Chase Freedom® Student credit card Review
Chase Freedom® Student credit card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Get to know the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points universe with an easy-to-understand card.
- Earn a $50 bonus after making your first purchase within the first three months.
- Enjoy a $20 rewards bonus (2,000 points) each account anniversary year your account remains in good standing (for up to five years).
- Many students like to travel or study abroad and this card charges foreign transaction fees. This isn't the card for taking on a trip overseas.
The CardName is a great way for students to save money thanks to its 1% cash back on all purchases – which could add up quickly when it's time to buy textbooks every semester – and $50 bonus if you make your first purchase within the first three months of having the card. In addition, this card encourages students to learn how to use a credit card responsibly since it provides bonus rewards for being in good standing, as well as an opportunity for an automatic increase in your credit line after meeting certain criteria.
Although students don't need to have an established credit history in order to be approved for this card, you do need to provide proof that you're currently a student and must be at least 18 years old to qualify (some states/territories have higher age requirements).
CHASE FREEDOM® STUDENT BENEFITS
CardName cardholders get the following benefits:
- 1% cash back on all purchases
- RegAPR APR. While this isn't low, per se, it's on the lower end for a card available to students, so we consider this a benefit.
- No annual fee
- A $20 Good Standing reward each account anniversary. "Good standing" means that your account is open and not in default. This perk is available for the first five years after opening the account.
- Earn a $50 bonus after making your first purchase within the first three months of opening the account
- Earn a credit increase after making five on-time payments within the first 10 months of opening the account and meeting credit criteria
- Access your credit score for free at any time
- Fraud protection that includes real-time fraud monitoring
- Ability to instantly lock account to prevent new purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances easily using the Chase Mobile app
- Zero liability protection to prevent cardholders from being held responsible for unauthorized charges made on the account
- Purchases protected for 120 days against theft or damage up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder
- Extended warranty protection for an additional year
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance for up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip
- Tap to Pay Contactless purchase ability
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
- No fees whatsoever. No late fee, foreign transaction fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee.
- Variable APRs range from 17.74% - 31.74%
- Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
- 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away
- 2% - 10% cash back at select merchants
- $300 - $10,000 credit limits
- No credit score? No problem. If eligible, we'll create your Cash Score instead.
- See if you're pre-approved within minutes without impacting your credit score.
- Build credit alongside hundreds of thousands of Petal card members.
- Petal reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- No deposits required
- Card issued by WebBank
CHASE FREEDOM® STUDENT CASH BACK
With the CardName, you get 1% cash back on all of your purchases. There is no minimum amount needed in order to redeem rewards and points do not expire. You can also choose the way you receive your rewards, which can be applied to your account balance or deposited into your checking or savings account. Also, you can use your rewards for purchases on Amazon.com, travel, or gift cards for dining, entertainment, or shopping.
Officially, your cash back accumulates as Chsae Ultimate Rewards® points, a valuable and popular travel rewards currency. For reference, each point each one cent; therefore, the $50 bonus will hit your rewards account as 5,000 bonus points, which can be redeemed for $50 cash back (or any number of other ways).
CHASE FREEDOM® STUDENT APR
Ideally, if you're opening a credit card, you need to have a plan in mind to pay off your balance each billing cycle so that the APR doesn't ever affect you. If the APR does affect you, it means you're carrying a balance and racking up interest charges, and that is no way to start your credit card journey. If you're using the card, stick to a budget and pay it off every month.
That said, things happen and should you need to carry a balance, it's good to know that the CardName offers a relatively low APR for a student credit card – RegAPR. There is also a RegAPR APR for balance transfers and a cash_apr APR for cash advances.
Notice that cash advance APR is higher. That's important to keep in mind and to understand what a cash advance is. A cash advance is when you use your credit card to take money out of an ATM or otherwise make a withdrawl in cash. It's almost never a smart idea. That's because, as you can see, the APR on cash advances is higher for this card and basically any other credit card out there; additionally, interest on cash advances begins accuring immediately rather than ofter a grace period as is typical for interest on purchases. That means that you'll start paying interest on that cash advance right away and there's essientially no way to avoid it.
