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Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students Card Review


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Capital One Savorone Student Cash Rewards

Our rating

4.2/5
  • Early Spend Bonus (Sign-Up Bonus): For a limited time, earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first 3 months.
  • Rewards: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and spending at grocery stores; earn unlimited 1% cash back on most other eligible purchases; Eligible hotel and car rental bookings earn unlimited 5% cash back when made through Capital One Travel
  • Benefits: Extended warranties on eligible purchases with existing manufacturers’ warranties, complimentary travel accident coverage, access to premier culinary events and sports experiences, and free TransUnion® or Experian® credit report alerts through CreditWise
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Limits: Low/Medium
  • Credit Required: Fair

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card is a student credit card with a generous cash-back rewards program that favors spending in four broad categories: dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores. All eligible purchases in those favored categories earn unlimited 3% cash back.

SavorOne Rewards for Students is closely modeled after the Capital One SavorOne Rewards Card, a near carbon-copy that’s marketed to general audiences. SavorOne Rewards for Students is designed exclusively for college students or soon-to-be students at four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, and other qualifying higher education institutions.

SavorOne Rewards for Students has relaxed underwriting standards, making it appropriate for applicants with fair credit — although not new-to-credit applicants and those with bad credit scores. It’s therefore a great tool for young people (and the young-at-heart) to build credit with responsible use and (hopefully) graduate to a more generous cash-back card.

Key Features

Compared with other student credit cards, the Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card has some notable features. These include an above-average cash-back rewards program and access to the Capital One Shopping app, a potential money-saver for online shoppers.

Early Spend Bonus

For a limited time, earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first 3 months.

Earning Cash-Back Rewards

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card earns unlimited 3% cash back in the following purchase categories:

  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • Grocery stores

All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back, with two exception. Eligible purchases of entertainment tickets with Vivid Seats and Capital One Entertainment earn an 8% cash-back rewards rate, and eligible hotel and car rental bookings earn unlimited 5% cash back when made through Capital One Travel.

Redeeming Cash-Back Rewards

You can redeem your accumulated cash-back rewards in any amount and at any time for:

  • General statement credits to reduce your account balance
  • Targeted statement credits against specific prior purchases
  • A paper check mailed to your billing address
  • Credits against eligible purchases made with PayPal
  • Gift cards offered by participating Capital One partner merchants

Additional Card Benefits and Perks

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card has some additional card benefits and perks worth noting:

  • Extended warranties on eligible items that come with manufacturers’ warranties or store warranties
  • Complimentary travel accident insurance (subject to coverage limits and exclusions)
  • Fraud protection features, including the ability to lock a misplaced card (card lock) and virtual card numbers that reduce the risk of card number theft when you shop online
  • Complimentary access to the Capital One Shopping browser plugin, which can help you find a lower price when you shop online
  • Complimentary concierge service when you shop, dine, or travel, 24 hours a day
  • 24/7 travel assistance and emergency cash advance service if your card is lost or stolen

These benefits are subject to change at Capital One’s discretion and may be subject to terms and limitations.

Important Fees

This card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, meaning purchases made overseas or online with international merchants do not incur currency exchange or transaction charges. See terms and conditions for information about balance transfer fees and cash advance fees.

Credit Required

SavorOne for Students is appropriate for applicants with fair credit. It is not suitable for applicants with poor credit (bad credit scores), nor for new-to-credit applicants and those with limited credit history. It’s therefore not suitable for international students arriving in the U.S. for the first time.

Capital One reports payment and credit utilization information to the three major credit reporting bureaus, giving cardholders an opportunity (but not a guarantee) to increase their FICO credit scores and build credit over time.

SavorOne for Students cards generally carry modest credit lines. However, you may become eligible to apply for a credit line increase when you demonstrate responsible credit use and timely payments over a period of months or years.


Advantages

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card has some notable advantages, including broad, student-friendly 3% cash-back categories and relaxed underwriting standards that draw in applicants with less-than-perfect credit.

  1. Unlimited 3% Cash Back on Dining, Entertainment, Grocery Store, and Popular Streaming Service Purchases. The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card offers an unlimited 3% cash-back rate in four student-friendly spending categories. The grocery stores category is great for commuter students and those living off-campus at residential universities. The dining category includes takeout and delivery, a nod to students who’d prefer to eat in. And the entertainment and streaming services category encompass both in-person events and at-home amusement. Best of all, no other student credit card can match SavorOne’s return on spending in these specific categories.
  2. Good Early Spend Bonus (Sign-Up Bonus). For a limited time, Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students has a solid early spend bonus (also known as a sign-up bonus or welcome bonus) for new cardholders. It’s a great way for new cardholders to juice their earnings right after account opening.
  3. Excellent Return on Purchases With Vivid Seats and Capital One Entertainment. SavorOne Rewards for Students earns an even better return on eligible purchases with Vivid Seats and Capital One Entertainment: 8% cash back. While this category isn’t quite as broad as the four 3% categories, it’s still a strong incentive to use this card for qualifying expenditures.
  4. No Foreign Transaction Fees or Annual Fee. SavorOne Rewards for Students omits the annual fee, meaning it won’t cost you a dime to keep it in your wallet. It also waives foreign transaction fees, which penalize students who study abroad. Both choices are very good news to budget-conscious students.
  5. Open to Applicants With Less-Than-Perfect Credit. SavorOne Rewards for Students accepts applicants with fair credit, although not poor, limited, or nonexistent credit. Still, this is a welcome contrast to premium cash-back cards — and even some picky student cards — that require good or excellent credit history.
  6. Nice Lineup of Fringe Benefits. SavorOne Rewards for Students has an unusually generous lineup of fringe benefits not directly related to its cash-back program. These include travel accident insurance, 24/7 travel emergency services, extended warranties on eligible purchases, a card lock feature and other fraud prevention measures, and more. Whether any one of these benefits is the deciding factor in your choice to apply or not apply for this card, they certainly make it more appealing at the margins.

Disadvantages

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card does have some downsides, including no welcome bonus or intro APR promotion, no leeway for new-to-credit applicants, and modest cash-back earnings outside the favored 3% and 8% categories.

  1. Not Appropriate for New-to-Credit Applicants. SavorOne Rewards for Students is not appropriate for applicants without U.S. credit scores. Although it’s an acceptable first credit card for people who’ve built credit by other means, it’s not suitable for international students who haven’t previously lived in the United States, nor for U.S. nationals with no credit history.
  2. Low Baseline Cash-Back Rate. This card’s 1% cash-back baseline rewards rate is mediocre by the standards of competing flat-rate cards that offer 1.5% or 2% back on all eligible spending.

Final Word

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card is a very good credit card — one of the best credit cards for students, in fact. If you’re enrolled in or soon plan to enroll in a higher education program and need a credit-building spending aid to see you through, it should be on your shortlist of credit cards to consider.

Whether SavorOne Rewards for Students ends up being the ideal choice for you depends on whether you find anything more to like about any of the other top student credit cards around.

If you’re new to the credit card world, your decision may turn on your credit score and credit history as well. Student applicants with truly impaired credit may need to start with a credit card for bad credit. And those with no credit history at all might need to fall back on a starter card that doesn’t consider credit history (or lack thereof) during underwriting.

The Verdict

Capital One Savorone Student Cash Rewards

Our rating

4.2/5

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students card is one of the best student credit cards on the market today. With a generous cash-back program that earns unlimited 3% cash back in four student-friendly spending categories and a relaxed underwriting process, it’s a great option to make the financial side of student life a bit more manageable.

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 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.

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