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Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®: Flat Rate Cash Back For Students

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®: Flat Rate Cash Back For Students

If you're applying for your first credit card, and value ease of use above all else, the Capital One Journey card is a good choice.
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5.0

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a cash back rewards card designed specifically for college students. It offers flat rate cash back on all purchases of 1%, with the potential for 1.25% in rewards if the cardholders pay on time. With the bonus, the card offers undergraduates (who typically don't have much credit history) a better than average rewards rate. Depending on the make-up of your expenses and how active you are at managing your spending, the Discover it® Student Cash Back may be a more rewarding alternative.

Good For…

Bad For…
  • Traveling abroad
  • Ease of use
  • Individuals who like to maximize rewards

Review: Is the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® Worth It?

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® should be thought of as a flatrate 1.25% cash back card. While the nominal rewards rate is 1%, you really shouldn't get a credit card unless you're going to pay off the balance in a timely fashion – and thus earning the 25% bonus which bumps this card’s rewards rate up to 1.25%. By comparison, other flatrate cash back cards tend to offer 1.5% (as seen in the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card or some 2% cash back card. However, both of those cards will be out of reach to most students, especially those who never had a credit card or the chance to build up credit history before.

Students who don’t mind keeping track of their spending may get better results with a card like the Discover it® Student Cash Back. Unlike the flat rewards rate on the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, the Discover it® Student Cash Back gives 5% cash back on up to the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter for special bonus categories that rotate, when you sign up. In all other cases these cards will reward you with 1% cash back on your spending. If students manage to keep track, and have at least 6.25% of their total annual spending fall into these categories, we calculate that they will come out ahead compared to the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®.

Because it has no foreign transaction fees, the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® credit card is great for those who study abroad, or do a lot of foreign vacationing. Whereas most credit cards would charge users a 3% fee for using them outside of the U.S., the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has no such charges.

Bottom Line: If you value ease of use and flexibility over all else then the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® could make a fine first credit card. The rewards are above average for students with little credit history - making it a comfortable option, especially if you travel outside the United States. For someone looking to maximize rewards, however, the Discover it® Student Cash Back holds greater potential.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® Benefits and Features

As we've already mentioned, the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® offers a flat 1% cash back rewards on all spending categories. For cardholders that pay on time, the card bumps this percentage up to 1.25%, which slightly higher than what students can get on general spending in other cards. As we advise with all rewards credit cards, you should only consider a rewards card if you're paying the entirety of your balance each month. Otherwise the extra % in interest that you'll be accumulating with the card will easily nullify the value of any rewards you actually earn.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Annual Fee
$0
Purchase APR
24.99% (Variable)
Credit Needed Average, Fair, Limited
Details
  • 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
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One and is not part of our independent analysis.

All Capital One cardholders have access to CreditWise® – a tool particularly useful for students getting their first card. It allows you to follow and check your credit score at all times using the Capital One® CreditWise®. This can work as a powerful learning mechanism to first time credit users, who get to see first hand how their actions (payments, credit utilization) affect their score.

The final feature of the card worth highlighting is its 0% foreign transaction fee, which is unique compared to other student credit card products. While you may not pay any extra fees for using the card abroad, keep in mind one of the limitations you might still face is when it comes to the card's EMV chip. The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® comes with an EMV chip equipped, though it is of the 'chip & signature' variety, and may not be accepted in certain countries. That means if you're backpacking through Europe, and buying train tickets from a machine, you may not be able to charge the expense to this credit card.

How Does the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® Compare Against Other Credit Cards?

As a credit card marketed to college students who are likely applying for their first credit card, it's only fair that we compare this card to other offerings of similar scope. The benefit of comparing the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® against its competitors is that we get a better sense of its worth and value relative to its peers.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® vs Discover it® Student Cash Back

The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers students the potential to earn superior rewards to the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, provided they put in a little extra work. Every 3 months, Discover puts out a new set of shopping categories, in which shoppers can earn 5% cash back, on up to $1,500 in spending. All other purchases net just 1% back. If you can keep track of these bonus categories, and manage to fit at least 6.25% of your total spending into them, the Discover it® Student Cash Back outperforms the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® rewards-wise.

Like the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, the Discover it® Student Cash Back charges no foreign transaction fees. However, the Discover network is not as widely accepted internationally as Mastercard (the network the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is affiliated with). That means students traveling to remote locations will have an easier time getting their Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® accepted, over the Discover it® Student Cash Back.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® vs Capital One® Quicksilver® Card

In all regards, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card is superior to the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Card offers a flat 1.5% cash back rate. Therefore, you will always earn greater rewards using it, versus when using the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®. The downside is, that the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card requires an individual to have an excellent credit score to get approval – something most students won’t have access to. However, if you keep an eye on the credit tracker, and keep to good practices that will raise your credit score, over time you can request to have a product change – that is your Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® account can be upgraded to the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® vs Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® is one of the best cash back credit cards available, and works in a similar fashion to the Discover it® Student Cash Back. This card gives 5% cash back, on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, on a rotating set of categories. All other spending nets just 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom® is not marketed at students, and therefore may be out of reach for most. The card only requires an average credit score (660-700). If you are confident in your ability to keep track of the card’s changing categories, and having some of your spending fall into them, the Chase Freedom® may be the better choice domestically. If you plan on using the Chase Freedom® abroad, prepare to deal with a 3% fee.

Comparison Tool

The best way of optimizing your choice of credit card is to tailor it to suite your individual spending profile. Since sitting down and modeling these cards is time consuming, we’ve developed a tool to help you with the process. All you have to do is input your estimated monthly spending, and we will do all the math for you – spitting back credit cards with their estimated net rewards, for your spending pattern.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Discover it® Student Cash Back
$0 1.50%
$171
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
$514
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
171 x $1 = $171
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 514

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 14.74% - 23.74% Variable

Card Details

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit 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.
  • 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 14.74% - 23.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Discover it® Student chrome
$0 1.50%
$171
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
$514
Graph Card More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Bonuses
171 x $1 = $171
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 514

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 14.74% - 23.74% Variable

Card Details

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit 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.
  • 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 14.74% - 23.74%.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
$0* 1.23%
$25
Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
$423
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.01 = $398
Bonuses
2,500 x $0.01 = $25
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 423

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0*
APR 16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 7 months on purchases from date of account opening; after that the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24% based upon your creditworthiness*
  • 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
  • No annual fee*
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
$0 1.00%
$0
$343
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 343 x $1 = $343
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 343

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 24.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • 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
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Deserve® Edu Mastercard For Students
No Annual Fee 1.00%
$0
$343
Graph Card More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.01 = $343
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 343

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 20.24%

Card Details

  • 1% unlimited cash back on All purchases
  • Deserve will pay for Amazon Prime Student, get free Video, Music, and Reading ($49.99 value)
  • Up to a $5,000 credit line
  • $0 annual fee
  • No security deposit or co-signer required
  • Builds credit history
  • Use anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted
  • Includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like Price Protection, Travel
  • Assistance, ID Theft Protection, Car Collision Damage Waiver & Extended Warranty
US Bank College Visa® Card
No Annual Fee 0.00%
$0
$0
Graph Card More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 0 - $0
Bonuses
0 - $0
0 - $0
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 0

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 11.99% - 20.99% Variable

Card Details

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students
Image of BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students No Annual Fee 0.00%
$0
$0
Graph Card More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 0 - $0
Bonuses
0 - $0
0 - $0
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 0

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 10.99% - 20.99% Variable

Card Details

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

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Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.