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Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students Review

The Deserve Edu Mastercard credit card for students is no longer available.

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students is not one of our highest rated student credit cards. You can consult our list of best student credit cards for what we think are better options.

Complete Deserve Edu Mastercard Review for Students


  • No security deposit or co-signer required

  • Refer a friend program

The inconvenients

  • High APR

  • Fairly low rewards

The benefits explained

  • No security deposit or co-signer required: Generally, if you have a limited credit history, or no credit at all, your only option is a secured credit card, which requires you to post a security deposit which acts as your credit limit. Or you must have a co-signer, who pays the bills if you can’t pay.
  • Refer a Friend Program: Refer someone to Deserve using your personal referral code and receive $30 upon activation of their card.

Disadvantages Explained

  • High APR: Because it doesn’t review applicants’ credit history, the Deserve Edu Mastercard hedges its rise with an above-average APR on purchases. According to Federal Reservethe average credit card interest rate for all types of credit card accounts that are assessed interest was 14.51% in November 2021. In contrast, the Deserve Edu Mastercard has a variable APR of 20.99% as of July 2022. That’s probably still a bit steep, even by student credit card standards. You can avoid paying interest charges by paying off your balance in full each month. But if you think you have a balance on your card and you have decent credit, you better sign up for a student credit card with a lower APR.
  • Fairly low rewards: Although the Mastercard Deserve Edu card has a rewards program, it is quite simple and there is no traditional cash back bonus for new card members. You will only earn 1% cash back on your purchases. That’s not bad for a student credit card, but there are other credit cards that offer better rewards if you have enough credit. For example, you’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 spent each term with the Discover It Chrome card for students. And you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students is obviously geared towards students. Specifically, it’s better for students who don’t have an established credit history or for international students who have trouble qualifying for a card in the United States.

Reward Earnings Details

With this credit card, you’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase you make. At the end of your billing period, your cash back is calculated by multiplying the total amount you spent (less returns, account fees, and interest charges) by 1%.

To put this into perspective, consider that the National Association of University Stores reported that college students spent an average of $456 on required course materials, technology, and school supplies during the 2020-2021 school year. If you used your Deserve Edu Mastercard to pay that full amount, you’ll earn $4.56 in cash back.

Reward Redemption Details

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students makes it easy to redeem your rewards. Any cash back you earn will automatically be redeemed for statement credits once you’ve earned at least $25 in rewards.

However, it may take some time to earn enough rewards to qualify for the $25 redemption minimum. This can be a significant downside, as other student credit cards like the Discover it Student Cash Back Card allow you to redeem your rewards once you’ve earned as little as one cent.

How to maximize your rewards

To get the most out of your card, use the Deserve Edu Mastercard early and often. Use it to pay for all your essential expenses (education or general living) and your discretionary expenses as well. You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase, big or small. If you spend $5,000 in a year just on day-to-day expenses, you’ll earn $50 in statement credits.

While 1% isn’t the highest percentage in the credit card world, it does add up. Additionally, this card also offers savings in other special areas.

Earn Edu Mastercard for Outstanding Student Benefits

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students offers some unusual benefits for a student credit card:

  • Mobile coverage: Pay your cell phone bill with your Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students and you’ll get up to $600 in insurance coverage against damage or theft.
  • Amazon Prime Student Subscription Credit: Sign up for an Amazon Prime Student membership and get reimbursed up to a lifetime total of $59.

Standard Benefits

  • Secondary car rental damage and theft insurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Price Protection

Cardholder experience

Deserve is a relatively new company and has not yet ranked against national card issuers like Discover, American Express or Capital One.

Unlike most major issuers, Deserve does not offer 24-hour customer service. Their call center, available by calling 1-800-418-2362, is only accessible Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT.

This could be a problem if you have an issue with your account, such as your card being stolen, after call center hours.

Security functions

Like other credit cards, the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students offers zero liability protection. This means that you are not responsible for any unauthorized transactions made on your account.

You’ll also have access to Mastercard ID Theft Protection, which will monitor your account for suspicious activity, alert you to unusual transactions, and help you recover your identity in the event of theft.

Our opinion

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students is a solid option for students with little or no credit history; for international students, who often struggle to qualify for US cards, this may be the only option. It offers a rewards program, has no annual fee, and does not require a security deposit. With added benefits like cell phone protection, it’s surprisingly tough for a student ID in some ways.

In other respects, it’s a bit anemic. You will pay for low eligibility standards with an APR that is high. The card also doesn’t offer an introductory APR on purchases, and it doesn’t allow balance transfers or cash advances.

While Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students can be a useful starter card, as your credit history builds and your credit score improves, you’re probably better off applying for another card from a major issuer that offers more rewards. Young people with more established credit histories can probably qualify for better student credit cards right from the start.

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