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Review

Review of the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Mar 06, 2020 | Updated Aug 10, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Limited Credit History
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 26.99% (Variable)

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Limited Credit History Min. credit level
How To Apply Jump to Alternatives

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is not a bad option for students with average or limited credit. If you want to improve your credit and get some cash back too, this card could do the trick.

Despite the name, you don’t actually need to be a student to apply for this card. The Journey Student Rewards card can be used by anyone, which makes it one of our favorite cards for building credit.

You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase, which will get boosted to 1.25% when you pay your bills on time. You also may be automatically considered for a credit line increase after six months.

It won’t provide you with a lot of cash back, but with average or limited credit your options will be limited. Use this card to help establish a strong credit history and eventually you’ll qualify for more rewarding credit card offers.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% (Variable)

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Journey Student card 4 out of 5 Stars because it’s a good card offer for young students who are establishing a credit history. But it’s not very rewarding overall.

Why We Like It

  • Gives anyone with average or limited credit, including students, a way to build and improve their credit
  • There’s a built-in incentive for responsible use
  • Cardholders can get access to a higher credit line relatively quickly
  • Free VantageScore 3.0 credit score, from your TransUnion credit report
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • The rewards program isn’t very valuable
  • The benefits are pretty basic for the most part
  • The interest rate (APR) is very high, although you can avoid this for purchases by paying your balance in full each month

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Make timely payments: You should always pay your bill on time, of course, but you have an extra incentive here because you’ll get an extra .25% extra cash back on every purchase. That will come to 1.25% cash back for everything you buy.
  • Reach a higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months, a valuable feature on a student credit card. Paying on time every month will likely increase your chances.
  • Pay off your balance: Whether or not you get a bonus or a higher credit line, we always recommend paying your balance in full each billing period.
  • Take advantage of automatic payments: Set up automatic payments to make sure you always pay on time, and never worry about late fees.
  • Utilize CreditWise monitoring: Use the CreditWise credit monitoring service to keep track of your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on your TransUnion credit report, as it changes over time.
  • Apply for stronger cards when you can: As you build your credit with this card by using it responsibly, eventually you’ll be able to qualify for better rewards cards with more cash back (or points) and better benefits.
  • Use this card abroad: Take this card along when studying abroad because it has no foreign transaction fees. It’s also a Visa, so it’s accepted pretty much everywhere.

The Rewards

This card earns 1% cash back on every purchase you make. And if you’re making payments on time, that 1% will increase by .25%. Every little bit helps, right?

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back for every purchase
    • 1.25% cash back if you pay on time

There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and it will never expire for the lifetime of your card account.

When you pay on time you’ll get an extra .25%, for a total of 1.25% cash back on those purchases. You’ll get that extra .25% within the next two billing cycles. If your account enters “past due” status, you will not get the bonus.

It should be easy to always get this bonus because you only need to make the minimum payment. However, we recommend that credit card users always pay off their entire balance in full each month. This is a good strategy because it lets you avoid interest on purchases, and it’s also good for your credit. This is important for students with limited credit, because it will help improve your credit while keeping your credit card debt down, by preventing interest from accruing

You can simplify this process by just setting up automatic payments. You can have the entire card balance automatically paid by the monthly due date, ensuring that your balance stays low and you’ll always get the bonus.

The Journey Student card isn’t very rewarding compared to most cards, even other student credit cards. You can check out some more rewarding cards for students below.

Redeeming

Your cash back is redeemable in the form of statement credits, which will lower your account balance.

Cash back can be redeemed manually, or by using the automatic redemption system. You can have your cash back automatically redeemed when it reaches a certain amount, or at a certain time each year.

To redeem your rewards, just log in to your account online or use Capital One’s mobile app, or contact the Reward Center through customer service.

The Benefits

Check your card’s Guide to Benefits to learn the exact benefits you have, and how to access them. They’ll include the following.

  • Access a higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
  • Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible purchases will have their manufacturer’s warranty doubled by up to one additional year. Applies to warranties of three years or less. The purchase must be made entirely with the Journey card.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance:Provides help in case of an emergency while traveling. Call the number on the back of the card or 1-800-992-6029 for help getting connected to local emergency services. The cardholder will be responsible for any third-party charges.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Provides coverage for you, your spouse, and unmarried dependent children while traveling by common carrier. Up to $100,000 is available, and covers accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing. The entire cost of the passenger fares must be charged to the Journey card.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: This benefit provides coverage for rented vehicles against damage and theft. You must charge the entire cost to your Journey card, and decline the rental company’s own insurance.
  • Fraud Protection: You won’t be held liable for unauthorized charges on your account.
  • Capital One Second Look account monitoring: Keep an eye on your account with Second Look, and get access to account alerts to be notified of any activity on your account.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
26.99% (Variable) None 26.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0 3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $39 None

This card has a pretty high APR, as you can see. That’s pretty normal for a student card, made for people with less-than-great credit. But you don’t need to worry about interest charges on your purchases at all if you commit to always paying off your balance in full each billing period. This lets you avoid that interest rate entirely, and it keeps your credit utilization low on top of that.

