As a young adult and student who writes about and talks about credit cards nonstop, I often get many questions about their importance and value from my peers. As a rule, I first explain the lasting benefits of construction credit. Signing up for your first credit card at a young age allows you to establish your credit history early, giving it more years to mature.
The length of credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO score, a fairly large part that can be easily bolstered by establishing credit early in life. And if you apply for a loan or mortgage later, you’ll likely benefit from a higher credit score thanks to a longer credit history.
I am often asked: “What is the best card to register?” For college-aged students, my answer is usually the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards credit card. Although this card often flies under the radar of students compared to Discover it Student Cash Back and Chase Freedom Student Credit Cardhere’s why I recommend the student version of the classic Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card.
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The information for the Discover it Student Cash Back and Capital One Savor cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Major Categories of Daily Spend Rewards
Compared to the lack of rewards offered by debit cards, students are often happy to get 1% back on their purchases with a credit card. Although I always advise trying to get at least 2% back on purchases – which is easily achievable with cards like the Citi® Double Cash (1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you redeem it) – some people with limited credit history may not be approved for a card with a higher earn rate.
Comparatively, the SavorOne Student Card offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining, groceries, entertainment and streaming services, which is almost unheard of for student credit cards and is better than many non-credit cards. female students. As a student, I know that most of my budget goes towards restaurants and activities, which fit perfectly into these categories. In addition, the card offers a 1% discount on purchases that do not fall into these categories.
Dining includes everything from fancy eateries to midnight fast food service. Plus, entertainment includes everything from football matches and other event tickets to a round of golf. Add in grocery shopping and streaming services and I can imagine many students with this card would earn 3% on the majority of their daily expenses.
Related: Credit Cards or Debit Cards: Which is the Smarter Choice?
Easy sign up bonus
The TPG community loves a good sign-up bonus, especially thousands of points with a new map. However, these enrollment bonuses may be out of reach for many students, as they sometimes require spending $5,000 or more within three months.
The SavorOne Student card bonus is much more accessible. There is a limited time offer to earn a $100 cash bonus after spending $100 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Not only should it be easy to reach a threshold of $100 in three months for a student, but the bonus will completely wipe out the $100 expense. For a student, earning $100 is an easy sign-up bonus that will pay for multiple runs at Chipotle or cover certain Amazon orders.
Related: Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses You Can Earn With Spending $1,000 Or Less
The last thing a student wants to worry about with high tuition and a tight budget is paying an annual fee. Fortunately, the SavorOne Student has no annual fee, making it easy to continue earning rewards with no annual fee.
Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees on the card. This means that when you study abroad in Europe or during spring break in Mexico, you won’t have to worry about fees being added to every purchase you make.
The absence of foreign transaction fees is an important and less common advantage among credit cards with no annual fee, let alone on a card for people with less credit history. This should not be ignored.
Related: What is a foreign transaction fee?
Easy to use rewards
Some credit cards make it difficult to redeem their rewards, but this is not the case with the SavorOne Student card. For starters, rewards don’t expire for the life of the account. Rewards can be redeemed for cash, used directly on your balance to refund a recent purchase from your bill, or redeemed for travel using the Capital One Travel Portal.
Later, once a longer credit history has been established and one has a higher credit score, add another Capital One credit card, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Where Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Cardwould allow students to convert their cash back into miles.
These miles can then be transferred to one of the card’s many airline or hotel partners to book travel. This method may take more effort, but it can increase reward value because TPG values Capital One miles at 1.85 cents compared to the 1 cent cash back on the SavorOne Student card.
Related: Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your Capital One Miles
At the end of the line
The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great all-rounder. It has great bonus categories that will perfectly match the spending habits of many students and rival non-student cards for people with a more developed credit score.
In addition to no annual and foreign exchange fees and an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus, this card offers some of the typical perks you might not find on debit cards. This includes $0 Fraud Liability, Extended Warranty, and Travel Accident Insurance.
In order to start building up credit, I always advise students to sign up for their first card as soon as possible (after making sure they know how to manage a credit card responsibly), and my choice for their first card is the SavorOne Student card.