Since it can take years to build up your credit, it helps to start early. Experts agree that, as long as you can handle a credit card without overspending or missing payments, the optimal time to get your first one may be when you're still in college.
But finding the right card can be a challenge.
While some offer lucrative rewards, others charge annual fees. And although there are plenty of great cards out there, the best ones require you to have a high credit score in order to qualify, meaning your application won't stand much of a chance without a strong credit history.
To determine which card offers the best deal overall, CNBC Make It analyzed 25 popular cards geared towards students. Using a sample budget based on spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics specific to Americans under 25, we estimated how much money each card would save students over four years.
Based on the data, here is our No. 1 choice, our runner up and some other good options that may be better suited to your situation.