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Guide to the Chase Freedom Student card

The bank’s first student card offers a flexible rewards program and educational tools


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.

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When you’re just starting out in the world of credit, your card options may be limited. Luckily, if you’re a student, you can look into student credit cards that allow you to start earning rewards while improving your credit history and financial health.

The Chase Freedom® Student is the first student credit card from Chase, one of the major credit card issuers. Besides offering cash back and incentives for good credit behavior, the card can provide 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 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, was available for online applications for a few months earlier this year. However, the card is now only available for in-person applications. If you’re interested, visit your nearest Chase branch to apply.

Students who are at least 18 years or older are eligible to apply. Since it’s a student credit card, credit requirements are generally less strict than those for traditional rewards cards, providing a pathway for young adults to improve their credit while earning cash back.

Using the Chase Freedom Student Card

The Freedom Student card offers a way for students to start working on their credit and rewards cardholders for taking the right credit steps.

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 5,000 bonus points that can be redeemed for $50 in cash back. To get the bonus, you need to make the first purchase on the card during the first three months from account opening.

Good standing bonus

On top of a nice sign-up bonus, the 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. There’s nothing more important to your credit score than on-time payments. The Freedom Student card encourages maintaining a positive payment history, which can help students learn to use their card responsibly.

Opportunities for credit limit increase

To help students improve their credit, the Freedom Student card automatically reviews accounts for a credit limit increase after five on-time payments in the first 10 months of account opening.

See related: How to request a credit line increase with Chase

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.

Chase Freedom® Student

Chase Freedom Student card

Why should you get this card?  

With cash back on every purchase and reasonable interest rates, the Chase Freedom Student card is a great introduction to credit cards for fledgling cardholders.

Other things to know

  • 1% cash back on every purchase
  • $50 bonus when you make your first purchase within the first 3 months
  • $20 good-standing bonus each year on your card anniversary
  • No annual fee

Why the Freedom Student is a good choice for young adults

The Freedom Student card is Chase’s debut in the student card space, but it’s set to be a top competitor. Even though it is 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 the card apart from the pack.

While 1% cash back might not seem like the most exciting rewards rate, many people just starting to build credit don’t get to earn rewards at all. The credit card options are limited when a borrower doesn’t have an established positive credit history, so 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 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 credit card is a “starter” card that can be upgraded. For students eager to begin earning rewards, the Chase Freedom Student offers a first step into one of the most valuable rewards programs – Chase Ultimate Rewards.

See related: Why are Chase Ultimate Rewards points so valuable?

Chase offers some of the most desirable credit cards on the market. Starting out with the Freedom Student card can become a path to 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, here are a few 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 damage to your credit.

Final thoughts

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.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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