2018 Capital One Journey Card Review – WalletHub Editors
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
The Verdict: This is a journey into the world of college credit. No, not the type of credit that’s reflected by a GPA or that culminates in a degree, but rather one that contributes to your money-borrowing history and credit score, thus dictating your financial options following graduation.
The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Capital One is a WalletHub partner) is among the very best college-student credit cards available, offering terms that are above average market-wide. Not only does the card not charge an annual fee, but it also rewards you with 1% cash back — which jumps to 1.25% during months that you pay your bill on time — on all purchases, a great incentive for responsible habits.
Paying both on time and in full certainly is advisable when using a student credit card, as missed payments and unsustainable debts are a surefire way to ruin your credit before it’s ever really established. The Journey® Student Rewards Card won’t help you much if you fail such tests on financial responsibility. It does not offer a low introductory financing rate and its regular APR, 24.99% (V), is well above the average for student credit cards.
Nonetheless, a Capital One Journey® Card in the right hands can work wonders on your credit standing while leaving you with a bit more money in your pocket. And all you need to qualify is an active college or university email address and the income, assets or cosigner necessary to demonstrate your ability to at least make monthly minimum payments. Learn more about this excellent offer below.
- Up To 1.25% Cash Back On All Purchases: Journey® is both rewarding and instructive, supplementing its 1% cash-back base earning rate with a 0.25% bonus on amounts earned during months that you pay your bill on time. This gives you something tangible to strive for while taking the very steps needed to improve your credit standing, especially since earnings can be redeemed at any time and do not expire. Often, financially unproven college students don’t qualify for such attractive terms. After all, 1.25% is actually above the market average for a cash-back credit card, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. But credit-card companies compete over college students’ business in light of graduates’ above-average earning potential and decades of forthcoming financial needs. So if you have what the issuers want, you might as well take advantage of it.
No Annual Fee: Your first priority in finding your first credit card as a college student should be to rule out offers that charge annual fees. There are simply too many attractive fee-free offers to warrant paying. Besides, funds tend to be tight when you’re in school, so it’s better to save where you can.
The Journey® Student Rewards Card enables you to do just that by not charging an annual fee. This allows its rewards to truly shine and even gives you the freedom to make purchases sparingly if you so choose. As long as you pay your bill in full whenever you do spend, your credit will improve either way, especially if you maintain reasonable credit utilization.
- Possible Higher Limit After Five On-Time Payments: If you get approved for the Journey® Card, your starting spending limit will be $300. However, if you pay your first five monthly bills on time, Capital One promises “access to a higher credit line.” Whether that means you’re guaranteed a boost or merely eligible for one remains to be seen.
- Above-Average Regular APR: The average new credit card offer has a 18.78% regular APR, whereas the average student credit card charges 17.78%. The Journey® Student Rewards Card, however, has a higher regular APR (24.99% (V)) than both as well as the average secured card’s rate of 19.12%. Such a steep cost underscores Journey®’s status as a rewards card for people who always pay their monthly credit-card bill in full.
- No Reduced Introductory Interest Rates: Extended 0% introductory financing offers generally are available only to people with above-average credit, particularly those with “excellent” scores. However, students sometimes get a sneak peek at such deals, with a limited number of cards offering 0% financing for six months or so on new purchases, balance transfers or both. Such an opportunity won’t come from Journey® Student Rewards, though. There are no 0% rates to be found in the offer, just a high regular APR.
Other Things To Consider
- No Foreign-Transaction Fees: It would be a shame if the Journey® Card charged for journeys abroad, so it’s a good thing that it doesn’t. None of Capital One’s credit cards do. That means you can make purchases abroad or from foreign-based merchants without incurring the 1.61% surcharge assessed by the average credit card.
- No Balance-Transfer Fee: Although Journey® doesn’t offer a low intro rate, you can transfer any common type of consumer debt, including auto- and student-loan balances, to a Capital One credit card. So if you’re currently paying interest at a rate above 24.99% (V), there won’t be a fee to hold you back from making a balance transfer.
- Visa Platinum Benefits: This is not just a Capital One card; it’s a Visa card, too. In fact, it’s a Visa Platinum Card, which means you’re entitled to certain perks from the network, including complimentary rental car insurance. Platinum cardholders are eligible for Visa’s “Traditional” benefits, of which you can find a full list on the company’s website.
Compared To The Competition
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card for Students
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||$150||2,500 points||N/A|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 1.25% Cash Back||1 - 3% Cash Back||1 - 2 points / $1||1 - 3% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 12 months||0% for 7 months||0% for 6 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $10)
|Not Offered||0% for 6 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||24.99% (V)||14.24% - 24.24% (V)||15.74% - 25.74%* (V)||12.4% - 22.4% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||5.0 / 5||N/A||4.0 / 5||3.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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