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Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card review: is this the right student card for you?

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If Thanos gave Gomora a credit card to use in college, it would probably be the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. The card offers incredibly generous cash back rewards, but like her father, it also doesn’t forgive, charging potentially scary-high interest rates and no late payment forgiveness.

In that way, one might say it’s “perfectly balanced.” 

So what are the pros and cons of using the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card? How much cash back can you earn on a student budget? Are the risks worth the rewards?

Let’s investigate.

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

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See Rates & Fees.

  • 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
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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 Intro APR, Purchases Intro APR, Balance Transfers Regular APR Credit Needed
$0 N/A N/A 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Average
  • Fair
  • Limited

Key facts

  • Best for – Students with income.
  • Intro offer/sign-up bonus – $50 bonus when you spend $100 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Cash back – 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when booked through the Capital One Entertainment Portal; 3% cash back on dining, at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), popular streaming services, and entertainment; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Intro APR – N/A.
  • Regular APR – 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable).
  • Perks and unique features – Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, 24/7 concierge, and more.

In-depth analysis of the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Let’s take a deep dive into the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. What are the card’s best selling points, and conversely, its most glaring drawbacks?

Rewards

In terms of rewards, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card gives us a lot to talk about. Before going further, let’s recap what you get:

  • 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when booked through the Capital One Entertainment Portal.
  • 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®).
  • 3% cash back on popular music and video streaming services.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

OK, lots to unpack here.

First, let’s talk about that 8% cash back category on Capital One Entertainment purchases. Getting 8% cash back on entertainment events is undeniably a good deal. Available experiences include sporting events and VIP packages,  and exclusive access on music and dining experiences. 

The 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, and at grocery stores is much more straightforward (and valuable). If you’re a student, these are probably categories you’re already spending heavily in, so those cash back rewards can add up quickly.

Qualified “entertainment” purchases include movie tickets, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, bowling, and more. Dining includes qualified purchases at restaurants, fast food joints, and more, so presumably takeout is included. Finally, popular streaming services are included, but exclude Kindle Unlimited and Prime Video.

Finally, the 1% cash back on all other purchases may seem like a footnote, but it’s actually a highlight. As we’ll see below in the “How Much Can You Earn?” section, that 1% will net you ~$50 on a $750 monthly budget.

All in all, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is surprisingly rewarding for a student card — but as we’ll see below, the rewards don’t come without some risks.

Bonuses

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is currently offering a limited-time signup bonus: earn a $50 bonus when you spend $100 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. (No word yet on how long this “limited time” offer will last.)

APR

There’s no way around it, so I’ll just say it: the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s APR is a red flag. If you come in at the high end of its 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR (as determined by your creditworthiness), that’s nearly double the national average of around 16% — and that’s deeply problematic for a student-centric credit card for a few reasons (See Rates & Fees.).

First, a little recap of how APR works. 

Let’s say you place $1,000 worth of charges on your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card and are unable to pay it back at the end of the month. Here’s how how much interest you may owe, using a hypothetical example:

  1. Divide your APR by 365, so 0.2799 / 365 = 0.0767.
  2. Multiply 0.000767 by your balance, so 0.000767 x $1,000 = $0.77.
  3. Multiply by days in your billing cycle, so $0.77 x 30 = $23.10.

$23.10 interest owed on a $1,000 balance doesn’t sound so bad, but high-interest debt quickly snowballs out of control — just ask a percentage of Americans who are unable to pay off their card, in part due to piling interest (CNBC).

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card also doesn’t include any sort of debt protection. Other student credit cards have late payment forgiveness or lower interest rates, but the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card already starts higher than that at its low end, right out of the gate.

Annual fee

In lighter news, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee. That’s pretty standard among credit cards for students, but worth pointing out nonetheless.

Other fees

Aside from the APR, here are some of the other fees associated with the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card (See Rates & Fees.):

  • Balance transfer fee – Balance Transfer Fee applies to balances transferred at a promotional rate.
  • Cash advance fee – 5% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $5.
  • Late payment fee – up to $40.

If you’re unfamiliar with balance transfers, it’s when you move your balance from your old card onto a new card to take advantage of a lower interest rate. Balance transfers can save you hundreds, even thousands on interest, but not with the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. For better options, check out our constantly updated list of the best balance transfer credit cards.

Unique perks and benefits

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card includes some pretty sweet benefits typically reserved for non-student rewards cards. Here are some of the highlights:

  • No foreign transaction fees – The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card may not have travel rewards — but no foreign transaction fees is arguably even better, since you’ll save ~3% per transaction.
  • Extended warranty – This benefit is extended if you buy something with your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card that includes a store or manufacturer warranty. Nice.
  • $0 fraud liability – Get a mystery charge at a gas station three states away? Not to fear — your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with $0 fraud liability. Just be sure to report it, ASAP.
  • Autopay – You can set up autopay from your Capital One dashboard so you never miss a minimum payment on your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. Consider this step a must!
  • Complimentary concierge service – Your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card grants you access to Capital One’s 24/7 concierge, which you can ring up for tips on dining, travel, and entertainment. You’ll probably never use it, but it feels cool to have.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services – Finally, if your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is ever lost or stolen, you’ll get another card expedited to you at no charge (and you’ll be protected from fraudulent purchases while it’s on the way).
    • Note information on perks and unique features was independently gathered and reviewed by MU30’s editorial team.

