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Journey Student Credit Card

Advertiser Disclosure
Picture of Journey® Student Credit Card From Capital One
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Quick Introduction

The Capital One Journey card is targeted mainly at college students and also at those who have fair credit. It has a cash back program that allows you to earn slightly more than 1% (more on that later). This is a card that a college student should consider and also those who are in a rebuilding mode.

Card Details

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 20.74%*(v)

Cash Back: Earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 0.25% when you pay, making it a total of 1.25% cash back.

Foreign Transaction Fee: None

CreditWise Monitoring Program: Monitor your Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion.

Credit Line Increases: You will get a credit line increase after paying your first five payments on time.

Peer Comparison

Card Annual Fee
FX Fee
Score Rewards
Score Monitoring
Capital One Journey Annual Fee = $0
APR = 20.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.25% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = Vantage 3.0 TU
Discover it Student Annual Fee$0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 5% rotating categories
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Discover Chrome Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 2% gas and dining
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Citi ThankYou Preferred Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 14.74% - 24.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 2X dining out and entertainment
1X everything else
Score Monitoring = N.A.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Annual Fee = $0
APR = 11.9% - 21.9%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1% cash back
Score Monitoring = Bankcard Score 2 - Experian
BankAmericard Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 3% on gas and 2% on grocery & wholesale club for first $2500 in these spending a quarter
1% on everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 15.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.5X
Score Monitoring - FICO TU
State Farm Student Visa Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.24% - 19.24%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1X for every $2
3X for State Farm Insurance Payments (up to $4000 a year)
Score Monitoring - N.A.
SelfScore Classic Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = N.A.
SelfScore Achieve Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = N.A.

As you can see from the comparison table above, most student credit cards are similar in that they have no annual fee and most give you some sort of rewards (whether it be in points or cash back). The Capital One Journey offers essentially 1.25% cash back for it's card members. This is slightly different from other cards like Discover Chrome or BankAmericard Cash Rewards, which offer card members 2% cash back on certain expenses and 1% for the rest.

The one area which Capital One distinguishes itself is that as an issuer, all of their cards have no foreign transaction fees. This is pretty similar to Discover cards. This feature is useful for students in schools who provide opportunities to study abroad for a semester. Or it could be useful for those who intend to take vacations abroad.

Capital One also offers you the opportunity to monitor your credit score through their "creditwise" program. The score that you get is actually not a FICO score but a Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion. Other cards are already offering real FICO scores (like Discover and Amex) and I wish Capital One could also offer a proper FICO score rather than a Vantage score.

In terms of APR, it would appear that the Journey card is slightly on the high side compared to it's peers.

Another feature the Journey card has that other card do not have (or rather do not explicitly say so) is that after the first 5 months of consecutive on time payments, you will get a credit line increase. Other cards like Discover it for students have been known to give credit line increases but Journey explicitly says how and when you will get that increase.

Pros and Cons

  • 1.25% cash back on all purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees>
  • Credit line increase after first five consecutive on time payments
  • Credit Score Monitoring

  • Interest rate higher than peers
  • Credit Monitoring uses Vantage score rather than FICO scores

Our Take

It is very important for a student to start building a credit history and a credit card is a great place to start. The Capital One Journey is a pretty good first starter card for a college student. It also has a nice cash back program where you can earn 1.25% for purchases (actually it is 1% for purchases and 0.25% when you pay on time).

What we also like about this card is that they do not charge any foreign transaction fees. This will come in handy for students who do a semester abroad or when you travel abroad.

The small issue we have is that the APR is higher than it's peers. Having said that, if you pay in full every month (a practice we highly recommend), then that should not be an issue at all.

Another thing to note is that this card is not just for students. Folks with average credit can also apply for this card as well.