Best Starter Card for College Students

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
  • Automatic credit line increase after you pay on time for the first 5 billing cycles
  • Cash back on qualifying purchases
  • Widely accepted around the world
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On Card Issuer’s Secure Website
Card attributes
  • Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR
  • Rewards Rate
  • Annual Fee
  • Intro APR
  • Bonus Offers
Highlights
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases
  • Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app

  • Helps establish and build credit for students who might not qualify for other cards
  • Offers bonus rewards for on-time payments
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • The APR is high
  • The card offers access to a non-FICO credit score
Details

Application Process:  Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.

Rewards:  Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your rewards rate to 1.25%.

Bonus Offers: None

APR: 24.99% variable.

Annual Fee: None.

Faveable Review

Capital One is a trusted credit card company that offers everything from secured credit cards for people with awful credit to benefit-rich cards for small businesses. No company is perfect, but you can generally expect Capital One to take good care of you while you’re a cardholder - no matter which card you choose. That’s why the Capital One Journey Student Rewards is an excellent option for financially savvy students navigating their way through the credit scene.

This Capital One card is one of the first cards many people get, and it’s easy to see why. Keep scrolling to learn about the pros and cons of this student-friendly credit card.

CAPITAL ONE JOURNEY STUDENT REWARDS CREDIT CARD REVIEW

The Capital One Journey Student Rewards card encourages responsible financial habits by providing free access to CreditWise score monitoring and increasing cash back rewards if you pay your bill on time. This card sometimes offers a lower percentage for cash-back rewards than the Citi ThankYou Preferred card for college students and the Bank Americard Cash Rewards for Students, but it makes up for that by offering unlimited rewards that never expire.

Your initial credit limit might be low, but Capital One automatically increases it after just 5 months of on-time payments. Cardholders say you can get additional credit limit increases if you continue paying your bill on time and avoid maxing out your card.

CAPITAL ONE JOURNEY STUDENT REWARDS CREDIT CARD REWARDS AND PERKS

Rewards are on the low end for this student credit card, but you can increase your cash back earnings if you stay current on payments. Qualifying purchases earn 1% cash back, but this rate gets bumped up to 1.25% if you pay your bill on time for the month when you earned the rewards.

There’s no bonus offer, which is disappointing when you consider the offers associated with other student credit cards. However, you do have the option to earn unlimited rewards, which is nice since some cards cap your earnings.

You can redeem earnings at set times throughout the year or whenever you reach a redemption threshold, such as $25 or $50. Rewards are delivered as statement credits, paper checks, or gift cards depending on your preferences. If you’re worried you’ll forget to redeem your rewards, set up the convenient automatic redemption feature.

CAPITAL ONE JOURNEY STUDENT REWARDS CREDIT CARD BENEFITS

The Capital One Journey Student Rewards credit card falls somewhere in the middle when you compare its perks to the benefits of similar credit cards. It offers free credit score monitoring, which is an important feature, but it doesn’t have a bonus offer or promotional APR.

Here are the benefits for the Capital One Journey Student Rewards credit card:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Instant purchase notifications for budget tracking
  • Personalized due dates
  • Eno for online shopping without your card number
  • Card lock option for lost/stolen cards
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranties on qualifying purchases
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • 24-hour travel assistance
  • 24-hour customer care hotline
  • SureSwipe fingerprint login

This card works hard to protect your personal security -- harder than other student credit cards we’ve reviewed.

CAPITAL ONE JOURNEY STUDENT REWARDS CREDIT CARD COSTS AND FEES

As with most student cards, there’s no annual fee for the Capital One Journey Student Rewards credit card.

There are some fees, though, but they’re fairly standard for credit cards. Fees include a late payment charge of up to $38, as well as a cash advance fee of $10 or 3% of each cash advance total, whichever is greater.

There is no fee for balance transfers or foreign transactions.

We’re bummed that this card doesn’t have a promotional APR for new cardholders at the moment. Expect to pay a variable APR of 24.99% for purchases and 24.99% for cash advances. Unlike most cards, this one does not base your APR on your creditworthiness; everyone gets the same rate.  

DOES THE CAPITAL ONE JOURNEY STUDENT REWARDS CREDIT CARD MAKE SENSE FOR ME?

Yes, if you don’t mind a low initial credit limit and a lack of promotional offers for new cardholders. It has some flaws, but overall, this is a decent card from a reputable company.

It’s worth noting that Capital One has a two-card limit unless you get cobranded cards or had extra cards before the policy started. Make sure you really want this student credit card, especially if you plan on getting additional Capital One cards in the future.

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