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Review: Is the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card the best card for you?
If you’re studying for finals, applying for internships, and thinking about what you’ll do after graduation, you’re setting yourself up for success when you no longer call yourself a student. In addition to earning top grades, though, you’ll need to establish strong credit to access all the adult things you’ll eventually need like a car loan and a mortgage.
If you’re looking for your first credit card, the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One can help lay a good foundation for your financial future — and you’ll earn 1% cash back on all purchases, or 1.25% cash back when you pay on time.
Read more: The best credit cards for students in 2021
To determine whether the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is right for you, the first question to consider is where you are in your own journey: Is this your first credit card? If so, this can be a solid option, as it’s designed for those with “fair” credit.
That may mean you have a limited credit history, which likely means you may struggle to get approved for more rewarding credit cards. If you already have a credit card and you have demonstrated your ability to pay your bill, though, you will want to compare other options that offer more rewards and perks.
Next up in your thought process: Are you planning to travel abroad? The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One does not charge any foreign transaction fees. If you’re gearing up for an exchange program or plan to spend a few months of your summer outside the US, you definitely want to avoid the standard 3% foreign transaction fee that comes with many other entry-level credit cards.
Finally, you’ll want to be able to take advantage of the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One’s credit for streaming services. New cardholders can earn $5 per month in credit if they use their card to pay for monthly Spotify,
, HBO Now, or a number of other subscriptions.
There is a crucial caveat to consider if this is your very first credit card: The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One’s charges a crushingly high 26.99% Variable APR. If you fail to pay your entire bill each month, those interest charges can pile up quickly, and they will easily cancel any of the cash back you can earn or the discounts on subscription services.
Read more: The best starter credit cards in 2021
If you’re a super responsible individual who will pay your bill on time, though, you’ll earn 1.25% on your purchases instead of the base rate of 1% — a competitive bonus offer that puts the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One in our rundown of the best student credit cards on the market.
Comparison: Capital One Journey vs other Capital One cards for fair credit
*** Exclusions apply
Capital One Journey card vs other student credit cards
*3% and 2% cash-back categories on the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students on up to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter, then 1% cash back
*** Exclusions apply
How to use rewards from the Capital One Journey Student card
Rewards with the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One are simple to redeem. You can either get a statement credit to help pay off your bill, or you can get a check. As long as your account is open and in good standing, your rewards won’t expire, and you can redeem for any amount.
Read more: The best cash-back credit cards of 2021
There’s also an option to automatically cash in rewards whenever you reach a specified amount ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,500) or at a certain time each year.
Benefits and features
Naturally, the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One doesn’t come with the high-profile perks of lounge access and luxury hotel benefits of higher-end credit cards, but there are some valuable perks included.
Streaming service statement credits
After your first on-time payment with your Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, you can earn a $5 per month credit toward eligible monthly streaming subscriptions you pay for with your card.
Read more: The best credit cards for streaming services
You can get up to $60 in total credits (12 months worth), but you’ll have to earn them within 18 months of account opening.
Automatic credit line reviews
After six months, Capital One will evaluate your account to consider granting you a higher credit line. If you can increase your credit limit while maintaining a stellar credit utilization ratio, this can be a great way to build your credit score.
Capital One CreditWise
Capital One’s CreditWise program offers a helpful guide to monitoring your credit and safeguarding your identity. You don’t actually have to carry the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One in your wallet for this — or even be a Capital One customer — but it is a good resource.
$0 fraud liability
Like any good credit card, you won’t be liable for unauthorized charges on your Journey Student Rewards from Capital One.
Cash-back bonus for on-time payments
The card’s rewards structure incentivizes smart financial management: Just pay your bill on time, and you’ll get an additional 0.25% cash back in your billing cycle.
Fees and costs
Like most credit cards geared toward those who are just starting to build their credit, the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One does not charge an annual fee, and there are no foreign transaction fees, either.
If you miss a payment — which is never a good idea — you’ll be charged up to $40, and there are fees for balance transfers and cash advances.
Good to Excellent
3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months
Good to Excellent
$200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
Good to Excellent