RBS Student Credit Card

By: Ian Webb | Updated: 6th March 2019.

Great for: Building credit
3 stars question mark

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) offers eligible students a way to start and build a credit profile for future borrowing needs. This could be beneficial when you finish your studies and head into working life. With a competitive APR and manageable credit limit, the card also has no annual fee. To be eligible, you must have an RBS student current account, be 18+, a UK resident, and be enrolled in a university or college course.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Manageable credit limit
  • Chance to establish good credit practices

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 18.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £500

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • Manageable credit limit
  • Chance to establish good credit practices
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    18.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 3/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Manageable credit limit
  • Chance to establish good credit practices

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 18.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £500

BOTTOM LINE

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) offers eligible students a way to start and build a credit profile for future borrowing needs. This could be beneficial when you finish your studies and head into working life. With a competitive APR and manageable credit limit, the card also has no annual fee. To be eligible, you must have an RBS student current account, be 18+, a UK resident, and be enrolled in a university or college course.

Credit Rating Requirement: Limited/No credit

What I like about the RBS Student Credit Card

The RBS Student Credit Card gives students the chance to start their working life on the right foot. By potentially building a sound credit rating, students may be able to gain access to better financial products in the future. If you are a student, RBS could give you the opportunity to learn how to handle and manage a small amount of credit debt before taking on larger purchases.

  • Manageable credit limits – RBS 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 to the maximum amount in a short time.
  • No credit history required – RBS realizes that students may not have had much of a chance to build their credit rating. By offering a manageable limit and an opportunity to show good borrowing behavior, RBS can help cardholders build their credit rating.
  • Competitive APR – The representative APR is very competitive rate 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 (both home and abroad) will incur a 3% processing fee, plus interest will be charged at a higher APR from the date the withdrawal is debited to your account. These fees are lower than those of some rival cards and very similar to those of NatWest’s Student Credit Card.
  • 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. RBS charges the usual array 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 £10 fee, and a £3 fee if you need a copy of your statement. As mentioned 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 online or using RBS’s mobile banking app. The RBS 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.

Why trust me

For 15 years, I taught both primary and secondary students. One thing that always stood out to me was that we do not teach financial literacy in schools, despite the fact that students nearly always lack knowledge in this critical subject. I have always had a keen interest in personal finance, debt management and wealth creation, so I decided to make a career change and become a financial planner/educator with the aim to provide sound, independent financial education. I moved to the UK three years ago, so I know personally what it is like to begin my credit history all over again, since financial institutions don’t take into account your overseas history. My commitment to you is to give you up to date, “no BS” information that will help you decide what is best for you.

What could be improved

The RBS Student Credit Card is a basic starter credit card to get students underway 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 you credit limit.

  • No introductory offers – The student card has no incentives other than enabling students to access a credit card. There are no reward points or interest free balance transfer offers. This does allow students to focus on their studies and develop decent borrowing and spending habits, such as paying off the card balance, but it does make it a less attractive card. Some competitors offer incentives such as cashback offers during special promotions.

How does the RBS Student Credit Card offer stack up?

The RBS 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 is very similar to the NatWest Student Credit Card but has some higher fees and charges. It 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 RBS Card Credit Score

The RBS Student Credit Card web page has an eligibility checker that checks whether you are eligible for the student credit card. The check takes approximately two minutes to complete and won’t 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 an RBS 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 knockback would be recorded against your credit rating.

Make sure you have the required information ready when applying online, as well as details of your RBS 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 RBS Student Credit Card right for you

The RBS 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 RBS card offers a manageable credit limit and a competitive APR, and has fees in line with those of other similar cards. If you currently bank with RBS and are looking for a student credit card, the RBS card could be worth having a look at.

See the Best Credit Cards for Students


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