Student credit cards are designed to give young adults a means of establishing credit history and learning responsible credit use. While some student cards can make it easier to fall into a debt trap with enticing cash back, the Capital One Journey Student Rewards card works a bit differently. Here’s why the Journey Student Rewards card is one of the best credit cards to get if you’re applying for your first card.
Overview of the Capital One Student Card
The Journey Student Rewards card is a cash back credit card designed for college students and young adults applying for their first card. This card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, but you get a 0.25% bonus when you pay your bill on time. This is a nice reward structure that encourages responsible credit use rather than spending.
Here’s a quick look at the Journey Student Rewards card from Capital One:
The Rewards Program
- No annual fee
- 1% cash back on all purchases
- Cash back boosted to 1.25% for every month your bill is paid on time
- Credit limit increase after 5 on-time monthly payments
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to CreditWise to check your credit score and monitor your credit profile
Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of spending too much on their credit card for the cash back or rewards points. It’s important to realize that rewards cards are only worth it if you pay your bill in full every month; if you ever carry a balance, the interest will quickly nullify your rewards. The Journey Student Rewards card emphasizes smart credit use by rewarding you when you pay your bill; not just for spending.
Every month you pay your bill on time, your cash back rate for the month will be boosted from 1% to 1.25%. Most student credit cards with rewards earn about 1% back, so that’s already ahead of most cards. It’s also on par with some other popular rewards cards like the Citi Double Cash credit card that are out of reach for most students who are still establishing credit.
Automatic Credit Limit Increase
It’s also important to note that the Capital One student credit card gives you an automatic credit limit increase once you pay your bill on time for five months. This is par for the course with Capital One, but it’s not something you can expect with most credit card issuers. A higher credit limit gives you greater control to manage your budget and pay bills, but it also helps improve your credit score.
Is the Capital One Student Card a Good Choice?
There are student credit cards that can earn you more cash back if you’re careful about tracking your spending. The Discover it Student card, for example, earns 5% cash back on rotating spending categories like restaurants and gasoline, but you need to be careful to sign up for the categories every quarter to earn the boosted rewards. If you want something simple that won’t encourage you to spend too much, the Capital One Journey Student Rewards card is a solid choice.
With responsible credit use, you can also improve your credit score and request to have your Journey Student Rewards card upgraded to the Capital One Quicksilver card which earns a flat 1.5% back on all purchases.