The most valuable perk/benefit of the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is definitely the Extended Warranty protection. If your new $1,200 tech comes with a 12-month warranty, but starts acting up after 14 months, not to worry — you’re protected. The extended warranty automatically doubles the manufacturers warranty on all eligible purchases for your pricey toys (as long as you put them on your Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card!).

Now that we’ve covered the key details of the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, let’s talk earnings potential. If you spend like a student, how much cash back can you earn with this card?

How much can you earn with the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card?

Even as a student on a budget, you can earn some pretty decent beer money by using the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. Here’s a breakdown based on a budget of $750 per month.

  Spending per month Earnings after one year
Dining $75 $27
Groceries $75 $27
Entertainment $100 $36
Streaming services $50 $18
Event tickets $50 $48
All other purchases $400 $48
Annual fee N/A $0
Signup bonus N/A $0
Total earnings $204

Anything over $200 back per year is impressive for a rewards card, and especially a student-centric one. And remember — this is on a pretty strict $750 monthly budget. If you go to school in an expensive city where drinks and groceries cost more and spend around $1,000 per month, you’ll earn over $270 per year.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Incredibly generous rewards — Offering 3% cash back within student-centric spending categories (groceries, entertainment, streaming) is hard to beat, and will help you generate hundreds per year in cash back even on a modest student budget.
  • Valuable perks — Perks like Travel Assistance services and especially the Extended Warranty are potentially worth $1,000s. The card also comes flush with nice-to-haves like concierge service and autopay.
  • Accepts fair credit — As a student with little credit history, you may only have fair-ish credit (620+). If so, not to worry — the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card accepts fair credit (and paying it off on time can help you improve your score).
  • No annual fee — Many credit cards that are this rewarding try to sneak in an annual fee, but the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t one of them. Interest aside, you’ll never have to pay to use this card (See Rates & Fees.).
  • Credit monitoring tool — Capital One’s free service CreditWise lets you monitor your credit score and get alerts when it changes.

Cons

  • Intimidating APR — The top end of the card’s 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR range is extremely high for a credit card, and can suck you into debt like a riptide. Don’t apply for the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card unless you’re confident you’ll pay it off each month or if you’re certain you can snag the lower APR.
  • No safety nets from spiraling debt — Most student rewards cards offer programs like late payment forgiveness or low APR to protect students from credit card debt; the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t one of them.
  • No intro APR offer — Looking for a card to help you pay off your expensive textbooks? You’ll want to keep looking, since the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers no 0% APR promotional period.

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card compared

How does the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card stack up to the competition — including its own sibling?

  Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

See Rates & Fees.

Capital One QuickSilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

See Rates & Fees.

Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
Credit required Fair (620+) Fair (620+) Good (690+)
Annual fee $0 $0 $0
Intro APR N/A N/A N/A
Regular APR 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) 19.99% Variable
Signup bonus $50 bonus when you spend $100 on purchases within 3 months from account opening $50 when you spend $100 on purchases within 3 months from account opening N/A
Cash back 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming services, grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases, plus 8% on entertainment purchases 1.5% cash back on all purchases 1% cash back on all purchases
Perks and benefits Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, 24/7 Concierge, and more Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, 24-hour Travel Assistance Services, and more $20 Good Standing rewards on each anniversary of account opening for up to 5 years, credit limit increase after making 5 monthly on-time payments within 10 months

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One QuickSilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a virtual clone of its stablemate with one key exception — this card simply offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No 3% categories to track, no rotating 5% categories, nada. Just spend and earn.

If you like the idea of always earning cash back without having to remember which categories are worth what, this card may be a fit.

» MORE: Read our Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card review

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Please note the below offer for the Chase Freedom® Student credit card has expired or is no longer available. 

The Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card eschews high rewards for cash back bonuses.

Benefits include 1% cash back on all purchases, a line of credit increase after five months (for eligible cardholders), and Chase’s legendary customer service. Overall, if you want a guaranteed lower APR over high percentage rewards, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card might be a fit.

Should you get the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card?

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a “risky” credit card that’s right for some and definitely not right for others.

Which category do you fall into?

This card might be a fit if:

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good fit if you tend to spend heavily within those 3% cash back categories. If dining, groceries, and streaming take up a chunk of your monthly budget, you’ll earn more with this card than a competitor.

This card might not be a fit if:

If you think you might miss a payment due to high spending or inconsistent income, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t a fit. The card can be extremely punishing to debtholders, offering no late payment forgiveness or debt protection.

How to apply for the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

As a first step, check out all of Capital One’s student credit cards to ensure the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is still the right fit.

Once you’re sure it’s a fit, head to the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card homepage, where you can scan the card’s highlights again. Don’t skip over the less-fun terms and conditions at the bottom!

Friendly reminder that yes, you need to be a currently enrolled student to apply for this card. As for earned income, even if you aren’t earning much as a student, you can still apply — you may just start out with a lower spending limit.

Once your application is successfully processed you’ll receive your snazzy, bronze Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card in the mail within 7-10 business days.

Summary

With generous rewards balanced by potentially sky-high interest rates, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is best suited for the student who earns big and spends big. If you have consistent income and don’t think you’ll miss a payment, it may be a fit.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

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