|Student Rating:||3.6 / 5|
|Interest and Fees||2.6|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
A generous cash back rate in a variety of practical everyday categories makes the SavorOne Student card a solid starter cash back card, but the card’s APR could pose a risk to students new to credit
Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)
Capital One Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Free credit score monitoring with CreditWise, no foreign transaction fee, price protection*, extended warranty*, roadside assistance*, cell phone protection*, concierge services,
* Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details.
If you’re a student looking for a chance to build credit with responsible card use, without missing out on cash back rewards, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card should be a terrific fit.
The card charges no annual fee, offers top-notch cash back variety and flexibility, and comes with a solid set of cardholder perks. Indeed, even though it’s a student credit card, you won’t have to make many compromises going with this card versus the full-fledged, non-student version of the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.
Even so, the card has its share of shortcomings. Most notably, the SavorOne Student card is burdened by a high APR and lacks an introductory APR offer, which makes it a bit less useful than some competing cards. While it offers great rewards value, the SavorOne Student card is not the most forgiving starter card for students new to credit.
Earning cash back
Like the fully fledged Capital One SavorOne card, the SavorOne Student card should be a great fit if a big portion of your budget goes toward dining and entertainment. You’ll earn 3% cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and on dining and entertainment, including spending at places like movie theaters, professional sporting events, museums and with popular streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. You’ll also earn 1% back on general purchases outside these categories and, through January 2023, 8% back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats.
That’s a terrific level of cash back variety and practicality, and the card’s rewards rate is doubly impressive given it’s available to students and charges no annual fee. Indeed, there are no major student card offerings that offer such generous cash back year-round in popular categories like grocery store purchases and dining – most competitors, if they offer cash back at all, carry either a flat cash back rate of 1% or 1.5% back or only offer more than 3% back in groceries or dining for a single quarter each year.
However, unlike the non-student version of the SavorOne, which offers a $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in your first three months, the SavorOne Student card lacks a sign-up bonus. While sign-up bonuses are rare among student cards, a handful of competing cards offer a modest welcome bonus, including the Chase Freedom® Student credit card (which comes with a $50 cash bonus after you make your first purchase within the first three months) and the Discover it® Student Cash Back (which matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year).
That said, a one-time bonus shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing a student card, especially if you plan to use the card for at least a few years. Thanks to its $0 annual fee and impressive cash back rate in a variety of everyday categories, the SavorOne Student card stands out where it counts – ongoing value.
SavorOne Student card spending example
Curious about how much you can earn with the SavorOne student card? Since the card carries a straightforward rewards structure and no annual fee, it’s as simple as adding up your typical monthly spend in the card’s bonus categories and on general purchase and calculating 3% and 1% respectively.
For example, if you spend around $200 per month on groceries, $100 per month dining out, $100 per month on entertainment and streaming services and $800 per month on everything else, you’ll earn about $24 per month in rewards, or $288 per year. That’s a nice chunk of cash back simply for using the card on things you planned to purchase anyway. And given the practicality of this card’s bonus categories, it’s hard for the typical 1% or 1.5% flat-rate cash back student card to measure up.
|SavorOne Student card||$4,800 per year in groceries, dining, entertainment and streaming services x 3% back + $9,600 per year on general purchases x 1% back =||$240|
|Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card||$14,400 x 1.5% back =||$216|
|Chase Freedom® Student card||$14,400 x 1% back =||$144|
Redeeming cash back
Along with great variety in its bonus cash back categories, the SavorOne Student card offers a solid mix of cash back redemption options. You can redeem your cash back for a statement credit, check, for shopping at Amazon.com and through PayPal or for gift cards. You can redeem rewards anytime, in any amount, or set it to redeem automatically when you reach $25, $50, $200, $500 or $1,500 in rewards (or once per year on a specified date).
Card rates and fees
The SavorOne Student card’s fees are relatively low for a card available at this credit level. Along with charging no annual fee, the card charges no penalty APR, so you won’t have to worry about your APR spiking if you struggle to pay on time. The card also carries no foreign transaction fees, making it a smart choice for students who plan to study or travel abroad. Many competing cash back cards charge a fee of 3% of each purchase you make overseas.
That said, the card could still prove risky to students inexperienced with credit, since it carries a late payment fee of up to $40 (the highest late fee allowed by law) and a very high APR of 26.99% variable. While this late fee is common and the APR is on par with the average credit card interest rate for someone with a damaged credit score, these are far from the most forgiving terms you can find on a student card. For example, the Discover it® Student Cash Back will waive its fee the first time you pay late (up to $40 after that) and only charges a variable APR of 12.99% to 22.99%, based on your credit history. If you’re new to credit, it may be worth opting for a card with a bit more wiggle room, even if it means sacrificing rewards value.
On top of that, the SavorOne Student card lacks an introductory APR on purchases, so it won’t be much help if you’re looking for a card that can help you pay off a large purchase over time while avoiding interest charges. While 0% intro APR offers are far from a guaranteed feature in this card category, a few student cards offer an intro APR that could help you chip away at expenses for six months or more without paying interest. Given the fact that students often face large expenses like laptops and textbooks, the SavorOne Student card loses some points here.
