Verdict: The Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card is designed to help students build their credit. Unlike other student-centered cards, this one also offers a cash-back reward program. On the downside, the card comes with a high purchase interest rate, one that nears 20 percent. This isn’t unexpected: The card is designed, after all, for students who have yet to establish much of a credit record.

Overview: The Capital One Journey Student Rewards card is a good first credit card for college students. But these students should be careful not to carry a balance from month to month. The high interest rate attached to the card could cause students’ credit card debt to grow far too quickly.

Best Student Credit Card for 2013
The Discover® it for Students card gives you a 5% Cashback Bonus on purchases at restaurants, department stores, gas stations and other popular rotating categories. You can than double your rewards when you redeem them online for gift cards at over 100 popular retailers. Any cash back that you earn can now also be used to pay for purchases directly on Amazon.com and iTunes.

How This Card Works: Students will receive cash back on every purchase that they make. The card also encourages students to develop good credit habits, rewarding them with bonus cash back every time they pay their monthly bill on time. Students who use this card wisely, can improve their credit scores. They can then apply for cards that have lower interest rates and stronger rewards programs.

Travel and Shopping Benefits: Students will receive 1 percent cash back on all purchases that they make with this card. They’ll also receive a cash-back bonus of 25 percent every time they pay their monthly bill on time.

Fees: Because this card is designed for users who lack a long credit history, it comes with a higher purchase interest rate, 19.8 percent. That’s high even by consumer credit card standards. On the plus side the card does not charge an annual fee. Other fees are standard for the industry. Students will be charged up to $35 when they make a late payment or send in a payment that needs to be returned. They’ll have to pay either $10 or 3 percent of the advance amount when they are making cash advances, whichever figure is higher.

Pros:

  • Card allows college students to build their credit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Rewards program.

Cons:

  • High purchase interest rate of 19.8 percent.
  • Rewards program comes with little flexibility.