By Ben Luthi
What happens to your student credit card when you graduate? Among the options are continuing to use it as long as you want, canceling the card or applying for a new one. In some situations you'll be better off, however, if you don't cancel the card. Here's why.
Why you might want a new card
Better rewards: Some student credit cards have decent rewards for your everyday spending. But now you have a greater chance at qualifying for a rewards credit card with a high rewards rate and a big sign-up bonus because you've established good credit behaviors and you earn more money.
You're ready to move on: As you enter the "real world," you may be moving on to a new city, a new job or a new apartment. With all the changes that are happening, using a student credit card might make you feel like you haven't finished the transition. While this reason may be more emotional than practical, it may make you feel better to leave the "student" label behind.
A few things to consider before applying
It can hurt your credit score to cancel: One of the factors that goes into your credit score is how long your credit accounts have been open. The longer you keep a credit card open, the better. So instead of canceling your student credit card, consider using it sparingly to keep it open and active to help boost your score.
Perks: You may not want to part ways with some of the rewards or perks that your student credit card offers. For example, you may get bonus rewards on purchases you make frequently, or your card may be tied to an online bonus mall where you can score big discounts. If this is the case, adding a second card with a different bonus rewards categories and features may help you maximize your rewards.
The bottom line
This article originally appeared on NerdWallet.
Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @benluthi.