See related: Best credit cards for large purchases
The SavorOne Student card may not come with any of the student-centric perks we’ve seen on some competing cards – like annual credits for good grades or an Amazon Prime Student membership – but it still carries quite a respectable roster of extra benefits, including travel and purchase protections that are hard to come by on cards designed to help people build positive credit history. Here are a few highlights:
- Purchase and price protections – Extended warranty coverage automatically doubles any eligible manufacturer’s warranty that comes with an item you purchase with the card. You’re also covered by price protection, which can reimburse you the difference if an item you bought with the card drops in price within 120 days of purchase.
- Cellphone insurance – If you pay your cellphone bill with the SavorOne Student card, you’ll be covered by cellphone insurance in the event your cellphone is damaged or stolen.
- Chance at a credit limit increase – If you make your monthly payments on time, you’ll be eligible for a credit limit increase in as little as six months. This could help fast-track your credit-building efforts, since a higher credit limit will give you more breathing room to keep your credit utilization in check (a key credit scoring factor). Six months is one of the fastest timelines out there for a credit limit increase on a student card.
- Free credit monitoring – You can take advantage of Capital One’s CreditWise credit monitoring program to keep tabs on your credit score and get credit alerts that can help you spot fraud and reduce the risk of identity theft.
You’ll also get peace of mind with benefits like virtual card numbers, rental car insurance and 24/7 access to a pay-per-use roadside assistance program and concierge services.
One of the best features of the SavorOne Student card is that it’s available with fair or average credit (a FICO credit score of 580 to 669) or no credit history. That makes the SavorOne Student a great starter card for students.
Be sure to check your credit score before you apply, though – if you already have a good credit score (perhaps you’ve had another starter card or been an authorized user on a family member’s card and built up a respectable score that way), you may be better off applying for the non-student version of the card. You’ll enjoy all the same perks and ongoing cash back value, as well as a sign-up bonus and intro APR offer.
How does the SavorOne Student card compare to other student cards?
The SavorOne Student card offers terrific ongoing value in a variety of practical cash back categories, making it just a small step down from the full-fledged SavorOne card and a great option for students getting started with credit and cash back. Still, it may not be the best fit based on your spending habits. The card also lacks an intro APR offer and carries a very high ongoing APR, which could make it a bit riskier for inexperienced cardholders than some alternatives.
These alternatives offer either additional bonus categories, a simpler rewards structure or additional perks and benefits that could come in handy for students:
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
12.99% to 21.99% (variable)
Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Though the SavorOne Student card offers several lucrative cash back categories, it’s hard to match the level of variety you’ll get with the Discover it® Student Cash Back card’s rotating bonus categories. If you get a kick out of strategizing about when and where you buy to maximize rewards, this card’s unique cash back program could be right up your alley. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, which could make for an impressive cash rewards payday.
If you’d rather keep things simple by earning cash back at the same rate on all eligible purchases – for example, perhaps you already have access to a card that earns bonus cash back on groceries – the Quicksilver Student card could be a solid choice. The card carries the same flat 1.5% cash back rate as the non-student Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and is available with average credit or a limited credit history, so it should offer a solid foundation for rewards-savvy students who want to save money and build credit with responsible use.
Ideal for international students, the Deserve EDU Mastercard caters to underserved students who have a limited U.S. credit history or have never used credit in the U.S. You don’t even need a Social Security number to get approved. The card also carries a lower ongoing APR than the SavorOne Student card (just 18.74% variable), no annual fee and a flat 1% cash back rate on all eligible purchases.
Who should get the SavorOne Student card?
- Students who spend heavily at grocery stores and restaurants and on entertainment and select streaming service purchases.
- Students who want a chance to build credit with responsible use while avoiding an annual fee and security deposit.
- Students with an average credit score or limited credit history who can’t qualify for the non-student version of the card.
- Students who aspire to eventually switch from the SavorOne Student card to another Capital One rewards card, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
How to use the SavorOne Student card
- Use the card for all spending at grocery stores, restaurants and entertainment purchases, including streaming services to enjoy the 3% cash back rate.
- Use the card at Vivid Seats for all ticket purchases to take advantage of the 8% cash back rate through January 2023.
- Pay on time and avoid maxing out your card to give yourself a better chance to build positive credit history and be considered for a credit limit increase after six months.
- Pay off your card balance in full each month to avoid being charged the card’s high 26.99% variable APR.
Is the SavorOne Student card worth it?
Since it charges no annual fee and offers the same ongoing rewards value as its non-student counterpart, the SavorOne Student card is absolutely worth it if you’re looking for a chance to build credit with responsible use while enjoying terrific cash back variety. Indeed, the card should offer far more value than almost any other student card if you spend heavily on groceries, dining and entertainment.
That said, the card won’t be much help if you need help paying off a large purchase over time, as it lacks a 0% introductory APR offer. And if you already have good credit or better, you may be better off applying for the non-student version of the card to benefit from its intro APR offer and sign-up bonus.
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