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HAVE A
TEMPORARY CARD?

Get a Personalized Card for even more benefits.

 
The American Express Campus Edition Card is a prepaid reloadable Card, and is as easy to use as:
LOAD

After registering your Card, add money online, from a bank account, with Direct Deposit or load with cash with a MoneyPak or at your campus bookstore.

SPEND

The Card is prepaid, so you can only spend the amount you put in your account. However, you can use it anywhere American Express Cards are accepted, on campus and off: in stores, at restaurants, online, at ATMs* and more.

REPEAT

You can add money to the Card as often as you wish. Plus, you can log in to your online account to check your balance, see your spending history and set up text* and e-mail alerts.

Loaded with benefits, not fees

The Card has no monthly, annual or activation fees and comes with American Express Cardmembership benefits, including:

  • Purchase Protection*
  • Roadside Assistance*
  • Global Assist*
  • Entertainment Access*
  • World-class Customer Service
Go from Cardholder to Cardmember

If you have a temporary American Express Campus Edition Card, then you’re already enjoying access to some of the benefits of carrying an American Express® Card.

Get a Personalized American Express Campus Edition Card to become a Cardmember. You’ll get all of the benefits of a temporary Card, plus, much more.

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Benefits Temporary Cards Personalized Cards
No overdraft fees    
No activation, monthly or annual fees*    
Funds replaced if lost or stolen    
American Express 24-hour Customer Service    
Add money anytime via Direct Deposit, bank account, or with cash    
Text and e-mail alerts* for balance and more    
ATM cash withdrawal*    
Entertainment Access* for special savings and advance tickets    
Access to the Deal Center* for special discounts and offers    
Purchase Protection* can cover eligible items that are accidentally damaged or stolen    
Fraud Protection can keep you safe from fraudulent charges    
Roadside Assistance* for assistance arranging emergency services like towing, fixing a flat, or boosting a battery    
Global Assist® Services* for medical, legal, financial or other emergency assistance while traveling more than 100 miles from home    
Accepted at millions of places worldwide    
Why wait another semester to learn about personal finance? As an added benefit for Cardmembers, we will be providing real-world lessons in finance right here.
  • Online Shopping: 6 Tips You Need in Your Checklist

    By David Ning

    Everyone knows that shopping online is the most convenient way to get what you need, especially when it’s a holiday and you’re still in your pajamas. But the other big incentive is low prices: the theory being that, due to the lack of all the expenses of running brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers can pass on the savings to you.

    The idea sounds great and all, but it’s just not always true. Many retailers actually post their store prices online, and in certain cases?like when a local outlet is having a giant sale?you’re actually spending more when you buy online.

    Blindly agreeing to all a retailer’s terms and conditions will almost always result in your spending more. So make several demands for your online shopping experience.

    1. I must have free shipping. It’s true that you’ll see any shipping charges before you purchase, so you can cancel your order before you commit. But who wants to get through the whole process, only to find out that everything is going to be too expensive?

      If free shipping is impossible, find a store that offers a clear range of shipping prices before you start shopping, so you won’t spend a ton of time picking and choosing in vain.

    2. I will only use sites that actually help me save. Sites like CouponShoebox.com post coupons on just about every online store out there. Others, like Bing Shopping, even offer cash back just for shopping through its site.

    3. Free returns must be convenient. Not as many online shoppers care about return policies. But if you think it’s painful to stand in a returns line after Christmas, get ready for online returns. Some retailers are great about it—even offering payment for shipping. Others? Not so much.

    4. I will check online ratings and reviews. One of the big sites is Epinions.com, where you can read up on other peoples’ experiences at just about any store. Note, though, that complaints usually get on these sites much more frequently than praises?so don’t be too afraid if you only see bad experiences on every site you’re looking up.

    5. Location matters to me. No, you don’t have to drive. But otherwise, the products still need to be shipped from somewhere. Find out where your items will be coming from. The closer the warehouse, the shorter you’ll wait for your packages.

    6. I demand a secure transaction. Most online stores use a security measure called Secure Sockets Layer. How do you know if a particular site uses SSL? Make sure your browser’s address bar displays an address that starts with https: instead of https: If there’s an s, your credit card data will be encrypted. Without the s, you’re basically yelling out your credit card number to a vast crowd of strangers.

    While we’re on the subject: Many of us assume?falsely?that online shopping means no sales tax. And in fact, online retailers collect sales tax if they also have physical locations in the state where you’re shipping your purchases. Few of us realize that you’re technically supposed to file sales tax on your tax return, even if you aren’t charged taxes on the spot.

