Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card: Great for College and Beyond

It earns 3% cash back in several popular spending categories, making it among the top cards for college students. And those rates stick around when you graduate, so it's worth holding on to.

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, it’s hard to find fault with this card, especially since it remains valuable long after you graduate.

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Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
17.99%-27.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
630-689 (Average)
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Bonus categories

  • No rewards caps

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

Cons

  • High APR

Alternate Pick: 5X back in select categories
Discover it® Student Cash Back
NerdWallet rating 
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Plus a unique bonus

This card doesn't have a FICO credit history requirement. It earns 5% cash back in bonus categories that change every three months, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter when you activate (1% back on everything else). There's also a unique sign-up bonus, which Discover describes this way: "INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match."

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

17.99%-27.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.74%-25.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.74%-25.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is meant for college students, but it’ll make you feel like you've already graduated. The card’s ongoing rewards structure is similar to what you’d receive with its elder sibling, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card — it's just that the student version has less stringent credit score requirements.

Coffee breaks during a study session, an outing to the movies and a Hulu subscription will all qualify for an elevated 3% cash back rate, and you can earn up to 8% back on select entertainment purchases. That's a lot of value for students who may still be working on bolstering their credit history.

You will still need at least some established credit to qualify for the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, which means other student credit cards will be easier to get.

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card: The Basics

Card type: College student.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months.

Rewards: 3% cash back in the following categories:

  • Dining.

  • Entertainment.

  • Popular streaming services.

  • Grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target).

The card also earns 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel as well as 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. All other purchases earn 1% back.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Through Nov. 14, 2024, you can also earn 10% cash back with this card on Uber and Uber Eats, as well as a complimentary Uber One membership. Terms apply.

Redemption: Cash back can be redeemed 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.

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

Foreign transaction fee: $0.

Other benefits:

  • Travel accident insurance.

  • Access to 24/7 concierge.

  • Travel assistance services.

Benefits of the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

High rewards rates across popular spending categories

The ongoing rewards rates for the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card are similar to the bank's non-student version, which means that even with average credit (FICO scores of at least 630), you might qualify for rich rewards across a host of popular and useful everyday spending categories: 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming services and grocery stores. Those are excellent rates for any card, student or not.

(Note, though, that Capital One excludes Amazon Prime Video from the streaming category, and it doesn’t count Walmart and Target as grocery stores.)

Traveling abroad during spring break, the summer or for a full semester? You could earn an unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal when you pay for your reservation with your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. Terms apply. (You won't receive cash back unless you book through Capital One.)

Longevity

You can keep the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card after you graduate or leave school for any other reason, and you'll likely want to: The rewards rates remain the same even when you aren’t a student, and rewards never expire.

Of course, if you feel you’ve outgrown student credit cards and want a card with more robust rewards and sign-up bonuses, there are plenty of excellent credit cards for young adults. But it’s not necessary to cancel your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card even if you replace it with another card. Length of credit history factors into your credit scores — the longer, the better — as does your credit utilization ratio. When you close a credit card account, you lose access to that line of credit, which could increase your credit utilization. In general, lenders prefer credit utilization ratios below 30%.

Instead of canceling an old student card, keep using it, or take it out of your wallet and store it in a safe place. Or you could seek a "product change" with Capital One.

No foreign transaction fees

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, making it an ideal travel companion for a semester abroad or a spring break cruise to Cancun. When many college students’ budgets are already tight, it’s refreshing to have a card that won’t nickel-and-dime you with every purchase.

Sign-up bonus

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months. That's not the highest sign-up bonus on the market, but it's fairly rare to find any kind of bonus on a student card. Plus, this one should be relatively easy to obtain due to the low spending threshold.

Drawbacks of the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Eligibility

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t the most accessible. As with many student cards, you have to be an admitted or enrolled full- or part-time student at an accredited university or community college, but you'll also need a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. That criterion will exclude many international students from applying.

As noted above, you'll also need at least some credit to qualify for this card. If you have no credit, you might instead want to consider student cards from Discover, such as the Discover it® Student Cash Back or the Discover it® Student chrome. These cards earn rewards but have no FICO credit history requirement, and both of them feature a potentially valuable sign-up bonus, which the issuer phrases this way:

INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Generally, be aware that all credit cards come with age and income requirements, and the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is no different. By law, you must be 18 to get a credit card; some students are 17 when they matriculate. Capital One also requires proof of a monthly income that is greater than your rent or mortgage payment by at least $425.

If you can’t check all of these boxes, you can’t get the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Should you get the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card?

If you qualify, why not? There may not be a better college student credit card out there. It’s an excellent card for students relatively new to credit, yet it comes with many of the perks you’d find in a more “grown-up” card.

on Capital One's website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.