Overall, the Journey card provides slightly better benefits than some other cards, including Capital One’s credit line increase review at six months, but the cash back rate and practical everyday perks leave much to be desired compared to a few competing cards — even Capital One’s other student cards.
The Journey card also doesn’t waive your first late fee or offer intro zero-interest periods — key benefits other issuers may extend for students. If you’re a first-time cardholder who wants a safety net while building credit, you might want to look at alternative cards like the ones presented here:
Journey Student Rewards vs. Discover it® Student Cash Back
Rewards-wise, Discover student credit cards offer much more than the Journey Student Rewards card. The Discover it® Student Cash Back, earns higher rates of cash back on rotating bonus categories each quarter you enroll, up to a set spending cap before it drops to 1 percent. Discover also matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year with the card, maximizing its first-year value.
The Discover it® Student Cash Back is also one of your best options for a low-cost student card. The Journey Student Rewards card poses a higher-than-average variable APR, but the Discover it® Student Cash Back a much more reasonable variable APR, especially for a student card. Plus, the Discover it® Student’s intro APR offer already puts it ahead of the Journey Rewards Student card. Discover’s policy to charge no annual fee, foreign transaction fee, penalty APR or a late fee on your first late payment (up to $41 after) creates an excellent safeguard for students new to credit cards.
The Journey Student Rewards card does win out if you would prefer a simpler rewards structure, even if it’s not as lucrative as what you could get out of a card with rotating bonus categories. As long as your focus is locked in on building credit and paying your balances in full every month, the Journey Student Rewards’ high APR could be a nonfactor.
Journey Student Rewards vs. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card for Students
Although the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card for Students’ benefits are light compared to Capital One cards, it can be a much more rewarding alternative to the Journey card in the right hands. It also comes with better interest rates and introductory APRs that can make early student life a breeze by comparison.
This Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card for Students earns impressive rates of cash back on purchases in one of six choice categories that you can swap each month based on your expected expenses. These categories include online shopping, gas, dining, travel drugstores and home improvement/furnishings. You’ll also get a competitive earning rate for purchases at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1 percent on all other purchases. The catch here is that your highest earning categories share a quarterly $2,500 spending limit for combined purchases before reverting to 1 percent. If you’d rather have higher cash back rates with some minor spending restrictions and fewer convenience features, like CreditWise and virtual account numbers, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card for Students may be the better fit for you.
Still, strategizing and keeping a close eye on your monthly spending habits could be a time-consuming task for a busy student schedule. The Journey Student Rewards card keeps things simple by earning the same rate on all purchases, and you’d still have the opportunity to earn elevated rates on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal. Your final decision between these two cards could come down to time, energy, and earning value.
Best cards to pair with the Journey Student Rewards Card from Capital One
Since the Journey Student Rewards card is a flat-rate card with a low 1 percent to 1.25 percent cash back when you make an on-time payment that month, other cash back cards with higher rewards rates in your top spending categories can help maximize your rewards earnings.
If you tend to spend money on everyday purchases, like shopping or going out with friends, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards credit card is an excellent choice to pair with the Journey Student Rewards. Its unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery store purchases (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) will be a great fit. Plus, the SavorOne Student gives you unlimited 8 percent back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal.