If you’re in college and want to build your credit score, you’ve typically only had one option: credit cards. Credit cards aren’t usually geared towards the needs of students. Even so-called “student credit cards” are really just normal credit cards with a student-focused marketing pitch. They still have confusing terms and conditions that encourage you to overspend, go into debt, and pay fees and interest. They aren’t designed to help you get ahead.
Fizz, on the other hand, puts students first. We want you to be able to build credit and learn to manage your finances without the downsides.
With a Fizz card, you won’t have to worry about confusing terms and conditions. We don’t charge fees, and we don’t have interest rates. Instead of giving you an arbitrarily high credit limit, we connect to your bank account to keep you from spending more than you have. And with features like daily Autopay and SafeFreeze, it’s easy to stay on top of your spending and your budgeting. Plus, you’ll be able to earn up cash back at merchants you know and love around campus and online. Sounds pretty great, right? Let’s take a closer look at how Fizz differs from a credit card - and why it’s the superior choice every time.
The nuts and bolts of a credit card
First things first, getting approved for a credit card as a college student can be a huge headache. Even if you have the money to pay your bills, a credit card will likely be one of your first lines of credit. Since you may not have much a credit profile to show that you’re trustworthy, you’ll probably end up dealing with multiple credit card application denials before you can even get a card.
Once you finally get a credit card, there’s still plenty to be wary of. Credit cards are essentially a loan. When you open a credit card, the credit card company gives you a maximum amount you can spend before you need to pay them back. Usually this amount is pretty high - which can encourage overspending. This process repeats for as long as you have the card.
Now - after you’ve used your credit card and made purchases all month long, the credit card company sends you a bill. From here, a few things can happen. You can pay off all your purchases, you can make just the minimum payment, or you can forget to pay at all.
If you forget to pay at all, you get a missed payment on your credit report, you have to pay a fee, and your credit score can suffer a lot. If you pay off all your purchases, then you’re in good shape all around. But if you’re not clear on what to pay, or if you end up spending more than you have in your bank account, you might end up just making the minimum payment.
Making the minimum payment is, for lack of a better phrase, how they get you. If you make the minimum payment every month, you won’t get a missed payment on your credit report. But the amount you don’t pay back will end up accruing interest - at super high rates, usually well above 20% annually. This can leave you saddled with thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Credit card companies make tons of money off of this scheme, and they make it super easy for you to fall into their trap.
Why Fizz is superior
First off, Fizz doesn’t check your credit. We want Fizz to be available to everyone - especially if you’re just getting started. That means you won’t have to stress about the approval process when you sign up for Fizz. Plus, Fizz is completely free!
When you get a Fizz card, you won’t have to worry about any of the drawbacks of a normal credit card. Fizz works by connecting to your existing bank account. We see how much you have available and we won’t let you spend more than that. No more worrying about overspending all month long.
Fizz also has a daily Autopay feature that we recommend for all cardholders. With daily Autopay, your Fizz card will operate on a daily repayment cycle. Your purchases every day are covered using your line of credit, and then they’re paid off every day at the end of the day from your connected bank account so that you’re starting each day fresh - with $0 in debt.
To top things off, Fizz also has a feature called SafeFreeze. If for some reason you miss a daily payment or if for some reason Autopay glitches we’ll let you know and we’ll lock your card to keep you from spending until you make a payment.
Even if you miss a payment, you’ll have at least 45 days to make the payment before we report anything to the credit bureaus, and we won’t charge you any interest or fees. Fizz can take care of things for you, and you can build credit without even having to think about it.
The icing on the cake
We’ve covered how Fizz is different (and better) than a normal credit card when it comes to how it actually works. But what about when it comes to rewards - one of the biggest reasons to get a credit card in the first place?
Most student credit cards offer pretty mediocre rewards - if they offer them at all. They might be in the range of 0.5% to 1% cash back on certain purchases. Fizz does things a little differently. Instead of offering low cash back across the board, we partner with brands that students know, use, and love, offering up to 15% cash back on certain purchases and at certain merchants. We also partner with popular spots on campus so you can earn rewards whether you’re shopping online or running out to grab a coffee.
The bottom line
All told, Fizz beats out normal credit cards in literally every category. Fizz has no interest rates or fees, helps prevent you from overspending, builds your credit score, and earns you rewards at places you actually care about. Our daily Autopay and SafeFreeze features as well as our personal finance resources make it easy to build a solid financial foundation.
It’s easy to sign up and get started with Fizz. So what are you waiting for? Download the Fizz app today!
Sam is a Kenyon College alum and is head of content at Fizz. He's been a go to personal finance resource among his peers since getting his first credit card during his sophomore year of college. He hails from Washington, DC, loves all things aviation, and currently lives in Los Angeles.