Review: Citi Forward Card for College Students

This post comes from Logan Abbott, editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com. 

Many credit cards geared toward college students offer the bare minimum when it comes to rewards, favorable interest rates and 0 percent introductory periods. With the Citi Forward Card for College Students, however, Citi brings to the table a card with benefits that rival those of a majority of cards on the market.

Advantages

  • No co-signer required. Unlike some credit cards designed for college students, the Citi Forward Card for College Students does not require a co-signer. As long as you have a good credit score and you’re a current college student with a source of income, you’ll be approved. Students who can’t demonstrate a source of income can still qualify for the card by using a co-signer.
  • No annual fee. There’s no annual fee to use the card.
  • Zero percent introductory APR on purchases. The card comes with a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases for seven months. After that, the variable APR is between 13.99 percent and 23.99 percent, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Reduced APR with responsible use. If you pay your credit card bill on time and stay within your credit limit for three consecutive months, your APR will be reduced by a quarter of a percentage point per quarter. If you get eight consecutive reductions, that’s equal to two full percentage points.
  • Citi ThankYou rewards points. Cardholders earn 5 ThankYou points for each dollar spent on entertainment, dining, movie theaters, bookstores and movie rentals. Cardholders also receive 1 ThankYou point for each dollar spent in other categories. ThankYou points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, gift cards, movie tickets and more.
  • Bonus ThankYou points for paying on time. Citi will give cardholders 100 ThankYou points for each month they pay their bill on time and stay within their credit limit.

Disadvantages

  • Points expire. Citi ThankYou points earned from the Citi Forward Card for College Students expire after five years. Most people, however, will have redeemed their points by then.
  • Yearly cap on points earned. Cardholders can accumulate no more than 75,000 ThankYou points in a single year. Most college students aren’t huge spenders, however, so this factor isn’t a deal breaker.

Bottom line

Get it if: You are a financially responsible college student with good credit who wants to take advantage of a great credit card rewards program.

Forget it if: You have poor credit, or are not a college student.

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Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page. Also note that any terms, rates or other features described in this article can change without notice. Always double-check everything with the issuer before applying for any credit card.

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