Review: Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students – Earn Cash Back and More

For the college student trying to get his or her first credit card, it can be a little difficult to get approved.

Student credit cards provide those with limited credit history the opportunity to establish their credit.  Looking for a student card can be difficult, though, since many student cards come with higher interest rates and might not even have rewards programs.  The CARD Act of 2009 has also made it more difficult for student to get a college card since those under 21 need to the ability to pay their charges now.

If you are looking for a student credit card with a rewards program, the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students might work for you.

Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Rewards Program


The Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students has a rewards program that is a little less generous than the programs you find with other Citi rewards credit cards.

However, if you can’t qualify for a more standard rewards credit card, it makes sense to consider a student card.  At least with this program, you will get some rewards.  And it is a cash back program so that’s nice to have.

Every quarter you can earn bonus cash back on  select categories that change.  Currently you will earn 5% cash back within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands, car rental agencies, movie theaters, and theme parks.  This lasts from July 1, 2013 until September 30, 2013.  There is a catch — you have to make sure you enroll in the bonus categories in order to get the bonus.  I’d much rather see this happen automatically but it isn’t that much work to enroll and it’s worth it to get the extra cash back.  You can always check the latest categories, and sign up, at their dividend quarterly offer page.

All other purchases get you 1% cash back.

It is worth noting that if you shop through the Citi Bonus Cash Center, you can get an additional 5% cash back, on average, when you buy from more than 400 partner retailers.  This can be one way to boost your cash back earnings.  Watch the prices you pay there to make sure shopping through their portal is worth it.

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If you want to maximize your cash back earnings, you should use your card for all of your regular purchases. However, you need to make sure that you integrate your credit card spending with your budget.  You should only buy what you have money for.  Pay off the balance each month, or the interest charges will start to cost you.  And once you are paying interest the cash back doesn’t mean as much.

This is especially important for college students.  Take the time you have a college credit card and make sure you build up your credit history, not knock it down.  This way when you graduate you just might end up with an excellent credit score.

Other Features and Information about the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students

One of the bonuses with this credit card is the fact that you don’t need a cosigner.  As long as you can show that you can make payments, you don’t need to ask for a cosigner. Other features include:

  • 0% APR on purchases for the first seven months.
  • Regular APR of 13.99% to 23.99%, depending on your credit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Fraud liability protection.  There’s $0 liability on fraudulent charges.
  • Educational resources to help you keep your spending under control, and learn more about smart credit habits.

You’re also getting a suite of Citi benefits such as Buyers Security, Extended Warranty, Auto Rental Insurance, Travel and Emergency Assistance, Automatic Travel Accident Insurance, Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Lost Luggage Coverage, and Citi Price Rewind.  Make sure you check their site for the exact details of this coverage.

Is the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students Right for Me?

Overall, this is a fairly standard student rewards credit card.  You can use it to help build credit as a student, and you can earn cash back as well.  You also get a good number of benefits that come with being a Citi credit card holder.

With smart usage, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students can be a solid choice.

Head over to the Citi page for more details on the card.

Here’s a list of Student Credit Cards for you to compare.

Published or updated August 19, 2013.

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