If you’re a college student who isn’t ready to throw a graduation cap into the air just yet, take a look at the hat Chase just tossed into the ring.
A few months ahead of the new semester, the issuer has launched Chase Freedom Student, a credit card designed for those still in school. As of June 9, 2019, students can apply for the card, but only at a Chase branch. Chase calls that an effort “to encourage a conversation with students and their parents.”
Key features of the card include:
- A $0 annual fee.
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. Chase says rewards can also be redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, or for things like gift cards for shopping, dining and more.
- A bonus offer: Earn 5,000 points after making your first purchase within the first three months. That’s redeemable for $50 cash back.
- A $20 Good Standing Reward, available annually for the first five years if you keep your account current.
- Reporting to all three credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
- Free credit score access through Chase’s Credit Journey, a website that tracks your credit.
- An automatic credit limit increase after five on-time payments made within 10 months of opening an account.
- An opportunity to upgrade to the Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited® after graduation with a qualifying credit score.
The Chase Freedom Student card is aimed at providing young adults with tools and information that can guide them on a strong path to financial health and independent credit building, a Chase spokesperson said by email.
Chase said the product will have “a low credit limit” and “APRs ordinarily reserved for our most creditworthy customers,” but didn’t provide specifics.
The card’s 1% cash back rate is decent for a student credit card, although it’s possible to find more lucrative offers. The free credit score access, automatic credit limit increase and potential upgrade opportunity all make it a solid option for a newcomer to credit. Keep in mind that what’s most important with a student card is using it to establish a positive credit history. Learn more in our guide to choosing a student card.