Capital One offers terrific student credit cards for those who want to establish their credit and earn cash back rewards on everyday purchases — and now, with a new $50 welcome offer.

If you’re in college and want to start building your credit score, the options are slim pickings — especially if this is your first credit card.

As a college student, you’ll want to set your sights on a student credit card, which offers the best chance at approval. You won’t need any prior credit history to qualify, but the downside is that student cards won’t offer you a ton of rewards — or even worse, they’ll come with no rewards at all.

However, Capital One shook up the landscape last year by offering two new valuable student cards: the Capital One QuickSilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards credit card.

Both cards check the boxes for everything students are looking for: no annual fee, great rewards rate, and no foreign transaction fees (perfect if you plan on studying abroad — more on this later).

And the deal gets even sweeter. For the first time since its launch, Capital One is now offering a welcome offer on both cards for new applicants — to the tune of $50 cash rewards after spending $100 in the first three months of account opening.

Keep reading to compare each credit card. We’ll help you decide whether the Capital One Quicksilver for Students or the Capital One SavorOne for Students is better for you.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now On the Capital One US Secure Website

In A Nutshell

Students will love the simplicity of this cash back credit card from Capital One. Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day, and your rewards won’t expire for the life of the account. Plus there’s no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or other hidden fees to worry about.

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it's misplaced, lost or stolen
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases N/A , N/A
Intro APR Balance Transfers N/A , N/A

Apply Now >>

Welcome offer: Earn $50 when you spend $100 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual fee: $0

Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

Other benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees. Capital One waives international surcharges (usually 3% of every purchase) when paying in a foreign currency
  • Complimentary Concierge Service. Enjoy assistance 24 hours a day from home and when you travel
  • MasterRental® Coverage*. Use your card to rent an eligible vehicle and you may be covered for physical damage and theft, ensuring peace of mind for you and your parents when traveling

Who is this card for?

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards is the ideal card for students with a hectic schedule. Applying for a credit card is a big step into adulthood, and you don’t want to overcomplicate your personal finances by having to track various rewards categories — so the unlimited 1.5% earning rate may be favorable for you.

Essentially, you know you’ll be earning bonus rewards whether you’re picking up an iced latte or purchasing dorm room essentials. No matter where you shop, you’ll always earn 1.5% back.

Apply/learn more or read our full review.

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

Students will love earning an unlimited 3% cash back on popular everyday purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases, all with no annual fee. Plus, student cardholders will also earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when booked through the Capital One Entertainment Portal.

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months

  • 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®)

  • 8% cash back on entertainment when booked through the Capital One Entertainment Portal

  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases
  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it's misplaced, lost or stolen
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases N/A , N/A
Intro APR Balance Transfers N/A , N/A

Apply Now >>

Welcome offer: Earn $50 cash rewards after you spend $100 in the first three months of account opening

Annual fee: $0

Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores, plus 1% on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on entertainment when booked through the Capital One Entertainment Portal

Other benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees. Capital One waives international surcharges (usually 3% of every purchase) when paying in a foreign currency
  • Complimentary concierge services. Enjoy assistance 24 hours a day from home and when you travel
  • MasterRental Coverage*. Use your card to rent an eligible vehicle and you may be covered for physical damage and theft, ensuring peace of mind for you and your parents when traveling

Who is this card for?

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards is best for the active student who spends more time out of their room than in.

There’s a strong 3% earning rate on four useful categories. If you spend most of your budget dining out with your friends (or ordering delivery) and stocking up on essentials at the grocery store, the SavorOne is best for maximizing these purchases.

A unique benefit of this card is that you’ll earn 8% back on entertainment when booked through the Capital One Entertainment portal. Both platforms offer tickets to sporting events, concerts, and more. This 8% rewards rate is unbeatable, even when it comes to non-student credit cards.

Apply/learn more.

Which Capital One student credit card is best for you?

Both cards carry many similarities, from the welcome offer to the annual fee and ongoing benefits. The core difference is how you’ll earn rewards.

To illustrate the differences, let’s say that two college students spent $8,000 in a year (or roughly $667 per month). With the QuicksilverOne Student, both would earn 1.5% cash back, or $120 in cash-back rewards at the end of the year — no matter how you slice and dice it.

However, the earning potential of the SavorOne Student is different, since the amount of cash back varies between spending categories. Here’s a breakdown of spending habits for our two sample students, James and Claire, and how much cash back they would each earn with the SavorOne Student:

JamesRewardsClaireRewards
Laptop: $2,200$22 (1% back)Laptop: $1,000$10 (1% back)
Dorm decorations: $1,000$10 (1% back)Dorm decorations: $250$2.50 (1% back)
Restaurants: $500$15 (3% back)Restaurants: $3,000$90 (3% back)
Concert tickets: $0$0Concert tickets: $1,100$88 (8% back)
Textbooks: $800$8 (1% back)Textbooks: $500$5 (1% back)
Groceries: $1,000$30 (3% back)Groceries: $1,200$36 (3% back)
Air travel: $2,500$25 (1% back)Air travel: $850$8.50 (1% back)
Hulu: $0$0Hulu: $100$3 (3% back)
Total spend: $8,000 with $110 cash backTotal spend: $8,000 with $243 cash back

For James, the QuicksilverOne is the better choice, as his budget falls outside of the SavorOne’s bonus categories. If you’re looking to earn rewards without the fuss of remembering where you’ll earn the most, the QuicksilverOne for Students takes the guesswork out for you.

Meanwhile, for Claire, she can earn more than double the rewards with the SavorOne, so the choice for her is clear as well. If you’re the savvy type, the SavorOne for Students may be a much more rewarding option for you. While it takes a bit more legwork, the SavorOne offers tremendous cash back potential.

With both Capital One student cards, you’re able to redeem your rewards at any time, no matter if you’ve accrued $10 or $100. You can choose from many options, including a statement credit or a direct deposit and even Amazon or PayPal.

Summary

Both Capital One student credit cards are excellent choices for earning and redeeming rewards, all while building your credit. Coupled with the easy-to-earn welcome offer, these student cards are more compelling than ever.

As always, be sure to understand the fundamentals of credit (i.e., pay your bill on time and in full, and don’t treat your credit card as unlimited money), so that you can build a great credit score without incurring debt.

Featured image: ViDI Studio/Shutterstock.com

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About the author

Total Articles: 4
Stella Shon is a travel and credit cards expert, but her speciality lies in breaking down complicated personal finance matters into simple, relatable content. Her credit card rewards have enabled her to travel to more than 20 countries across six continents. She recently graduated with a journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her work has appeared on The Points Guy and ValuePenguin.