Simply put, credit cards make life easy for us to buy things. All it takes is just a swipe through a point of sales or some credit card reader and your signature on the receipt to confirm the buying transaction. It is cashless purchase and you don't have to carry bulks or wads of cash around that may compromise your personal safety.
With a credit card, students and young adults can get carried away with spending since the money is not tangible. I would know, I was in that situation as a student myself.
In Australia student credit cards are somewhat fewer as most credit providers do not target the student market, unlike the United States where many financial providers target students, as their requirements to give credit are not very strict. Although this is not good news for Australian students there are other options available. The likely reason banks and other providers do not give credit to students is because there is an industry standard where a person must be on a salary of at least $20,000 per annum.
Students generally do not have the time to work enough hours to achieve this benchmark, thus there is no point in having credit products designed for students. So the students who do find the time to put in enough hours, or they are lucky enough to get a high paying job then they will be able to qualify for the usual credit cards out there but may be able to get some student features such as lower fees or no annual fee.
There are some banks that provide some great student options such as Commonwealth Bank where there is no annual fee for the students.
BankWest on the other hand, offer a Mastercard with student benefits available only to students that have studied for at least 2 years.
If the only reason for a credit card were for the convenience to purchase online and pay for goods offline then a good option to go for would be a visa debit card. A Visa Debit card allows you to purchase items just as you would with a credit card however the funds in the visa debit account are you own savings, so there is no credit. A student may want to ask his or her parents to borrow some money to put into the visa debit account and then pay back the parents slowly.
Another reason that it is dangerous for Australian credit providers to give credit to students is that most will have a debt to pay off once they've completed their course, this can range from $20,000 to $40,000 or more depending on the course and number of years studied. If a student was to get into credit card debit also they could be in a lot of trouble by the time their course is finished.
As a student, you'll need to really prove to your bank that you are in a steady and trustworthy financial state before they will consider your application. If it comes down to it, ask your employer to vouch for your salary if they are contacted regarding your earnings. Best of luck with your next credit card application.
Miek writes articles in the credit cards niche.
More on student credit cards is available from the site he is currently developing content for.