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The NatWest Student Credit Card offers students a chance to start building their credit rating. With a very competitive APR and manageable credit limit, the Mastercard credit card also has no annual fee. To be eligible, you must have a NatWest student current account, be 18+, a UK resident, and be enrolled in a university or college course.
Credit Rating Requirement: Poor/No credit
What I like about the NatWest Student Credit Card
NatWest’s Student Credit Card gives students the chance to start building their credit profiles. Students have the opportunity to learn how to manage a small credit-card debt before taking on bigger purchases later in life.
- Manageable credit limits – NatWest offers a minimum £250 credit limit to get students started, and potentially up to £500 depending on their credit status. This is a very manageable limit, especially with students earning minimal wages. By displaying sensible borrowing behavior, a card holder’s limit could be increased in no time.
- No credit history required – NatWest realizes that students probably haven’t had a chance to build their credit rating. In addition, by offering a manageable credit limit and a chance to show good borrowing behavior, NatWest can help students build a credit rating.
- Competitive APR – The representative APR is quite competitive when compared with those of similar student cards. As with most cards, you can also receive up to 56 days interest-free on your purchases if you pay off the balance in full by the due date each month.
- Use at home and abroad – You can use this card both in the UK and when you travel overseas. Just be mindful that non-sterling purchases and cash withdrawals will incur fees and charges. Non-sterling purchases will incur a fee of 2.75% of the purchase price, and cash withdrawals (abroad only) will incur a 3% processing fee, plus interest will be charged at a higher APR from the date of the withdrawal is debited to your account. On the plus side, these fees are lower than those of some rival cards.
- Worth knowing – There is no annual fee with this card. The card does offer a balance transfer, but there is no interest-free period to pay the balance off. NatWest charges the usual range of fees and penalties if you forget to pay the minimum balance or go over your credit limit. If you are late for a monthly repayment (more than one day) or go over your credit limit (by more than £12), you will be charged a £12 fee. If one of your payments is returned, there is a £5 fee, and a £3 fee if you need a copy of your statement. As stated above, if you withdraw cash or use your card abroad, there are fees and charges associated with these transactions. Gambling transactions are also regarded as cash transactions and will be charged at a higher interest rate from the date of the transaction. You can add the card to Apple Pay. You can manage your card and accounts using NatWest’s mobile banking app. The Nat West Student Credit Card web page provides a wealth of information on the card, such as the definitions of the different terms used, the benefits of the card, and potential fees.
What could be improved
The NatWest Student Credit Card is a no-frills basic credit card to get students started on their credit journey. The card doesn’t provide any introductory offers, and there are the usual penalties if you miss your minimum repayments or go over your credit limit.
- No introductory offers – The card has no additional benefits other than enabling students to access a credit card. There are no reward points or interest-free balance transfers offers. This does allow students to focus on their studies and develop good borrowing and spending habits, such as paying off the card balance, but it does make it a less attractive card. Some competitors offer incentives like cashback offers during special promotions.
How does the NatWest Student Credit Card offer stack up?
The NatWest Student Credit Card ranks alongside its rivals with a competitive APR and has a lower fee than some cards do on overseas transactions. This card offers a lower credit limit than some similar cards. As with other student credit cards, the user must have a student bank account with the lender.
The NatWest Card Credit Score
The NatWest Student Credit Card web page has an eligibility checker that checks whether you are eligible for the student credit card. This check does not affect your credit rating even if it comes back negative.
How to apply
You must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the card, have had a UK address for at least three years, and have a NatWest student current account. You must also be enrolled in a university or college course. You can apply in a branch or online. If you plan to apply online, make sure to use the eligibility checker first. If the eligibility checker shows that you are not eligible then don’t apply, as a refusal would be recorded against your credit rating. Make sure you have the required information ready when applying online, as well as details of your NatWest current account. The application will take approximately 10 minutes and you will receive a decision within five minutes. If you are accepted, you should receive your card in five to seven working days.
Is the NatWest Student Credit Card right for you?
The NatWest Student Credit Card could be a good way for students with limited or no credit history to get started and build their credit rating. The NatWest card offers a manageable credit limit and a competitive APR, while some of its overseas fees are slightly lower than those of similar cards. If you currently bank with NatWest, the Student Credit Card could be worth having a look at.
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