We've said it before, but it's worth repeating: Do everything you can to avoid owing interest charges on your credit cards. In this case, that means stay away from cash advances.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF CHASE FREEDOM® STUDENT
Unfortunately, this isn't the card to take along for your semester abroad, nor is it the one you want to use if you're buying something online in a foreign currency. That's because Chase Freedom ® Student charges foreign transaction fees – specificaly, foreign_fee. There are student card options that don't change this fee, so if you're headed abroad or even shopping abroad from the comfort of your own sofa, you may want to consider a different card (we give a few options below.
This card also charges a late payment fee that is, of course, entirely avoidable if you stay on top of your due dates, but, again, things happen and missing a due date in this case could set you back up to $39.
Lastly, and this isn't a huge deal, but if you're already thinking about travel rewards cards and rewards, be aware that the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned with this card aren't transferrable to travel partners. You can redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards® portal for travel, but the best value for Ultiate Rewards® points often comes by transferring the rewards to a travel partner and that's not an option here. That said, use this card responsibly during your student years, build a solid credit score and relationship with Chase and you could very well qualify for one of those premium cards, such as CardName, down the road. At that point, any Ultimate Rewards® points you earned with your student card could then be rolled under the Sapphire Preferred® card.
CHASE FREEDOM ® STUDENT CARDHOLDER SCORES
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|Current Scores||Past Scores|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||8.1||7.8|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||7.6||7.3|
*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.
HOW DOES CHASE FREEDOM ® STUDENT COMPARE TO OTHER STUDENT CARDS
Chase Freedom Student vs. CardName
While both Chase Freedom® Student and CardName provide cash back rewards, the CardName card has higher potential cash back, offering 5% cash back when you activate on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate quarterly, as well as 1% on all other purchases. Also, the Discover card matches all cash back rewards earned, dollar-for-dollar, during the first year of having the card, making the potential for high rewards even more attractive.
Additionally, with the CardName, cardholders can earn statement credit when they refer a friend and that friend is approved for the card.
If you travel a lot, you can benefit from the fact that the CardName card does not have charges for foreign transactions; however, the places that accept Discover internationally may be limited compared to those that accept a Visa or Mastercard.
Chase Freedom Student vs. CardName
The CardName is similar to the Chase card in that it offers cash back on all purchases, however, the earn rate is a bit more with the Capital One card. Cardholders can earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases - plus 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, and complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024. The welcome bonus is similar, too. New CardName cardholders can earn an early spend bonus of $50 once spending $100 in the first three months. With the Chase card you just need to make a purchase, versus meeting a spend threshold to earn the bonus. That said, the spend threshold required to earn the bonus with the Capital One card is still very manageable.
The Capital One card doesn't offer an anniversary bonus, but this there are no annual fees or foreign transaction fees to worry about, so it's a good option for studying or traveling abroad.
Chase Freedom Student vs. CardName
CardName could be considered a simplified version of the CardName card mentioned above. Rather than rotating quarterly rewards categories, CardName offers a straight 2% cash back for gas and restaurant purchases, on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter with no need to sign up each quarter to take advantage. Outside of that you can earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases. CardName also offers an end-of-the-first-year cash-back matching bonus, so you'll enjoy a match of every dollar you've earned at the end of your first year. This compares to Chase Freedom Student's $50 bonus once making a purchase with the card within the first three months. Depending on how heavily you use your card, you stand to earn a much higher bonus with the Discover card.
Finally, the CardName does not charge an annual fee, or foreign transaction fees.
IS CHASE FREEDOM ® STUDENT A GOOD CARD?
CardName is a good starter card for students who are beginning to establish their credit history, particluarly if they have an interest in developing a relationship with Chase and a starter bank of Ultimate Rewards® points. Though some of the rewards are not as high are other cards, the rewards offered can still lead to significant savings and, more importantly, help students develop good habits when it comes to your credit card use.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2022 to conduct surveys among 1,554 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2022-Aug. 31, 2022 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey (2022); "Past Scores" reflect scores from the 2021 survey.
Chase Freedom® Student credit card Compared to Other Cash back Cards
Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.
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