This Capital One credit card is a great option for anyone looking to build credit

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Whether you’re a beginner in the world of credit, looking to repair your credit score, or are new to the U.S., here’s a credit card just for you.

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One (no longer available) is for those with average credit. It’s an infinitely better option than using a debit card, like some tend to do when their credit is less than perfect, because it will help you to qualify for better cards later!

However, if you already have good credit, this is not the card for you. I’ll give you a quick review of this card, and help you decide if it’s for you.

The Capital One Student Journey Card Is Useful for Students Who Are Trying to Build Credit, but Also Like Traveling Abroad. (Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

Capital One Journey Student Credit Card review

Current bonus

This card doesn’t currently offer a welcome bonus.

Benefits and perks

The first credit card many people open is a starter card from Capital One. My wife was one of those people. The card wasn’t anywhere close to the best available, but it helped her to build her credit for better cards! She later upgraded it to a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Similarly, the Capital One Journey Student card is for anyone with average, fair, or limited credit. You do not have to be a student to open this card.

According to Capital One, a fair credit score is anywhere between 580 and 669. If your credit score is equal to or greater than this, you should be eligible for this card.

Here’s what you’ll get with the Capital One Journey Student card:

  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Extra 0.25% cash back for paying bills on time
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

It’s interesting to note that this card will give you 25% more earnings for paying your bills on time. That’s a nice feature, and a decent incentive to be responsible with the card.

I also really like that this card waives foreign transaction fees. That’s probably why the card is branded with the word “journey” — because you can take it abroad. This is a great card for students who take international trips. Waived foreign transaction fees used to be a rare feature for a card with no annual fee, but it’s becoming more common, which is great news.

If you don’t have a no-annual-fee credit card, you should. They’re critical to maintaining a fantastic credit score when you’re opening as many cards as we in the miles and points hobby do!

Who is this card for?

Any miles and points enthusiast will tell you this is not the optimal card for getting free travel. There are plenty of no-annual-fee cards which earn more rewards — and most of them come with a generous welcome bonus!

However, if you’re still establishing credit, this is an excellent card for you. It’s easier to be approved for, and it’s a good card to help you build your credit. As long as you use your credit card responsibly by paying your bills on time and in full, your credit score will increase, and you’ll qualify for the best travel credit cards in no time.

However, if you already have a good credit score and are just beginning your miles & points journey, this isn’t a good card for you. There are other much more valuable credit cards with big welcome bonuses, improved travel benefits, and higher returns for spending. If your credit score is 700+, applying for this card first can decrease your chances of being approved for those other cards later.

Note: Capital One pulls your credit score from all three main credit bureaus, giving you three hard inquiries on your report. Hard inquiries cause your credit score to temporarily dip, and too many hard inquiries can make it harder to be approved for future credit cards and other loans.

Bottom line

The Capital One Journey Student card is marketed towards students, but it’s for many more folks, too! If you need a card to strengthen your credit, this could be a great option for you. It’s for anyone with average credit, so it’s relatively easy to be approved for. Plus, it will help you qualify for better travel cards down the road.

Again, do NOT apply for this card if you already have above average credit. Opening this card might prevent you from opening up certain credit cards that are much more rewarding.

Let me know if you’ve got experience with the Capital One Journey Student! And subscribe to our newsletter for more posts like this delivered to your inbox once per day.

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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