Our picks offer benefits for paying on-time and generous penalty forgiveness. Getty Images By Lisa Gerstner, Contributing Editor From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, October 2017 In addition to buying textbooks, students heading to campus may want to add a credit card to their to-do list—as long as they plan to pay the balance in full each month. Student-card issuers may accept young applicants despite their thin credit histories. But by law, those younger than 21 must show proof of assets or income or have a cosigner (Discover and Capital One do not permit cosigners).See Also: Best Rewards Credit Cards for Your Wallet, 2017 Our top pick: the Discover It Chrome for College Students card (annual percentage rate: 0% for six months, then 13.99% to 22.99%). Besides offering 2% back on gas and restaurant spending (up to $1,000 in combined purchases quarterly), the card gives students a $20 cash bonus each school year that they earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you make a late payment, there’s no penalty rate increase and no late fee for the first missed payment. Redeem rewards as a statement credit or bank account deposit—or use them to pay for purchases directly on Amazon.com. The card charges no foreign-transaction fee. SEE ALSO: Protect Your Rewards Points and Miles From Theft The Capital One Journey Student card (24.99%) offers 1% back on all purchases, but Capital One increases the total payback to 1.25% each month that a student pays the bill on time. The card charges no penalty APR for late payments, although a late fee applies. Request cash back as a statement credit or check, or set up automatic redemptions. There’s no foreign-transaction fee. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students card (0% for 12 months, then 13.99% to 23.99%) offers 3% back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 spent quarterly). Redeem the rewards into a BofA checking or savings account and you get a 10% bonus. The card charges a 3% foreign-transaction fee and a late fee applies.