Capital One Journey Student review: Build responsible habits | ZDNet

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The Journey Student credit card from Capital One could be a good option for consumers wanting to establish or improve their credit. And despite the name, it’s available to everyone, regardless if they’re a student or not.

It doesn’t have an annual fee and offers 1% cash back for every purchase, with a small bonus to rewards for paying on time. If you’re looking for a simple way to build credit and earn rewards, it’s not a bad one to pick.

And for students who are looking to study abroad, the card has no foreign transaction fee to worry about.

Intro BonusEarn up to $60 in streaming subscription credits when you pay on time. *Exclusions apply

APR26.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Average, Fair, Limited

Reward Rates

  • 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

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

The Journey Student card presents an opportunity for students to earn a small return on their spending while establishing their credit. 

Cardholders will earn slightly improved rewards so long as they pay on time, which will help reinforce positive habits. There is an AutoPay feature cardholders can take advantage of to ensure they don’t miss out on the extra rewards.

It also comes with a few perks all students can get behind, like a $60 streaming credit (in the form of a $5 statement credit once a month) and a quicker path toward a larger credit line.

Pros

  • Improve or build credit
  • Encourages responsible habits
  • $60 streaming credit
  • No annual fee
  • Check your VantageScore 3.0 credit score

Cons

Why choose the Journey Student card?

The Journey Student card is pretty straightforward. Use it for every purchase to earn 1.25% cash back (provided cardholders are paying their bill on time).

Redeeming rewards

Rewards can be redeemed as:

  • Statement credits
  • Check via mail
  • Gift cards

Redeeming for statement credits will be the fastest and easiest choice. Capital One has an app that can be used to redeem cardholder’s rewards. cardholders can set their rewards to be automatically redeemed at specific intervals, or go in and redeem rewards manually.

Rewards won’t expire, and there is no limit to how much cash back cardholders can earn.

Card benefits

The Journey Student card comes with some basic perks, but nonetheless useful. Monitor your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, have faster access to a potential credit line increase and students will no doubt appreciate the $60 streaming credit for all of their binge-watching needs.

  • $60 streaming credit: cardholders receive a $5 statement credit for eligible streaming services for 12 months, following the first on-time payment.
  • Automatic credit line review: Get automatically considered for a higher line of credit within as little as six months.
  • Eno, 24/7 digital assistant: Access to Capital One’s digital assistant to help manage your account. Check your balance, see recent transactions, pay the bill, and more.
  • Capital One’s CreditWise: Keep an eye on your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, from your TransUnion credit report. This is available to everyone, not just Capital One cardholders
  • Virtual card numbers: Make online shopping more secure by utilizing a virtual card number.
  • $0 fraud liability: cardholders won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges on their account.
  • Emergency card replacement: Get a replacement card if yours is lost or stolen.

How to apply

You can apply directly on Capital One’s website. Fill out an application with the required information, and Capital One will get back to you instantly with its decision in most cases.

The Journey Student card is issued as a Visa card, so it can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

What counts as an eligible streaming service?

Cardholders can use the streaming credit for all of the major streaming services. These include Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, and more.

Cardholders are eligible for the streaming credit after their first on-time payment. It’ll show up on your account each month as a $5 statement credit.

Are there any fees I should know about?

Other than the standard late payment fee (in this case, up to $40), there is a balance transfer fee of 3% and a cash advance fee of either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

But the card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee to worry about. Visa is also widely accepted overseas, so you shouldn’t run into any acceptance issues while traveling.

Is this the right card for you?

The Journey Student credit card from Capital One offers cardholders a simple way to build credit and earn a small return for their spending.

Use it for everyday purchases like gas and groceries, and the occasional late-night meal excursion. While the returns are relatively low, it’s better than what some student cards provide. And if you subscribe to a lot of streaming services, having $5 back each month for a year won’t hurt.

For students looking to learn how to responsibly use a credit card, this is a good place to start. It’ll reward you for paying on time, and help you build the necessary habits before moving on to cards that require a bit more know-how.

What’s the bottom line?

If you’re new to the world of credit cards, the Journey Student card is a good one to start with. You can earn rewards and learn responsible habits by getting a slight bonus for paying on time.

While the benefits aren’t fantastic, there is a $60 streaming credit and you can keep an eye on one of your credit scores. And, having quick access to a potential credit limit increase will help keep your credit utilization lower, and therefore lead to healthier credit scores.

It’s a simple card to use and a good way to familiarize yourself with credit cards while establishing better credit. Pay on time, rake in the rewards, and once your credit is in the good or excellent range, consider moving on to bigger cards that offer more.

Are there any alternative credit cards worth considering?

Not impressed by the Journey Student card from Capital One? Consider these instead.

Discover it Student Cash Back: One of the most rewarding credit cards available to students. It has no annual fee, and cardholders earn 5% cash back for rotating categories (up to $1,500 spent, then 1%; activation required). There’s also a small bonus for earning good grades.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card for students: Cardholders can choose which purchases they’d like to earn rewards for. Choose one 3% cash back category in addition to earning 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined spending per quarter, then 1% cash back).



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