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How to Make the Most of Your Capital One Journey Student Card

Updated May 22, 2018
Credit Cards, Student Credit Cards
How to Make the Most of Your Journey Student Rewards From Capital One Card
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Learning to use credit cards responsibly is a cornerstone of your personal financial life. The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a good first card because it rewards you for paying on time and gives you tools to monitor your credit, both excellent habits to cultivate. And even though its name says “student,” you don’t have to be a student to apply for this card.

Earn cash back on everything you buy

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card gives you 1% cash back on everything you buy and pays an additional 0.25% cash back each month when you pay on time. There’s no limit to the amount of cash you can earn, and your rewards never expire.

Paying off your balance each month to earn that extra 0.25% cash back is your best practice, and the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card’s relatively high interest rate should encourage you to pay it off: The ongoing APR is 24.99% Variable APR.

Redeem your cash without a hassle

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card makes it as easy to redeem your rewards as to earn them: You can request a credit on your statement — reducing the amount you owe — or you can request a check. If you want to reap your rewards without having to think about it, you can set an automatic redemption for all of the cash at the same time each year or get your cash when it reaches a certain threshold ($25, $50, $100 or $200).

Use credit to build credit

Another reward for responsible credit management is the potential to increase your line of credit. If you make your first five payments on time, Capital One may raise your credit limit.

Why is a higher credit limit important? Because it will help raise your credit score. One of the factors in your credit score is your credit utilization ratio, or how much credit you’re using compared with your total credit line. For example, if you have a $500 credit line and you have a balance of $200, your credit utilization ratio is 40%. If your issuer increases your credit line to $1,000 and your balance remains the same, your ratio falls to 20%. The lower your ratio, the better for your score. Of course, if you don’t carry a balance, your utilization ratio will be 0%.

Monitor your credit score

If you’re getting into good money habits using the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card, you should also start monitoring your credit, which this card helps you do with CreditWise. Each week your credit score, based on your TransUnion VantageScore 3.0, is updated so you can see how your good money management is improving your score.

Travel benefits of Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

All these features are available for an annual fee of $0. There is also no foreign transaction fee, which is important for students and young people who are studying abroad or exploring the world.

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card can be enrolled in Apple Pay so you can pay securely on the go in the U.S. and in many countries around the world.

Why Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® could work for you

Students and young people can get the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card with average credit and get a rewards program, too. If you maximize the rewards, you’ll also be learning responsible credit management, which will set you up for a good financial life.

Ellen Cannon is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: ecannon@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ellencannon.