About Capital One Journey Student Credit Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Published on: Apr 24, 2017

The Capital One Journey Student Credit Card is specifically designed for students and consumers with average credit.

You may have noticed that the card doesn’t have all the glamorous up-front bonuses you’d see from other credit cards – there’s a reason for that.

Because the card is marketed toward students and people with average credit, Capital One offers limited benefits because they see students and consumers with average credit as a higher risk than other people.

So, the thinking goes, they don’t want to give you a bunch of free cash or travel rewards because they’re pretty sure you’re going to have difficulty paying on time.

That being said, the Journey card from Capital One does give a decent chance at earning cash rewards.

Understanding why this card will work for you or why it won’t is a matter of looking at the rewards and benefits of this card, understanding its fees and rates, and also knowing what your fellow consumers are saying about their experience with the Student Journey credit card.

To help you process this information, we’ve done research on our own and detailed our results in the next few sections of this review.

Once we’ve touched on all the important topics, we’ll close with a brief section on the pros and cons of this card, as well as give recommendations for other cards that might benefit you.

Pro tip: Average credit scores usually fall in the 620-699 range.

The Capital One Journey Student Credit Card’s Benefits

The Capital One Journey Student card gives you two main benefits tailored to consumers with average credit: cash rewards and a credit limit increase.

Cash Rewards

As we mentioned earlier, the Capital One Journey card gives you the ability to earn cash rewards.

Basically, unless you’re buying a cash-related product (traveler’s checks, casino chips, etc.) you’re going to earn 1% cash back on your purchase.

What that means is that a purchase of $100 will earn you $1 in bonus cash. There are no limits to how much cash back you earn. So, if you, theoretically, spend $1 million your first year, you can get $10,000 cash back.

Capital One also gives you a way to bump up your cash rewards, too. If you can pay your balance on time, then they’ll apply a 1.25% rewards rate to the purchases you made during the previous billing cycle.

So, let’s say that you have a $200 balance and your payment is due on May 18. If you pay at least the minimum balance on time, then, instead of earning 1% on that $200, you’ll earn 1.25%, or $1.25.

Over the course of the year, your rewards can add up at a decent rate. For example, if you spend $1,000 a month on your card and pay on time every month, you can earn $150 in rewards over 12 months.

At $2,000 a month, that’s $300 a year. However, we’d caution you against extrapolating the numbers out too far because there’s a good chance your credit limit will be low (think $1,500 or lower) and you may not have the buying power to hit $2,000 in spending each month.

Receiving Your Cash Rewards

Capital One gives you several different options for redeeming your cash rewards: check or statement credit.

The check option is easy enough: Capital One sends you the check with the awards balance at the time of your request.

If you choose the statement credit option, you can either have the rewards deposited to your account on a recurring basis, or you can have the rewards deposited once they hit a certain balance.

For example, you can tell Capital One to redeem your cash-back on the 30th of every month, they can auto-deposit your rewards once they hit $50.

Increased Credit Limit

Earlier we mentioned that your credit limit is probably going to be pretty low.

Credit card companies like Capital One are all about matching consumers with a card that compliments the consumer’s level of risk. Better rewards go to consumers with better credit, and vice versa.

This philosophy also affects the credit limit you get. The lower the limit you get, the less of a chance you have of making big mistakes with your Student Journey card.

It’s like how parents put training wheels on their kids’ bikes – the idea is to limit mistakes until you’ve proven you can handle more responsibility.

While Capital One will probably start you out on “training wheels” with a lower credit limit, they say they’ll raise that limit if you make your first five payments on-time.

Shopping and Travel Protection Benefits

Since the Journey Student card is part of the Visa Platinum program, you get a free suite of shopping and travel protections for items you buy/book with your Capital One card.

Rental Car Insurance

Like many other credit cards, you’ll get complimentary car rental insurance when you use your Student Journey card to book a car rental. Now, keep in mind, you have to be 25 years old to rent a car in the United States.

We read through the fine print about this perk and discovered a few interesting things you should know:

  • Doesn’t cover towing the car to the rental office
  • Good for a rental of up to 15 consecutive days in the U.S.
  • Good for a rental of up to 30 consecutive days abroad.
  • Covers your insurance deductible

Aside from that, you just need to remember that you have to use your Student Journey card to make the booking and you have to decline the car rental company’s in-house insurance.

Fraud Protection

Should someone steal your card or card number, you won’t be liable for any purchases they make.

Extended Warranty Protection

One of the lesser-known benefits of Visa Platinum cards and most credit cards, in general, is the extended warranty perk.

According to Visa’s fine print, certain items you buy with your Student Journey card will double “the time period of the original manufacturer’s written U.S. repair warranty up to one (1) additional year on eligible warranties of three (3) years or less.”

