A Guide to Capital One’s Credit Cards for College Students

With responsible use, any one of these three student cards can help you build your credit score and earn rewards, too.

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Capital One offers three college student credit cards, each with advantages and downsides. Overall, though, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card and Journey Student Rewards from Capital One get good marks compared with others in their class. All three cards have a $0 annual fee and meet or exceed the 1% rewards rate standard among student credit cards, making them solid options for students who qualify for them.

Here’s what you need to know about the three student credit cards from Capital One.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Rewards

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • Unlimited 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, or up to 1.25% back if you pay at least the minimum payment on time.

  • Unlimited 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and some streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Target and Walmart).

  • Unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.

  • Unlimited 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

  • 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

Annual fee

$0.

$0.

$0.

APR

The ongoing APR is 17.99%-27.99% Variable APR.

The ongoing APR is 28.49% Variable APR.

The ongoing APR is 17.99%-27.99% Variable APR.

Sign-up bonus

Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months.

None.

Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months.

Foreign transaction fee

$0.

$0.

$0.

Student status required

Yes.

No.

Yes.

Light on fees

Capital One’s student cards acknowledge two truths about college students: They tend to live on tight budgets, and they want to travel when their schedules allow. All three cards waive annual and foreign transaction fees, making it easy for cardholders to want to keep using the cards after graduation.

For students who plan to study abroad or go on vacation during spring and summer breaks, these cards are excellent travel buddies. Because you won't pay a foreign transaction fee, you’ll save money on purchases overseas. The cards also belong to the Visa or Mastercard networks, so they are widely accepted by merchants abroad.

Rewards-earning potential

All three cards earn cash back, but their rewards structures differ greatly. In general, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is the more valuable card because of its higher cash-back rate in popular spending categories for students. That card earns unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and some streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Target and Walmart). All other purchases earn 1% back. It’s also the only one of the three cards that gets 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

The rewards structures of the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card and Journey Student Rewards from Capital One are simpler but less valuable. The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases. The rate for the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is 1%, but it bumps up to 1.25% if you pay at least the minimum payment on time.

All three cards earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Redemption options are the same, too: Rewards can be cashed in for a statement credit, a check or gift cards. Cardholders can also automate redemption to occur at a certain time each year or when a certain amount is reached.

Sign-up bonus: Some or none

Although the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One does not have a sign-up bonus, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card do, and it’s identical: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months. However, that bonus is a limited-time offer.

Some credit required to qualify

Applicants will typically need fair credit (a FICO score between 630 and 689) to qualify for any one of Capital One’s student cards, but exceptions may apply. Each applicant is assessed case by case, according to a Capital One spokesperson. As is legally required for any credit card in the U.S., you'll also have to be at least 18 years old and have sufficient income to qualify. Capital One defines “sufficient income” as being greater than your rent or mortgage payment by at least $425.

Those without a FICO credit history should look to a card like the Discover it® Student chrome. The card has a $0 annual fee, and it offers introductory incentives and rewards. Cardholders earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter and 1% cash back on everything else.

Payments are reported to all major credit bureaus

All three of Capital One’s student cards report payments to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, which is essential for building credit. Your payment history accounts for about 35% of your credit score, so if you want a higher score, aim to make on-time payments as often as you can.

Cardholders of the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One have an additional incentive to make on-time payments: You’ll be automatically considered for a credit line increase after a minimum of six months. A clean payment record will likely elevate the odds of receiving a credit bump.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Capital One student credit cards require a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number to qualify. If you can’t meet that requirement, you might want to consider another option, like the $0-annual-fee Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. A solid choice for international students, the card offers 1% cash back on all purchases and doesn’t require a credit history.

For two of the three cards, student status is required

You’ll have to confirm that you’re a student to be eligible for the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. Capital One’s definition of a student is someone who is admitted and enrolled (or intending to enroll in three months) part time or full time at an accredited university, community college or higher education institution. Even after you lose student status, the card remains active and retains its benefits and rewards.

Although the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is classified as a student credit card, you don’t have to be a student to qualify.

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