Chase Freedom® Student credit card review

Chase Freedom® Student credit card review

Updated: September 1, 2022

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Updated: September 1, 2022

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Ratings Policy
Student Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Introductory Offer0.0
Interest and Fees5.0
Rewards Program3.1
Features3.7
Issuer Customer Experience4.0

In a Nutshell:

The Chase Freedom Student is a great introduction to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, but its earning rate fails to impress.

Learn more about this card

APR
17.24% (variable)

Excellent

Annual Fee
$0

Excellent

Penalty APR
None

Excellent

Introductory Offer

$50 bonus earned after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.

Average

Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($300 monthly spend)

$59

Average

Rewards Program

  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025)
Very Good

Chase Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 809 (30% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: No
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.4/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5
Very Good

Other Notable Features: $20 Good Standing Reward after each account anniversary for up to 5 years, complimentary DashPass membership for three months, free credit score

The Chase Freedom Student credit card is the bank’s first offering for college students, and it is designed to impart good credit habits and encourage financial health in young adults. New credit cardholders can use the card to build their credit without paying an annual fee. The rewards earning scheme is not the best among student cards, but it is still a good way to bring in a little extra cash back.

Plus, the Freedom Student card is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards family and can serve as an introduction to one of the most valuable rewards programs. Freedom Student cardholders will enjoy the flexible redemption options available in the Ultimate Rewards portal and can even transfer their points to another Ultimate Rewards card if they qualify down the line.

Fair rewards rate

The Chase Freedom Student offers 1% cash back on every purchase, which is a pretty standard rewards rate for a basic student card. Additionally, through March of 2025, you get 4% back on Lyft rides.

Unfortunately, cardholders won’t have the opportunity to boost their earnings with an ongoing bonus category or redemption bonus. The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, for example, also offers 1% cash back on general purchases. Unlike the Freedom, the Journey enables cardholders earn 25% bonus points for paying their bill on time, boosting their overall rate to 1.25 points per dollar.

Nice sign-up bonus

One perk that comes with the Chase Freedom Student is an intro bonus. New cardholders can earn $50 after making their first purchase with the card in the first three months. While not the most eye-catching offer, this bonus can be a great way to get an influx of extra cash without having to reach a high spend threshold.

You can also get a complimentary subscription to DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription services that provides unlimited free deliveries on orders over $12, for three months. After that, you’re automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next nine months. You must activate this benefit by December 31, 2024.

Annual good standing reward

Chase Freedom Student cardholders can also get rewarded annually for maintaining good habits. Every account anniversary that your account is still open and in good standing (you’ve been making your minimum payments on time), you are eligible for a $20 bonus – for up to the first five years of card ownership.

Ultra-flexible redemption

The Freedom Student card is marketed as earning cash back, but it earns Ultimate Rewards points – a huge benefit for students eager to get started in the rewards card space. Not only are Ultimate Rewards points some of the most valuable credit card points, but cardholders have a wide variety of redemption options.

Freedom Student users can redeem their points for travel purchases, cash back, Apple products and more. Just keep in mind that you might not get the same value out of your points, depending on how you use them.

Chase Freedom Student redemption options

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)
Travel redemption1
Statement credit1
Direct deposit1
Gift cards1
Apple purchases1
Amazon.com purchases0.8

Introduction to Chase Ultimate Rewards

Because the Freedom Student earns Ultimate Rewards points, it’s a great way for new credit cardholders to try out the program. In addition to the Ultimate Rewards portal, Freedom Student users can take advantage of perks like Chase Offers to earn extra cash back on everyday spending.

Plus, if you qualify for another Ultimate Rewards card down the line, you can transfer points you earned on the Freedom Student to another card. This means you might even be able to boost your rewards value, as some Ultimate Rewards cards offer a points boost when you redeem for travel through Ultimate Rewards.

Opportunity for credit limit increase

The Freedom Student card is designed to help students improve their financial health, and one tool to help them along the way is the opportunity for an automatic credit limit increase.

As long as you make five on-time payments within 10 months of opening your account, it will be automatically reviewed for a larger credit limit. This helps raise your credit score by improving your available credit and utilization ratio.

Rates and fee

The Freedom Student card is also a bit easier on the rates and fees than other cards designed for building credit. The APR is low for a student card at 17.24% variable.

How does the Chase Freedom Student compare to other student cards?

While the Chase Freedom Student card provides a unique opportunity for students to build their credit while earning flexible Ultimate Rewards, it doesn’t have the best earning rate among student cards. Students who are more focused on racking in cash back might be better off with one of these popular alternatives.

Discover it Student Cash Back
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1% (enrollment required)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Matches cash back at end of first year
Rewards rate

  • 1% cash back on every purchase
  • 25% bonus points when you pay on time
Rewards rate

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
APR

15.24%-24.24% (variable)

APR

26.99% (variable)

APR

16.49%-26.49% (variable)

Introductory offer

0% APR on new purchases for first 6 months

Introductory offer

Up to $60 in streaming subscription credits when you pay on time

Introductory offer

None

Other things to know

  • No fee for first late payment (after that, up to $41)
  • Social Security number alerts
Other things to know

  • Automatically considered for a credit limit increase after six months of on-time payments
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Credit tracking tools
Other things to know

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud liability
  • Cellphone protection
  • Premium experiences

Discover it Student Cash Back

The Discover it Student card is best suited for cardholders who don’t mind putting a bit of extra effort into their rewards program, as it requires you to enroll in quarterly bonus categories to earn a high rate of cash back. If you don’t mind keeping track of these rotating categories, you can get one of the most lucrative earning rates available on a student credit card.

Capital One Journey

Like the Freedom Student, the Capital One Journey card offers 1% cash back on every purchase. With the Journey, however, cardholders can boost their cash back for any month to 1.25% when they pay their bill on time. Users may also qualify for a credit limit increase after six months of on-time payments. On the downside, the Journey card has a high APR – even for a student card.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is another good choice for students who want to earn rewards while building credit, as it offers a 1.5% flat cash back rate on every purchase. Rewards earned won’t expire for the life of your account and can be redeemed as a statement credit or for gift cards.

Why get the Chase Freedom Student?

  • You’re a student over 18 looking to start building credit and earning rewards.
  • You’re interested in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and looking for a starter card.
  • You want to build positive credit habits and will take advantage of the card’s tools.

How to use the Chase Freedom Student

  • Pay your bill on time to qualify for a credit limit increase and good standing reward.
  • Make a purchase in the first three months to earn the sign-up bonus.
  • Take advantage of Chase Offers and the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal to boost cash back earnings.

About the author

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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