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Basics and benefits of a Deserve card

Deserve offers three credit cards: the Deserve Classic, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students and the Deserve® Pro Mastercard. The features of these cards include:

No security deposit required

A report to two credit bureaus: TransUnion and Experian

No foreign transaction fees

Deserve Classic

The Deserve Classic credit card is perfect for college students who are new to building credit. It has a low annual fee, and requires a Social Security number.

For applicants with no credit or low credit scores, Deserve uses its own underwriting process and algorithm to evaluate creditworthiness. Cardholders won’t earn any rewards, but they will get the chance to build credit and to potentially upgrade later to the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students or Deserve® Pro Mastercard if they have consistent on-time payments and/or show a credit score improvement.

Deserve® Pro Mastercard

The Deserve® Pro Mastercard credit card is for employed applicants, including new immigrants, who have already started to build or establish credit in the U.S.

The card requires a Social Security number, which is used to determine whether an applicant has established credit. Deserve will then evaluate the applicant’s credit score and other factors to determine their creditworthiness for the card.

Many college students who are initially approved for the Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students credit card can eventually migrate to the Deserve® Pro Mastercard and will get to keep the length of the account on their credit history, which can help their credit score.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is for all eligible students — including international students — who are attending a U.S. college or university and want to get an early start on building credit and earning rewards.

Deserve doesn’t require a Social Security number from international students to apply for this card. For domestic students, Deserve will collect their Social Security number to check for any negative issues on their credit histories. Assuming an applicant passes that check, Deserve uses its own underwriting process and algorithm to approve or deny an application for the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students cardholders earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. Rewards automatically redeem as statement credit in $25 increments. The card also includes an offer for Amazon Prime Student. Deserve will cover subscription fees up to $59. Lifetime Value of $59.

All cards come with the following Mastercard Platinum benefits:

Cellphone Insurance

Cellphone Insurance

Coverage for up to $600 when your cellphone is stolen or damaged.
Extended Warranty

Extended Warranty

Doubles the original manufacturer warranty up to a maximum of 12 months on most items.
Travel Assistance Services

Travel Assistance Services

Lost luggage, medical assistance, and legal referrals when you’re traveling 50 miles or more from home.
ID Theft Protection

ID Theft Protection

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, you’ll have access to a number of identity theft resolution services.

Nerdwallet put together a quick and easy-to-read chart featuring all the benefits of the 3 Deserve credit card choices for college students:

How to apply

For college students with established credit and high enough credit scores

  • The application process is just like a regular credit card, with FICO scores determining the results.

For college students with little or no credit

  • Deserve uses an algorithm instead of FICO scores to determine your student’s creditworthiness and ability to pay. The algorithm measures students’ credit potential instead of their credit history.
  • Deserve evaluates the school, major, student visa if applicable, passport ID if applicable, and their likelihood to graduate and get a job.
  • Deserve looks into U.S. bank account balances to determine an applicant’s ability to pay.
  • Deserve also considers whether contact information — physical address, email address and phone number — has changed over the years (they want to know that they can contact your college student easily).
  • Deserve doesn’t allow co-signers, so all applicants under 21 must prove their independent ability to pay in order to qualify.

Your student’s first credit card can be a gateway to building credit, earning rewards, and learning financial responsibility that can last a lifetime.