Your credit limit will be determined based on your credit profile, finances, and other factors. The minimum is $300, though you may get a higher limit than that.

Capital One may automatically consider you for a higher credit line after six months. This is a nice feature because student cards tend to have low credit limits. Making monthly on-time payments, which you should be doing anyway, will likely increase your chance to get an increase. And this is a nice incentive to get you in the habit of paying on time when you open the account.

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a decent choice for students looking for a first credit card. It doesn’t offer the highest rewards out of the student credit cards, but it’s not a bad option if you can’t get approved for a more rewarding card.

With it, you have the chance to build credit while earning cash back rewards at no annual fee. In time, with responsible credit use all around, you’ll eventually achieve good credit, and thus be able to qualify for cards with better rewards and benefits.

This card will get you in the habit of paying your bills on time, providing incentives for you to avoid late payments. The APR is very high, but if you pay off your balance in full each month you’ll never have to pay interest on your purchases. This is what we recommend doing for every card, student or not, because it’s the best move for your credit.

Use the CreditWise service to check up on your credit, and learn about what will improve or hurt your credit scores. And remember that you have some shopping and travel protections available if you need them.

There are many student credit cards out there, and several of them offer better rewards than the Journey Student. Check out some of those alternatives below.

How to Apply for the Journey Student Credit Card

You can apply for the Capital One Journey Student securely on Capital One’s website. Click the Apply Now button below and you’ll be redirected to the credit card issuer’s page.

Despite the name of this card, you do not need to be a student to apply.

Capital One will check your credit reports with one or all of the three major credit bureaus. The application decision will come almost instantly for many people, but in some cases you may need to wait to get an answer. And in other cases, Capital One may request that you supply some additional information.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status, and potentially driver’s license number
  • Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage or rent payment

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% (Variable)

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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Alternatives to the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Is the Journey Student not the right one for you? Stick around and take a look at some other student cards that might be a better fit.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR See Terms

The Discover it® Student Cash Back (Review) is quite a rewarding card, especially for young students with a limited credit history.

You could earn quite a bit more with this card than with the Journey Student Rewards, as it earns more than double cash back. The difference is that you’ll only earn 5% cash back in rotating categories, and then 1% back on everything else. So you lose a little freedom, but the cash back you’ll earn should make up for it.

The Discover it Student Cash Back does lack in benefits, even more so than the Journey Student Rewards. The main difference here is that the Discover card gives you access to your FICO Score 8 from your TransUnion credit report, whereas the Journey card provides your VantageScore 3.0 based on your TransUnion credit report, along with some access to your TransUnion report.

The main difference between these cards is the rewards program they offer. If you want to earn a significant amount of cash back while building your credit too, Discover will be the better choice.

There’s another Discover card made for students, the Discover it® Student chrome (Review). It’s very similar to the Discover it for Students, but offers stable rewards instead of rotating.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate every three months (see calendar below), on the first $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1% (activation required)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: Double all cash back rewards earned in the first year

The 5% cash back calendar for 2020 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Categories
January – March Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS
April – June Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft, Wholesale Clubs
July – September Restaurants, PayPal
October – December Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com

This is a rewarding card compared to other student cards, and even compared to many regular rewards credit cards. It can potentially be quite valuable, and provides the same program you get with the regular, non-student version, the Discover it® Cash Back (Review). And there’s the $20 good grades statement credit on top of that.

These rewards are much more than the maximum of 1.25% you can get with the Journey Student card. Not only in the bonus reward categories, but even in non-category purchases for the first year.

  • Good Grades statement credit: Discover will give you a $20 statement credit for every year that you get a 3.0 GPA or higher, for up to five years.
  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout, a handy way to get some money without going to an ATM. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
  • Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $50 bonus too.
  • Free Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
  • New account alerts: Get notified of credit inquiries and new accounts on your Experian credit report.
  • Purchase APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Discover it® Student Cash Back has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 16.24%–26.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students (Review) has no annual fee, and is more rewarding than the Journey card.

You’ll have more cash back opportunities with the Cash Rewards card, as it allows you to choose one category to earn 3% cash back in, while earning 2% on groceries and at wholesale clubs.

The 3% categories include gas, online shopping, dining, and more, so you could tailor it to best suit your spending habits to reap in the rewards. The 1% on non-category purchases is almost equal to the 1.25% you get with the Journey Student.

The Cash Rewards comes with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months, for both purchases and balance transfers (then 16.24%–26.24% Variable). This is exceptionally long for a student card, and much more favorable than what you’ll get with the Journey Student.

