchase within three months of opening the card, you'll get a $50 bonus.

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EXPERT OPINION

The Deserve EDU Card is a solid option for people with less than perfect credit history, or do not have a Social Security number. However, if you don’t fall into either category, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card will be the better option as you can earn a quick welcome bonus and have the opportunity to build a history with Chase Bank, which offers other great credit cards.

Other Helpful Decision-Making FAQs

Choosing a credit card can often be a difficult decision. MoneyGeek answers some frequently asked questions about the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students card and the Chase Freedom® Student credit cards to help you better understand them.

If you want to build a good credit history, you may choose the Deserve EDU Student Mastercard. On the other hand, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card is a great option for students who want to use a card often and receive cash back.

You can apply and be approved for both credit cards. But note that you will not be able to get a Chase credit card if you’ve been approved for five or more credit cards in the past 24 months.

Neither card earns points.

Yes you can, since each card is associated with a different bank and issuer.

Both cards are fairly easy to be approved for as they don’t require perfect credit. However, both cards have similar requirements including verifiable income to pay your bill.

There is no welcome bonus available with the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. The Chase Freedom® Student credit card gives a $50 welcome bonus after the first purchase made within the first three months of use.

Still Not Sure About These Cards? Consider These Options

Both the Deserve EDU Student Mastercard and the Chase Freedom® Student credit cards are great student credit cards. However, if you're looking for other methods to earn rewards, consider shopping around for another student rewards credit card.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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