Most colleges have longstanding agreements with banks to offer credit, debit and/or prepaid cards to their students. In fact, the bank card may bear the school logo or club/team emblem. Most schools will have bank tables set up during college fairs, orientation, and registration days, offering you fast credit. Some schools even offer students the option of receiving their excess financial aid money on a campus approved card rather than wait for a check. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, students pay for this convenience through fees, fees, fees. Are you ready to pay for nothing? Many cards will charge students for NOT using them, called an inactivity fee.
A recent report from the NY Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) found that students are often charged excessive, and possibly illegal fees and rates.
Fees can be steep and frequent for students using the university-adopted cards, including a variety of per-swipe fees, inactivity fees, overdraft fees, ATM
fees and fees to reload prepaid cards.
Be sure to ask about fees and read the rules before you decide “paper or plastic”.