Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

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A decent option for those without great credit, but you can score a better deal.

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Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is a decent credit card for those just starting to build credit. It offers a flat rewards rate that we tend to value above rotating categories, but you’ll probably earn less with this card than with other student credit cards that offer rewards.

Oh, and that annual percentage rate is frightening if you don’t pay your balance in full each month.

Review

In the right hands, Journey Student Rewards isn’t a bad choice.

In the pro column, there’s no downside to earning 1% cash back on spending. You’ll also get rewarded for good payment behavior. Make an on-time payment and get an extra boost for a total reward of 1.25% cash back for the month. Keep making those on-time payments for the first five months, and you could qualify for a higher credit line.

Pair this A+ behavior with a balance well below your card’s max-out level and you could end up raising your overall credit score — a worthy goal for anyone just starting out.

And since Journey Student Rewards doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, it could be a great card for students who travel or study abroad.

Keep in mind that just because the card has “student” in the title doesn’t automatically mean it’s a fit for anyone who’s matriculating. If you do your homework, you’ll see that both the Discover it Chrome for Students and the Discover it for Students offer better rewards.

You may also qualify for a lower APR with those cards. Journey Student Rewards charges a high 24.99% variable APR. That’s the con column.

Who should get this card

Anyone who wants a low-maintenance credit card that awards cash back and rewards good payment behavior should consider Journey Student Rewards.

Advantages
  • You only need average credit to apply for this card.
  • This card offers rewards, which many cards aimed at those with average credit do not.
  • You can increase your credit limit with good payment behavior.
Disadvantages
  • The APR on purchases and balance transfers is higher than the industry average.
  • There are other cards with better reward rates.
  • There’s no introductory bonus with this card.
  • You're monthly income must exceed your monthly rent or mortgage payment by at least $425.

Fees and APR

  • This card has a variable APR of 24.99%.
  • You’ll pay no annual fee.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.

Extras, perks and using rewards

This card comes with Visa Platinum benefits, which includes 24-hour travel assistance, extended warranty protection, and auto rental and travel accident insurance.

Since this card is issued through Capital One Bank, cardholders can access and track their credit scores for free using the CreditWise online tool.

You can redeem rewards through the Capital One website  as a statement credit or request a check to be mailed. There is no cap on the amount of rewards you can earn and they never expire as long as the account is open and in good standing.

How this card compares

Discover it® for Students
Card Details
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It®on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.99% -22.99%.
Credit Needed Fair
Regular APR 13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 6 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 10.99% for 6 months

The Discover it for Students is a card designed for young adults, but one that has had its training wheels removed. Unlike many student cards, this one comes with few fees, a low annual percentage rate for qualified cardholders and generous rewards. This is one of the very best credit cards for college students.

Discover it® chrome for Students
Card Details
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter—no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It®on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.99% - 22.99%.
Credit Needed Fair
Regular APR 13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 6 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 10.99% for 6 months

The Discover it Chrome for Students has the same rates and perks as the Discover it for Students but instead of rotating bonus categories, it pays 2% back on gas and restaurants, up to $1,000 per quarter, and an unlimited 1% on everything else. Although this might make it attractive to some, the rewards potential is greater with the Discover it for Students card.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Card Details
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • 2,500 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $25 in gift cards, electronics and other great rewards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR 0%* for 7 months on Purchases*
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

If you know you can use a credit card responsibly (which means paying your bill on time every month) you may as well be rewarded for doing so. The Citi Thank You Preferred Card for College Students offers top rewards, but doesn’t offer much flexibility for cardholders who pay late or who carry a balance.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.