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Updated March 27, 2014

Student Credit Card Review: Citi Dividend for College Students Worth It?


Free of annual fees, the Citi® Dividend® Card for College Students offers a full 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. Cardholders also receive an introductory purchase APR and a variety of extra protections. Because this card does not require a co-signer from students who have an income, it can be a good pick for a first credit card.

Citi Dividend Card for College Students
Apply for Citi Dividend Card for College Students
  • Build credit while earning cash back fast
  • Earn 5% cash back every quarter in must-have categories like department stores, travel and more, enrollment each quarter is quick and easy.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • The total cash back earned with the card is $300 per calendar year. See Citi Dividend Card Reward Program Information.
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Manage your account online, on your tablet or on your Smartphone
  • No Annual Fee
  • Click Apply Now for pricing details
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
StudentCash Back RewardsBonus Cash BackCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Assistance Identity Theft Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0%* for 7 months*
N/A
13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
$0*

Overall Score

4.2

Rewards

4.0

Fees

4.5

Benefits

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Generous cash back program
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • No intro APR for balance transfers
  • Annual maximum on rewards

Bottom Line

Good cash back credit card for college students with moderate spending

Interest Rates

This card comes with a 7-month 0% introductory purchase APR . After this introductory period, the purchase APR for the card can be as low as 13.99% or as high as 23.99% depending on your creditworthiness. There is no introductory rate for balance transfers and the cash advance APR is 25.24%.

Cash Back

Cardholders also have the ability to earn additional cash back for purchases in various merchant categories that rotate throughout the year, such as department stores, travel, and more. You do have to enroll to receive the bonus cash back.

All other purchases earn a full 1% cash back throughout the year, making it easy to get extra money to put in savings so you can afford to do something special for spring break.

Cash back is accumulated in the form of Dividend Dollars, which can be redeemed for cash in $50 increments. You can earn a maximum of 300 Dividend Dollars per calendar year. This cap may or may not be a problem for you, depending on how many purchases you charge to your card and the bonus rate they earn. Dividend Dollars do not expire as long as your account stays active.

Fraud Protection

Most of us make quite a lot of our purchases online these days, which opens us up to the risk of fraud. Citi has built in some added protections to this card to help keep your account and identity safe. Their Virtual Account Numbers, for example, generates a substitute credit card number so you don’t have to share your real number with an unknown online merchant.

You also receive $0 Fraud Liability so you won’t have to pay a single cent for any unauthorized charges that are made with your card. Cardholders also receive identity theft assistance in the event that they do become victim to identity theft.

Extra Protections

In addition to providing its cardholders with cash rewards, this card also keeps them protected. These extras include car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, retail purchase protection and an extended warranty service.

The purchase protection program makes it so most items purchased with your Citi Card are protected against theft, fire or accidental breakage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. If these events happen during the covered time frame, you can be reimbursed up to $1,000.

The extended warranty will extend manufacturers’ U.S. warranties of one year or less for up to one additional year when you purchase items with your card. This can be a huge cost savings for products like computers and televisions.

Pros

  • Cash back program with rotating bonus categories
  • Introductory 0% purchase APR for 7 months
  • Fraud protection, purchase protection, and other ‘extras’
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No introductory rate for balance transfers
  • Annual maximum of 300 Dividend Dollars
  • Dividend Dollars can only be redeemed for cash

Bottom Line

The Citi Dividend Card for College Students is a good fit for students who will spend a moderate amount in the card’s bonus categories and want cash rewards for their spending, along with bonus protections. Students who are high spenders or want to transfer a balance should look elsewhere.

(Writing by Meghan, Editing by Erin K)

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on September 11, 2011. This content may have been updated on March 27, 2014. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Citi website for updated information.

More Articles in Reviews

Citi Dividend Card for College Students
Apply for Citi Dividend Card for College Students
  • Build credit while earning cash back fast
  • Earn 5% cash back every quarter in must-have categories like department stores, travel and more, enrollment each quarter is quick and easy.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • The total cash back earned with the card is $300 per calendar year. See Citi Dividend Card Reward Program Information.
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Manage your account online, on your tablet or on your Smartphone
  • No Annual Fee
  • Click Apply Now for pricing details
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
StudentCash Back RewardsBonus Cash BackCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Assistance Identity Theft Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0%* for 7 months*
N/A
13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
$0*

Compare Citi Dividend for College Students to:

Discover it for Students
Apply for Discover it for Students
  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't increase your APR.*
  • Generous. 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014.*
  • Human. Talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
  • Safe. Because you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards and other information
StudentCash Back RewardsBonus Cash BackNo Limits on RewardsExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 6 months
See Terms
12.99% - 21.99% Variable*
$0

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.