Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One Review

overall rating
3.6

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The Journey Student credit card from Capital One is designed to help students build a credit history. It offers incentives for on-time payments, and the credit limit may be raised after the first six months of on-time payments.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Overall Rating
3.6
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
On Capital One's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
Balance Transfer Fee There is no standard balance transfer fee for this card.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all student cards in our database:
Low Interest
Security/Customer Experience
Low Fees
Benefits
worst best

Full Review of Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Cash back on a student card

  • Quick credit limit raises

Cons
  • No bonus categories

  • High APR

Pros Explained

  • No Annual Fee: Having no annual fee eliminates the need to calculate whether the cash back you’ll receive will justify the fee. 
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee: Without a foreign transaction fee, this is a perfect credit card to take on an international spring break vacation, a semester abroad, or a cross-border road trip.
  • Cash Back Offer on a Student Card: While not completely unusual, getting cash back on a student card is a decided plus. Even better is the bonus for making on-time payments.
  • Quick Credit Limit Increases: Student credit cards are designed to be the first step in building credit. Getting an automatic credit limit increase after the first six on-time payments is a nice feature.

Cons Explained

  • No Bonus Categories: There are no special spending categories, such as gas or groceries, that earn extra cash back rewards. Cash back earnings are capped at 1% regardless of category, although there is a 25% bonus each month for making on-time payments, making it possible to earn 1.25%.
  • High APR: The annual percentage rate (APR) on this card, as with many student cards, is high by consumer card standards. Card issuers seek to offset the historically higher losses they experience with cardholders who have little or no credit history by charging them higher interest, so this tends to be a common, if unwelcome, feature. As with most credit cards, particularly those with high APRs, it's best to pay the balance off in full each month and avoid interest charges altogether.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for College Student Persona
    Currently enrolled in an accredited four year college or university
    College Student

The Journey Student credit card from Capital One is an excellent option for college students looking for a basic cash back rewards card from a major issuer. It also offers strong security features and easy ways to increase the credit line and build good credit. It’s not for students who want to earn extra cash back in bonus categories such as groceries or gas. Cards like the Discover it Student Cash Back card are better in that regard.

Because there are a wide range of cards featuring cash back offers for students, if rewards are important to you it’s a good idea to compare several cards and determine which one best matches your personal spending patterns.

Rewards Earning Details

The Journey Student credit card from Capital One excels at incentivizing good credit habits, which is a novel approach in this segment of the market. You’ll earn an extra 0.25% in cash back on top of the regular 1% for every month that you make your payment on time. All purchases are eligible for 1% cash back. 

Rewards Redemption Details

You can redeem your rewards for either a statement credit or a check. An interesting feature is the flexibility to set up thresholds for reward redemptions. For instance, you could decide to get a statement credit after you earn $25, $50, or whatever amount you've earned in six months. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

The best way to both maximize your rewards and build good credit is to be sure you make all your payments on time. The 0.25% bonus in cash back that you'll receive each month your payments are on time could easily add $20 to $30 in cash back over the course of a year without requiring excessive spending. And if you’re like most students, every little bit helps.

Remember to always keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit, and ideally even lower than that. Doing so will help you build a good credit score, because your credit utilization ratio (a measure of how much of the credit you have available to you that you’re using at any given time) is one of the key factors that credit bureaus use to determine your score. After your first six months of on-time payments, your credit limit could increase, which would allow you to put more purchases on your card without exceeding that 30% guideline. 

Standard Benefits

  • Secondary rental car collision insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance hotline
  • Extended warranty

Cardholder Experience

Capital One, the company that issues this card, ranked third in customer service in J.D. Power's 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Capital One earned 807 out of 1,000 points, just over the industry average of 806.

All Capital One cardholders (and even non-customers) can get access to CreditWise, which provides free VantageScore 3.0 credit scores and credit fraud monitoring. CreditWise monitors your report at TransUnion, one of the three major national credit bureaus, and alerts you to any significant changes, such as accounts that have been reported as delinquent. It will also notify you if someone might be misusing your Social Security number, based on information from Experian, another of the three major bureaus.

In comparison, the Discover it Student Cash Back card offers cardholders the more widely used FICO credit score. Discover's regular credit monitoring program also involves TransUnion, but it doesn’t provide the additional monitoring services, such as checking Experian credit reports, that Capital One does.

The Capital One customer service call center is available 24/7 at 877-383-4802. In addition, cardholders can text for answers 24/7 through Capital One's Eno "intelligent assistant" service. 

Security Features

Capital One credit cards come with a slew of security features. In addition to the ability to create virtual card numbers through the Eno service, cardholders have $0 liability for fraudulent purchases, receive immediate text alerts of suspicious transactions, and can lock their cards from the mobile app.

If you lose your card, Capital One will replace it for free, with standard delivery taking a few days. 

Fees to Watch Out For

The Journey Student credit card from Capital One is a low-fee card without many unpleasant surprises. The fees that it does have, such cash advance and late payment fees, are within the range of industry standards. 

Our Verdict

The Journey Student credit card from Capital One is a good starter card for students. You can get some cash back and avoid many common fees, since it has no annual fee, foreign transaction fee, or returned payment fee. Also, its bonus for making on-time payments provides a bit of extra cash back as well as an added incentive for building good credit. However, its APR is relatively high, so if you are unable to pay your balance off in full each month, it could be costly.

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For Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
on Capital One's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
overall rating
3.6
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.