    Not many people actually files these taxes, and it’s different from trying to take advantage of different states' sales taxes. But you’re technically evading taxes?so take heed.

    Did you know you can use your American Express Campus Edition Card payment feature online? It's true. Plus, before shopping online, you can visit the American Express Deal* Center to see the exclusive discounts and special offers you get just by being an American Express Cardmember.

    All content provided by David Ning featured on this site, incuding financial tips, are opinions expressed by him alone and not those of American Express. American Express is not, and should not be relied upon to replace your own legal services provider, broker, tax advisor or financial planner.

  • Ten Budget Tips For College Students

    by Jean Chatzky

    College generally brings a lot of firsts: First time living away from home. First all-nighter cramming for a final. First time managing a budget.

    The latter can be a doozy. It’s all too often I hear from frustrated freshmen (or sometimes their even more frustrated parents) that a sum of money meant to last a semester or a year is exhausted by Thanksgiving. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, follow these budgeting tips:

    1. Start with an appropriate chunk of change. Chances are the website of your college or university has a section that tells you how much you’ll need not just for room and board but for “extras,” -- food outside the meal plan, books and other supplies, transportation, even entertainment. Jot that number down.

    2. Then hit the phone. Call a sophomore or junior at your school ask what it really costs per semester above and beyond room and board. Massage that number a bit depending on your needs. If that person has a car at school and you won’t, for instance, deduct gas and parking but add taxis or busses. Use this number and the one from the school to come up with an amount that seems right to you. Run the final number past your parents to make sure they think it’s a reasonable place to start.

    3. Break it down. The problem with having a budget for the semester is numbers so large seem unreal. They can lead to the sort of faulty mental accounting that allows you ? when you want to buy something ? to figure you've got plenty left. Instead, divide that semester total by the number of weeks in the semester and work from there. Try to figure out ahead of time how much you’ll spend on food, clothing, toiletries, etc. You won’t stick to these allocations exactly, but having these buckets will help you stay on track.

    4. Track your spending. The only way to know how much you’re spending in real time is to keep a record. You can do this by writing down everything you spend or by using an online budget tool like mint.com to keep tabs on what you swipe your credit or debit cards for. Just be sure to be extra vigilant about where your cash is going. I find that especially small bills get spent so quickly it’s easy to lose track.

    5. Watch those every month commitments. Whether we’re talking about the monthly outlay for your cell phone, your Netflix subscription, your gym membership, make sure you’re really going to use them before you agree to have your card charged automatically. You may find so much free content on the web or on campus that the Netflix is unnecessary or that you really don’t have time to go to the gym to spin. As for your phone, yes you need it, but 2/3 of customers buy more minutes than they use. Be sure you’re not one of them.

    6. Go easy on the flash and group sales. You have to admit they’re a little addictive ? those flash sales that, every day, send you an alert at precisely noon that more great stuff is available (but only for a short time!). Ditto the coupons for fabulous deals on meals and massages and other things you didn’t even realize you wanted. Yes the discounts can be deep. But you have to remember even when something is 50 percent off, it’s still 50 percent on!

    7. Work. Yes, your priority has to be school. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn some extra money while you’re there. Research has shown high school and college students can work up to 15 hours per week without it impacting their grades. Find work in your field of study and you can boost your resume simultaneously.

    8. Bank your windfalls. A few times a year, you probably get what amounts to a small windfall. Your birthday. The December holidays. Tax refund time. Small, medium, or large, the key is to take advantage when these sums come your way. Sock them away for use when your reserves are running low.

    9. Watch bank fees. Bounce a check? That’ll be $35. Use an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank? That’ll be $3 (every time). Drop below the minimum you’re required to keep in your account? Oops that’ll cost you $10 a month. Add enough of these things up and you’re talking hundreds of dollars a year. Be a little more vigilant and you don’t have to spend a dime.

    10. If You Get In Trouble, Ask For Help. Lastly, if it’s becoming clearer by the day that you’re not going to be able to live within these means, raise the white flag sooner rather than later. The quicker you can convince yourself to ask for help, the less of a financial mess you’ll find yourself in later.

    Once you decide what your new budget should be, a great way to get started is to load that amount on your American Express Campus Edition Card feature. You can monitor your spending with your online account to make sure you're staying close to your estimates, and add money to adjust as you go.

    All content provided by Jean Chatzky featured on this site, incuding financial tips, are opinions expressed by her alone and not those of American Express. American Express is not, and should not be relied upon to replace your own legal services provider, broker, tax advisor or financial planner.