Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® Review: Earn Cash for Paying on Time

The Journey Student Rewards Card from Capital One helps you earn cash back on all purchases and rewards you for on-time payments.
5 minute read | 10/1/19Oct. 1, 2019

Just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean you can’t start working toward a healthy financial future. In fact, if you begin building credit now, it will hopefully be easier to do things like rent an apartment or take out an auto loan when you start your post-college life.

Enter the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, a card that helps you build credit and offers a little kickback to boot. In this Journey Student Rewards from Capital One review, we’ll take a look at this card’s features and whether it’s the right choice for you.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®


  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Boost cash back to 1.25% with on-time payments
  • No annual fee
  • CreditWise from Capital One for credit monitoring

Who should get this card?

If you’re a student who wants to build your credit — and earn rewards while doing so — the Journey Student Rewards Card could be a great choice. It comes with a $0 annual fee, plus you earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment.

That extra incentive to earn bonus cash back is a great perk for those committed to being a good steward of their credit card. Plus, you have the potential to access a higher credit line after five on-time payments.

It’s also a great card for those who are interested in international travel, since there are no foreign transaction fees. Plus, you get other perks like travel insurance and extended warranties. However, if you plan on carrying a balance on a credit card, this one might not be the best choice as it’s got a relatively high APR (annual percentage rate). 

Card basics

Annual Fee $0
Recommended Credit Score Fair, Bad, Poor
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Unlimited cashback rewards: Not only can you earn cash back with your regular spending, but you’ll be rewarded for good behavior. You can earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment. The Journey Student Rewards card also offers an autopay feature, so you’ll never miss the due date.
  • Simple credit line increases: Don’t worry if you start out with a lower credit limit than you’d like. Once you make five on-time payments, Capital One will offer you access to a higher credit line.
  • No annual fee: How does free sound? This card has a $0 annual fee, making it affordable to use if you don’t rack up a big balance.
  • Travel perks: This credit card has no foreign transaction fees, plus it offers other travel-friendly perks such as travel accident insurance and rental car collision insurance (secondary coverage).

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

The good news is that the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One doesn’t have complicated earnings categories or make you activate bonus categories during specific times of the year. All you need to do is use your credit card for your regular purchases to earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment.

Be sure to make on-time payments in order to earn the maximum amount of cash back. You can boost your credit score and earn some cashback rewards at the same time.

However, be careful not to run up a large balance on this card. If you don’t pay your balance off every month, you’ll be charged interest fees. Those costs can easily eat into your cashback rewards.

Maximizing your redemptions

Since this is a simple cashback card, there’s not much you can do in terms of getting more value out of your earnings. This card gives you the choice of redeeming your rewards via check, gift cards, or statement credit. Your rewards never expire, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.

You can also set up automatic redemptions for your rewards, if you’d prefer. Choose a specific time each year to redeem your cash back, or select a certain dollar threshold (as little as $25 up to $1,500) to cash in rewards automatically.

Common questions

Do I have to be a student to qualify for the Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card?

Though most student credit cards require you to be enrolled in school, this isn’t one of them. You do, however, need to be at least 18 years old and a U.S resident.

That said, this card was designed to be used by students. If you’re not in school, other cards may serve your needs better. For example, you might qualify for a credit card that offers a higher cashback rate or one that helps boost your credit.

Do I need a job to be eligible for the Journey Student Rewards Card?

You do need to have a source of income to be eligible for this card. Capital One asks that your monthly income exceeds your monthly rent or mortgage payment by at least $425 in order to be eligible.

However, you can count additional sources of income besides what you earn from a job. For example, you can include money you receive from public assistance or shared income that someone regularly deposits into an account for you to use.

What credit score do I need to get the Journey Student Rewards Card?

Capital One’s website doesn’t explicitly state the exact credit score you need, except that you need a credit score that’s poor to fair.

According to FICO, a fair credit score ranges from 580 to 669.

Can I upgrade this card after I graduate?

You may be able to upgrade, but this will depend on your specific situation. Factors such as your credit score, payment history, and income will all be considered before you’re approved for a different card.

To inquire about upgrading your card, log into your Capital One account and contact a customer service representative or call their customer service hotline to see what can be done.

Other cards to consider

If the Journey Student Rewards card isn’t a good fit, here are some alternatives:

Discover it Student Cash Back

This is another cashback card that also has no annual fee and rewards you for purchases. With the Discover it Student Cash Back, you can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Discover will also give you double the cash back in the first year of account opening. Plus, you can earn a $20 statement credit each school year when your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

This card is another great choice, as it offers a sign-up bonus and higher rewards than the Journey Student Rewards Card. The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students offers a $200 cash bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You also earn 3% on a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, and home improvement/furnishings), 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on all other purchases. Earn 3% and 2% on the first combined $2,500, then earn 1%.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Special Offer

Increase your credit line after making the first 5 monthly payments on time

See how these cards compare:

Discover it Student Cash Back
Discover it Student Cash Back
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months
  • 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories quarterly
  • Matched cash back at the end of your first year
  • $20 statement credit each year for 3.0 GPA or higher
  • No annual fee
Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
  • $200 cash rewards sign-up offer
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
  • 3% cash back on your category choice
  • No annual fee

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