You should be able to earn more cash back with the Cash Rewards card. But perhaps you really want the increase in the credit line that may come with the Journey card after your first six months. This isn’t guaranteed to happen, and the increase with the Journey card might not be very significant. So it probably isn’t worth pursuing the Journey Student just for that credit line increase.

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Online shopping
    • Dining
    • Travel
    • Drugstores
    • Home improvement/furnishings stores
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Grocery stores
    • Wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Spending limit: 3% and 2% rewards only up to $2,500 per quarter, then 1%
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Free FICO credit score: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • SafePass: A one-time six-digit code to be used when banking online.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months, then 16.24%–26.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • New Offer: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
  • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile banking app or Online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 16.24%–26.24% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%. Click “Apply Now” to learn more about Preferred Rewards.
  • Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • No annual fee

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is not currently available for new applications.

The Citi Rewards+ Student Card earns points on groceries and gas, and has no annual fee.

Unlike the Journey card, the Citi Rewards+ has a 0% introductory rate for purchases for 7 months (then 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)), a pretty rare feature when it comes to student cards. It also has the unique perk of rounding every purchase up to the nearest 10 points, and you’ll get 10% of the first 100,000 points you redeem back.

The benefits are pretty lackluster, but you will be able to check your FICO 8 Bankcard Score from Equifax. You’ll earn more with this card than you would with the Journey, especially if the main bulk of your purchases are gas and groceries. This card earns just as much as the Journey Student Rewards on everything else, not counting the pay-on-time bonus, but rather than cash back you’ll get ThankYou points.

So you very likely would end up raking in higher rewards with the Citi Rewards+ than with the Journey Student Rewards card.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X points per dollar on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1X) at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • Citi Entertainment: Enjoy special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, and dining experiences, plus complimentary movie screenings and more.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 7 months, then 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • The Citi Rewards+SM Student Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 7 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% – 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.49% – 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
  • No annual fee

The information related to Citi Rewards+ Student Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 18.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Deserve Edu Mastercard (Review) is designed to be more accessible than the average student credit card. It’s made for students without a credit history at all, providing an easy first step into the world of credit.

International students won’t need a Social Security number to apply, which is rare among credit cards. You’ll earn a little less with this card than what you would get with the Journey Student Rewards, but you can get a nice Amazon Student Prime intro bonus. If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, the free shipping and discounts you’ll get could add up to quite a lot.

It won’t provide you with access to any of your credit scores, which is unfortunate for a card meant to help build your credit. If you use the Deserve card you can still use a free credit monitoring service, like CreditWise.

The main attraction of the Deserve Edu is how easy it is to get. No credit history or SSN required, and no annual fee. If you need a card like that you’ll find few competitors, especially as an international student without an SSN.

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back on every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • One year of Amazon Prime Student for spending $500 in the first 3 billing cycles

  • Limited Priority Pass Select membership: Some current cardholders may be given an offer of a one-year membership to Priority Pass Select for spending $1,000 within 120 days of receiving the offer.
  • Insurance and furniture rebate: Get a $10 statement credit after making three consecutive payments for Lemonade Renters and Home Insurance, and a $100 discount on your first month’s rental from Feather. To get the latter, pay with your Deserve card and use promo code “DESERVE100”.
  • Refer a friend: Refer a friend to get a Deserve credit card and you’ll receive a $30 statement credit for every approval. If you refer 10 friends you’ll get a $200 bonus, for a total of $500 in statement credits.
  • Shopping protections: Get access to extended warranty, price protection, cell phone insurance, and more.
  • Travel protections: Get rental accident insurance, roadside assistance, and travel assistance services.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 18.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card (Lifetime Value of $59).
  • Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you’ll automatically start earning cash back on all purchases.
  • Feel secure with cell phone protection up to $600.
  • No deposit required. No annual fees.
  • No international transaction fees on purchases abroad so you can travel with confidence.
  • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
  • Refer A Friend Program: Refer anyone to Deserve using your personal referral code. Upon approval, card activation and use, you’ll receive $30 and so will your referral. Referral bonuses are unlimited!
  • Manage and track your spending, set automatic payments and securely freeze your card all through one easy to use app.
  • See if you prequalify with no impact to your credit score in minutes.
  • Deserve Mastercards are issued by Celtic Bank, Member FDIC.
  • Enjoy Mastercard Platinum Benefits intended to make your life easier like Mastercard ID Theft Prevention(TM) and Master Rental(R).

Do you have the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card? How do you like it? Leave your own review for other visitors below.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% (Variable)

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

For other student credit cards that offer some great rewards, check out our picks for the Best Credit Cards For College Students.
At a glance

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is a solid unsecured rewards card that caters to people with average or limited credit. It can be used by anyone, not just students. You get enhanced rewards when you pay on time.

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The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, Discover it® Student Cash Back, and Citi Rewards+ Student Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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