NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- College-bound students heading off to campus might have academics (and a unique social life) on their minds once they hit their dormitory or apartment.
Before that happens, though, college students should give their finances a thorough once-over, especially in choosing a bank account, and maybe even a credit card if they, or their parents, have the financial means to carry one. Why? Because Americans don't grade out so well in terms of financial literacy (40% carry a grade of "C" or worse, says a recent WalletHub.com study.)
Consequently, any edge a collegiate can earn with a good credit card or checking account can make the financial side of campus life easier to manage.
To gain that edge, let's turn to another WalletHub study of the best credit card options for the younger academic set. The financial web site reviewed 1,000 credit cards and 550 checking accounts to pick the best - and here's a thumbnail review of which ones wound up on top of each list:
Journey Student Rewards From Capital One - This card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, along with a bonus return of 0.25% if you pay your bills in a timely manner.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards For Students - This card earns college students a $100 initial bonus and a 3% cash back on gasoline purchases, along with a 2% return on groceries (up to a $1,500 monthly limit). Another perk - there's no annual fee for the card.
AmerinetRewards Checking - Students who make at least ten debit card purchases per month and sign up for online statements earn a 1.5% APY. There is no monthly fee and ATM withdrawals are free.
Simple Checking - The Simple Checking offer is a good "gateway" bank account for young financial consumers, as it doesn't charge any monthly fees or an initial balance requirement. Additionally, all in-network ATM withdrawals are on the house.
College graduates who have been there and done that have their own list of financial services favorites from their alma mater.