They cap your reimbursements at $10,000 per item and $50,000 per Journey Student cardholder.

Not everything is covered under this policy, though. Here are a few items that don’t qualify for extended warranty protection, per Visa’s fine print:

  • Boats, automobiles, and aircraft
  • Real estate
  • Garage doors, garage door openers, ceiling fans
  • Computer software
  • Medical equipment
  • Used items

Travel Accident Insurance

This particular insurance plan is a bit misleading because, according to Visa’s terms and conditions, it only covers injuries sustained while “riding as a passenger in, entering or exiting any licensed” airline plan:

  • Loss of life
  • Loss of limbs or sight
  • Loss of speech or hearing

This particular nuance of the insurance/protection program has a very detailed list of exclusions and conditions, as do the rest of the benefits on this list. If you’re unsure about what’s covered and what’s not, you can read through the Visa Platinum benefits guide.

The Capital One Journey Student Credit Card’s Rates and Fees

If you haven’t noticed, the recurring theme in this review is how average credit affects the benefits and perks you get with a credit card.

That thread continues in the rates and fees section, where we noticed that the following numbers are different than the typical credit card:

  • APR: 20.74% on purchases and balance transfers
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Annual fee: None
  • Late fee: Up to $35
  • Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater

The main differences between what you see here and the average credit card are that the Journey Student card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and one APR: 20.74%.

Most credit cards offer you three different APRs reserved for people with excellent, average and bad credit.

The Student Journey’s APR is a middle-of-the-road APR for most cards. Yes, other cards have lower rates, but those lower rates are reserved for people with excellent credit.

Reviews of the Capital One Student Journey Credit Card

The Student Journey card is a popular one with consumers, although it’s hard to tell exactly how many cardholders are students and how many are older consumers with average credit. Either way, the card gets pretty high marks.

Credit Karma

At the time of publishing, 160 reviewers gave the Student Journey an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars, which is a very impressive score. These high marks earned the card Credit Karma’s Cardholders’ Choice award.

More than 95% of the reviews were four or five stars, with many of those reviews expressing how much cardholders enjoyed how they could use the card to rebuild their credit. They also noted they liked how Capital One raised the credit limit after five months.


The scores the Student Journey card gets on WalletHub are significantly lower than what we saw on Credit Karma: 3.5 out of 5 stars from more than 1,800 reviews.

Many of the most recent comments about the card are positive, with reviewers saying the Student Journey gave them a chance to rebuild their credit from bad scores to good scores, or that it provided the first step in their credit-card journey.


The Student Journey received 27 reviews on NerdWallet for an average score of 4.7 stars.

What was unique about these reviews is that many of them detailed how happy they were. Here are the credit limit increases we discovered, with the initial limit first and the increased second:

  • $300 to $2,300
  • $500 to $2,300
  • $300 to $3,300

These reviews seem to indicate that, while your credit limit may start out low, there’s a good chance it will be boosted beyond $1,000 after you make five consecutive payments.

Now, remember, any limit they give you will be based on income and credit scores, so the increases you see here may not be the same as what you get.

Our Final Thoughts About the Capital One Student Journey Credit Card

Having average credit can be tough because credit card companies aren’t as willing to give you decent credit cards and, if they do, those cards usually have high APRs and very limited perks.

In our opinion, the Capital One Student Journey card is a great option for people with average credit because it has a 1% cash rewards rate that bumps up to 1.25% if you pay your bill on time.

The drawback with this card is the APR, which is higher than what other cards offer, but for good reason. Credit card companies are trying to offset the risk of bringing you on by raking in more interest fees should you not pay your balance in full every month.

Now, the Student Journey card isn’t the only credit card Capital One designed for people with average credit.

Their QuicksilverOne is a simpler version of their Quicksilver card. The QuicksilverOne has a 1.5% cash-back rate, but its APR is 24.99%, or more than 4% higher than the Student Journey.

Many of the other perks you’ll find on the QuicksilverOne are similar to the Student Journey. In our opinion, the best card for you has a lot to do with your discipline.

If there’s even a chance that you’ll make late payments, we suggest going with the Student Journey card simply because your lower APR will save you money in the long run.

Yes, the QuicksilverOne’s cash-back rate is higher, but those gains will be negated by the card’s higher APR.

We’ll leave you with one final thought. Credit is the kind of thing you can rebuild with two habits: paying on time and paying in full.

If you want to learn more about the other nuances of building a good credit score, download our free eBook titled, “A Complete Guide to Credit Scores: What They Are, How They Drop and What You Can Do to Make Them Better”.

We give you practical advice on what your credit scores are, why they exist and what steps you can take to make them awesome.

See Also: A College Freshman’s Budget-Friendly Survival Guide: 32 Ways to Save Money

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