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Credit Cards

Capital One SavorOne Student credit card review: Earn cash back in popular spending categories with no annual fee

The Capital One SavorOne Student credit card allows students to earn cash back and build credit.

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The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card gives college students a great option to earn cash back without having to pay an annual fee. Cardholders will earn up to 3% cash back on several broad spending categories.

Below, Select reviews the Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card, looking at the cash back opportunities and associated fees, so you can decide if it's the best card for you.

Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card review

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®). 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Promo APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    16.49% - 26.49% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Fair

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Excellent cash back categories on broad spending categories
  • Exclusive access to curated experiences in sports, dining and entertainment
  • Unlimited cash back that doesn't expire for the life of the account
  • No foreign transaction or annual fees

Cons

    Welcome bonus

    Currently, there is a limited time offer for new cardholders: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months of account opening.

    Similarly, there are other student cards with welcome bonuses, including the Discover it® Student Cash Back or the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students.

    Benefits and perks

    The Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card comes with the following rewards categories:

    • 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores.
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

    There is no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn, and it can either be redeemed as a statement credit or deposited directly into your bank account.

    In addition, SavorOne Student cardholders can earn 8% cash back on Vivid Seats through January 2023. Vivid Seats is a platform where you can purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events and comedy shows.

    Lastly, the card comes with travel accident insurance, extended warranty coverage on eligible items, complimentary concierge service and access to premium experiences such as sporting and events.

    Select calculated how much cash rewards the average American can earn in a year when using their Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.

    The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953).

    Here's a breakdown of how much cash rewards you can roughly earn in each category, annually (dollar amount is rounded up):

    • Groceries: $104
    • Gas: $44
    • Dining out: $74
    • Travel: $45
    • Utilities: $97
    • General purchases: $79
    • Total: $443

    We found that, in the first year of card membership, the SavorOne Student Card earned an estimated $398 in cash back. Over a five year period, cardholders could earn $1,990. Cardholders could earn more or less cash back depending on their annual spending habits, and a student's spending will likely vary from that of an older adult.

    Rates and fees

    The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. However, the card has a high interest rate with a 16.49% - 26.49% variable APR.

    The balance transfer fee is 3%, and late payments fees can be up to $40. If you transfer a balance at the transfer APR, that transfer will not incur a transfer fee.

    This card isn't the greatest for flexible payment options, so if you are need of low interest line of credit, consider a 0% intro APR credit card.

    Card comparison

    The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of many student credit cards available. However, if you are a current college student, you aren't restricted to just student credit cards. If you have established credit, consider applying for a regular travel rewards or cash-back credit card without the student label.

    If you have limited or no credit history, and are currently enrolled in classes, a student credit card may be a great fit for you.

    Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Student Credit Card

    Both of these student credit Both are extremely similar, but have different rewards-earning structures.

    The Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card earns up to 3% on specific spending categories such as dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores. The Capital One Quicksilver Student Credit Card earns 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases.

    If you are torn between the two, it comes down to a matter of spending habits and preference. If you spend regularly in the categories for the SavorOne card, it can net you even more cash back. If your spending is in a variety of different categories, the Quicksilver Student Credit Card may be the way to go.

    Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card vs. Discover it® Student chrome

    The Discover it® Student chrome card has a unique welcome bonus that competes with the net cash back opportunities of the SavorOne Student Credit Card, at least in the first year.

    The Discover it Student chrome offers:

    • 2% cash back, up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter at gas stations and restaurants
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases

    On top of that, the card comes with a lucrative welcome offer where all of your cash back from the first year is matched. So if you earn $500 in cash back throughout the year, Discover will automatically match that, making it $1,000.

    Lastly, the Discover it® Student chrome comes with an introductory 0% APR for the first six months of card membership then a 14.49% - 23.49% variable APR will apply.

    Bottom line

    A student credit card is worth considering if you are trying to build credit throughout college. However, remember that you aren't limited to only applying for a student credit card.

    The Capital One SavorOne Student credit card is an excellent option for students looking to earn cash back on their purchases. However, the fool-proof way of finding the best credit card for you is to analyze your spending habits, credit score and financial needs, and then pick a card that best fits those needs.

    FAQs

    Is it easy to get a student credit card?

    A student credit card is not hard to get. An application takes only a few minutes. However, you will need to gather documentation for your application, including proof that you are enrolled in classes.

    Is cash back better than travel rewards?

    Cash back is never a bad option to earn as a form of credit card rewards. However, flexible travel rewards, like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, can prove to be much more valuable as you can save thousands of dollars when used towards premium travel.

    What credit score do I need for a student credit card?

    For the Capital One Savor Student credit card, you will need fair credit (650-700). However, student credit cards vary in terms of what credit score is needed. Card issuers will typically list the credit needed to be approved.

    Our Methodology

    To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

    CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

    Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

    Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

    While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

    For rates and fees for the Discover it® Student chrome, click here.

    For rates and fees for the Discover it® Student Cash Back, click here.

    Information about the Capital One SavorOne Student Credit Card, Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students and the Capital One Quicksilver Student Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

    Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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