The Chase Freedom Student card, designed to support financial health for young adults, can be a helpful tool for credit building and establishing a relationship with a major credit card issuer.
When you’re just starting out in the world of credit, your card options may be limited. Luckily, if you’re a student, you’re eligible for student credit cards that allow you to start earning rewards while improving your credit history and financial health.
The Chase Freedom® Student credit card, Chase’s only student card, offers cash back and incentives for good credit behavior. And it also provides a way for young adults to graduate to some of the most popular cards in the market.
Read on to learn more about what the Chase Freedom Student card offers and how to make the most of it.
Applying for the Chase Freedom Student card
The Chase Freedom Student card, which launched in Chase branches in 2019, is available for students who are at least 18 years or older. Credit requirements for student cards are generally less strict than those for traditional rewards credit cards, providing a pathway for young adults to improve their credit while earning cash back.
Using the Chase Freedom Student Card
The Chase Freedom Student card offers a way for students to start working on their credit and rewards cardholders for taking the right credit steps. Here’s what you’ll get with it:
1% cash back on every purchase
Cardholders will earn 1% cash back on every purchase they make, with no limit to how much they can earn. Once you’ve earned rewards, you can redeem them for cash back, travel, Apple purchases and much more.
$50 sign-up bonus
New cardholders are eligible to earn a $50 bonus. To get it, you need to make the first purchase on the card during the first three months from account opening.
On top of a nice sign-up bonus, the Chase Freedom Student card offers a $20 good-standing reward on your account anniversary every year for the first five years – as long as your account is still open and in good standing.
This is a nice incentive for new credit card users to develop good credit habits. Remember, there’s nothing more important to your credit score than on-time payments. The Chase Freedom Student card encourages maintaining a positive payment history, which can help students learn to use their cards responsibly.
Opportunities for credit limit increase
To help students improve their credit, the Chase Freedom Student card automatically reviews accounts for a credit limit increase after five on-time payments in the first 10 months of account opening.
A higher credit limit can translate into a higher credit score if the cardholder doesn’t increase spending. This is because credit utilization ratio – the percentage of credit line used relative to the card’s limit – is the second most influential credit score factor, and it’s responsible for 30% of your score.
No annual fee
The Chase Freedom Student card doesn’t charge an annual fee, so students can try it out without worrying about the cost. The card is a part of a slate of tools from Chase designed to encourage financial independence in young adults.
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Why the Freedom Student is a good choice for young adults
The Chase Freedom Student card is Chase’s debut in the student card space, but it’s already a top competitor. Even though it’s not the first student card to offer 1% back on every purchase, a flexible rewards redemption scheme and automatic review for a credit limit increase set it apart from the pack.
While 1% cash back might not seem like the most exciting rewards rate, many cards geared toward building credit don’t earn rewards at all. Credit card options are limited when a borrower doesn’t have an established positive credit history, since issuers see you as more of a risk to extend credit. With that in mind, earning even 1% on every purchase isn’t a bad deal.
At the same time, other student credit cards can offer a higher cash back rate. For instance, you can earn 1% back on all purchases with the Discover it® Student Cash Back – and 5% back in quarterly bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases quarterly after activation, then 1%).
However, it’s important to remember that a student card is a “starter” card that you can upgrade. For students eager to begin earning rewards, it also offers a first step into one of the most valuable rewards programs – Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Starting out with the Chase Freedom Student card can lead to getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, an excellent cash back card, or even the highly sought-out Chase Sapphire Reserve® – among other options.
How to maximize the Freedom Student card
If you decide that the Freedom Student is the right starter card for you, use these tips to get the most out of it:
- Use your card for all daily expenses to maximize cash back.
- Pay off your balance in full every month to make sure interest doesn’t take away from your rewards.
- Always pay on time to get the $20 bonus annually for the first five years.
- Avoid getting close to your credit limit to prevent overspending and damaging to your credit.
For college students over 18 who are eager to start building credit and earning flexible rewards, the Chase Freedom Student can be a great introduction to credit cards.
Plus, you can earn a nice sign-up bonus just for making your first purchase on the card in the first three months. If you’d like to apply, you can do so by visiting a Chase branch.