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Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® – Review


At a Glance
Capital One Journey Card Art 10 21 20
4.3 / 5

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Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

  • Early Spend Bonus: None
  • Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on spending; when you make timely payments, you get a 0.25% bonus, upping your cash back rate to 1.25%; streaming credit worth up to $60 over 12 months
  • Intro APR: None
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Average, Fair, Limited

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a popular student credit card with no annual fee, a solid cash back program that rewards general spending, and relatively loose credit standards that make it a plausible first credit card choice.

It shares the limelight with several other popular student cards. It’s also comparable to certain secured credit cards that appeal to students who wish to build or improve their credit.

Key Features

These are the key features of the Journey Student Rewards card.

Earning Cash Back Rewards

The Capital One Journey Student Card earns an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. If your account is not past due on the last day of the billing cycle, you receive a bonus equal to 0.25% of the cash back you earned during the cycle, for a total cash back rate of 1.25%. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don’t expire.

Redeeming Cash Back Rewards

You can redeem your accumulated cash back in any amount, at any time, for a statement credit or paper check. You can also set up automatic redemptions, either at a set time each calendar year, or when you cross a specified threshold: $25, $50, $100, or $200.

Streaming Credit

Earn $5 per month for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions when you pay on time, for a total potential credit of $60. Exclusions apply; see terms for details.

Credit Line Increase

Capital One automatically considers you for a credit line increase in as little as six months, provided you’ve used your card in a responsible manner up to that point. Your credit line may continue to increase with further responsible use, though Capital One makes no guarantees on this point.

Important Fees

This card does not have an annual fee, foreign transaction fee, or balance transfer fee.

Capital One CreditWise

Each month, you get a free credit score with your paper or online statement, thanks to the Capital One CreditWise suite. You’re also able to check your score on demand in your online account dashboard. Additionally, Capital One CreditWise includes a host of credit-building tools and educational content for free.

Other Benefits

This card comes with some practical fringe benefits, including 24/7 emergency card replacement for travelers and complimentary rental car insurance when you charge the full cost of the rental to your card.

Credit Required

This card is for students with average, fair, or even limited credit. A few credit blemishes likely won’t disqualify your application, though serious issues (such as recent bankruptcy) probably will.


Here’s what the Journey card has going for it.

  1. No Annual Fee. The Journey Student Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee. That’s a nice benefit relative to the Citi Secured Mastercard, which carries a $25 annual fee. When you’re on a student budget, the last thing you need to worry about is an annual tax on your credit card.
  2. Streaming Credit Worth Up to $60 Over 12 Months. When you pay on time, you could earn a $5 monthly credit for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions. That’s a total potential credit of $60.
  3. Good Cash Back Rewards Program. The Journey Student Credit Card earns a flat 1% cash back on all purchases. That’s a good rate in the student credit card realm, which isn’t known for generous rewards programs.
  4. Opportunity to Increase Your Credit Line in As Little As 6 Months. If you make consistent, timely payments on your account, you’ll automatically be considered for a credit line increase in as little as six months. Many student credit cards make no guarantees about when cardholders are to be considered for credit line increases, and the fact that you’re automatically considered eliminates the hassle of calling up and formally requesting an increase.
  5. On-Time Payment Bonus. The Journey Student Credit Card further rewards timely payment patterns with an on-time payment bonus equivalent to 0.25% of all cash back earned during the payment period. This boosts the card’s effective cash back rate to 1.25%, which is higher than most student credit cards’ baseline cash back rates.
  6. No Foreign Transaction or Balance Transfer Fees. This card doesn’t have balance transfer or foreign transaction fees. If you plan to spend a semester abroad or transfer a high-interest balance from another student credit card, this dual perk definitely reduces the cost of doing so.
  7. No Penalty APR. The Journey Student Credit Card doesn’t have a penalty APR. That’s great news for students who occasionally miss payments during school breaks or at end-of-semester crunches.
  8. Flexible Rewards Redemption. You can redeem your cash back rewards at any time and in any amount. If you don’t use your card that often, it can take months to reach other cards’ minimum redemption thresholds.


Consider these drawbacks before applying for the Journey student card.

  1. No Early Spend Bonus. The Journey Student Card lacks an early spend bonus. That’s bad news for students who want to juice their cash back rewards from the get-go.
  2. No Introductory APR Offers. Capital One doesn’t offer an introductory APR on this card.
  3. No Good Grades Discount or Bonus. Unlike some competitors, Capital One doesn’t reward you for good scholarship.
  4. Rewards Rate Capped at 1.25%. This card’s rewards rate is capped at 1.25%, even with the on-time payment bonus. Although that’s a higher baseline than most other student cards, it’s lower than what’s achievable with some other popular student credit cards.
  5. Rewards Can’t Be Redeemed for Merchandise. Journey’s cash back rewards can’t be directly redeemed for merchandise purchases. That’s a big drawback relative to some other student credit cards with e-commerce portals.

Final Word

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® doesn’t have the most generous cash back rewards program, lowest APR, or juiciest benefit lineup. But, for students just starting out on the path to financial fitness, it can be an incredibly powerful spending aid.

Every timely payment made with this card demonstrates to Capital One and future credit card issuers that you’re capable of managing credit responsibly. In just 5 months, your diligence and self-restraint could pay off with a higher credit line. Over a longer period of time, you’ll prove to risk-averse lenders that you’re a good candidate for higher-end cards with more generous rewards and favorable terms. And, by then, you likely won’t be eking by on a student budget.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

Capital One Journey Card Art 10 21 20
4.3 / 5

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Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® appeals to students who like low fees and flexible cash back rewards on general spending. It’s not ideal for students who want rewards they can redeem for merchandise or travel, nor for students with very poor credit.

Minimal fees, cash back rewards program, a nice streaming credit, and on-time payment bonus are all nice perks. Lack of an early spend bonus and introductory APR, flat-rate rewards capped at 1.25%, and no benefits for good grades are drawbacks. Overall, this is a great student credit card to get started.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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