Student Visa Card: Review of Citi Dividend Platinum Select

by Millie Kay G. on 2010-06-167

Visa card for students: Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa

Getting a credit card while you’re in college can be useful for purchases on campus, online, and for other aspects of your life, but only if you use your card prudently. If you’re hunting for a credit card that rewards you for using it, there are some cards that are a good choice for students, based on the benefits and perks they offer. If used responsibly, a credit card can help with establishing credit, especially for those just starting out with their financial lives. Here’s a look at the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students, which may be suitable for new card holders who are just starting out on the road to building credit.

Visa Card for Students: Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Review

I’ve been noticing more credit cards in the pipeline that are catering to students. The terms for many of these cards are quite attractive. With the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa card, there’s 0% APR for purchases for 7 months for those who qualify. And for 6 months, certain eligible purchases can earn you 5% cash back. These purchases can be made at convenience stores, gas stations, drug stores, and supermarkets, and even your utility bills are considered eligible. Once the 5% cash back promotional period ends, you’ll earn 1% cash back on these types of purchases.

For other types of purchases, you can earn 1% cash back. For instance, you might earn cash back for your textbook purchases or from regular shopping trips you already make. In other words, the purchases you’d typically make anyway can you earn you cash back and more money in your pocket throughout the year.

Here’s where to apply for the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa card for Students.
Apply for the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students

After the promotional period’s over, your normal APR for purchases will apply. Based on your application and credit history, you’ll fall in one of four rate categories, ranging from 12.99% on up to 21.99% (variable). Be aware that if you qualify for the fourth category, you won’t be offered the promotional rate.

Just like with other Citi rewards cards, you’ll be able to earn cash back through cash advances and balance transfers. For cash advances you make at the standard APR, you’ll earn 1% cash back. And if you have a balance transfer that’s $1,500 or over, you can earn $5 cash back. If you decide to pursue a cash advance, you’ll be charged an APR of 25.24%, plus there are fees for balance transfers and cash advances. To sign up for this card, you need to be an enrolled college or graduate student; age 18 or over.

Earn Dividend Dollars

The cash back will show up on your monthly statement as “Dividend Dollars”. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to wait too long to receive this cash reward. Once you’ve accumulated $50 in Dividend Dollars, you can request a check. The downside is that there is a limit to the cash back you can earn per year — your Dividend Dollars are capped to $300 a year, unfortunately, with one exception: the Dividend Dollars that you earn when buying through the Citi Dividend Merchant Network aren’t capped.

Unlike some credit cards, you don’t need a cosigner to apply for this card. You might like the fact that it’s a “no annual fee” card as well. Once you become a cardmember, you’ll determine your credit limit, which will be based on your credit history, assets and annual income.

As with most promotional offers, it’s possible for Citi to deny anyone the “0% APR for 7 months” offer for any justifiable reason, such as returned payments, late payments, missed payments or tripping the credit limit. I find that the default rate for this card is pretty high, at 29.99%, so it’s clear that you get heavily penalized when you fail to abide by the conditions of your card agreement.

Lost Wallet Service & More

The beneficial features don’t end with the credit card rewards program. You can look forward to identity theft protection and the option to add a photo to your card, plus $0 liability if you find an unauthorized transaction on your account. There’s also a Lost Wallet service that can help you get emergency cash based on your cash advance balance and can help replace your credit card if you misplace it. You can even call on this help if you’re traveling outside the country. And if you’re interested in learning more about credit issues, there’s access to credit education tools, too.

As a college student, you might want the convenience of a credit card. If you select a card like the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students, you’ll be able to make purchases and earn rewards as well. Just make sure you’re able to abide by the card’s terms and conditions in order to make the best use of the card and its benefits.

You can also check our Student Credit Card section for more options for students.

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Didn’t Citi change the original cashback program of the Dividend card to a quarterly rotating 5% cashback program?

Impulse Magazine June 17, 2010 at 5:08 am

I don’t think students even need credit cards because they just get them in more debt than they need to be.

Big-D June 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

@impulse magazine: I have had a Citi Dividend Platinum Select since 1993 when I was a freshman in college. I have carried a balance for 2 total months in those 17 years. I have never had a late payment, and I have never overspend. So why would I have to wait until I had a “real” job and am out of school (I spent 7 years in college, taking a year off when my son was born and getting a MS degree)? I was 25, had 7 years of awesome credit, and was getting back 1% the whole time. That reminds me, I have a $280 citi check waiting for me to collect.

As for the rest of the article. I don’t care for the 5% thing, as it is a gimmick and you have to sign up each quarter on their site between certain days for you to be eligible for that 5%. Otherwise you get the 1%. I now days use my Costco American Express and get more back than I do with Citi, however I use this card when Amex is not accepted, and I am never going to turn down 17 years of awesome credit history.

Social News June 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

I think the credit cards will get most kids in trouble. Only if your kid is really responsible should they get a card.

Silicon Valley Blogger June 17, 2010 at 11:47 am

Big-D, thanks for your insights! Your comments have been very helpful.

I receive a lot of comments about how students should stay away from credit cards and avoid incurring debt. It’s a common warning I’ve heard often, and no wonder, our nation is one that is heavily fueled by credit and debt. My take on this is that a student or young person should evaluate their need for a card and whether they can use it responsibly. At some point, I had to have been introduced to a credit card in order for me to build credit and learn how to use this tool in the best possible ways. I was pretty young myself when I got a hold of my first credit card and have never experienced a problem with it up to this point (and have enjoyed many benefits from its use).

The big question is whether a person is “ready” to use a card. If you tend to be a spendthrift and find it hard to control your shopping impulses, this can be a strong sign that you should avoid credit cards. But if you can set limits for yourself and abide by strict rules of credit card use (pay monthly balances in full each month, use the card with care, etc.) then carrying a card shouldn’t be so dreadful.

Granted, many credit card companies do try to reel in younger people to increase their customer base (that’s what they’re in business for), but just because you are a credit card user (and a young one at that), does not mean you’ll be relegated to the depths of debt hell. That said, evaluate your requirements and weigh the pros and cons of card use before signing up.

CreditShout June 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I think that students should have a card in order to build credit, but I agree that they need to understand their credit limit, pay their bills on time, and make responsible choices with their card. This sounds like a really good option for students if they are going to use one anyway.

ConsumerMiser June 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm

A nice article and a nice healthy debate has started in the comments.
I kind of agree with Social News–these college kids should not have credit cards unless they are responsible. But how will you ever know? I guess you have to give them a card and college is a good environment to find out. There is a need to buy some things, a pressure to buy more things, and little income coming in, which is great test for the real world and for a new card user. It’s also great for these credit card companies to get you hooked on paying on credit and being in debt. My advice is: create a budget and stick to it. If you are using a card, have a plan and timeline to pay it off and don’t make it up as you go. Review your statements monthly and start building good credit by paying at least the minimum on time every month. I advise paying at least 5 to 10% per month of the balance instead of the minimum. Have a plan to manage and pay off the card completely and review it quarterly. Finally, don’t get a high credit limit or at least don’t use most of the line. Your use of the card in general should be for emergencies and needs and not for wants and things you just cannot afford.


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