Chase rolls out its first credit card for students

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Chase is now offering its first-ever credit card for students, the Chase Freedom® Student card.

Here are some of the key features.

  • No annual fee
  • Automatic 1% cash back on all purchases
  • $50 bonus after you make your first purchase on the card within three months of opening your account
  • $20 annual reward for keeping your account in good standing for your first five years with the card
  • Flat 17.24% APR
  • Credit limit increase after five on-time payments within first 10 months of account opening

While you could get more lucrative rewards from other student cards, the Chase Freedom® Student card is still a good option for students, given it has no annual fee and a flat APR that’s on the lower side compared to some other student cards.

But there’s a catch. For now, you can only apply for this card in a Chase bank branch. 

Want to know more?

Is the Chase Freedom® Student card worth it?

The Chase Freedom® Student card is a solid option for students looking to build credit before graduating and entering the real world. And the requirement to apply in person could encourage parents and their students to have a conversation around credit use.

Of course, if you can’t get to a Chase branch, you won’t be able to apply for the card unless and until Chase allows applications some other way (online, by phone or by mail, for example).

If you’re not able to make it into a Chase bank branch, there are other student-focused cash back credit cards to consider. Some even have better rewards, like the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, which offers 1% cash back plus an extra 0.25% each month you pay on time, and the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, which offers 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories.

What should you keep in mind?

Chase has built some features into this student-focused card that are designed to reward cardholders for forming healthy credit habits — things like a credit limit increase with timely payments and an annual cash back reward for making on-time payments consistently.

But as with any credit card, you’ll get charged interest if you carry a balance from month to month.

If you’re thinking about Chase Freedom® Student as a way to build your credit, you’ll want to pay any balance on time and in full each month to avoid interest charges. Another key rule to set for yourself: Don’t make any purchases that aren’t in your budget just for the cash back rewards.

Finally, if you do apply for this card, make sure you read all the terms carefully and know your rights as a cardholder, such as the right to opt out of Chase’s new binding arbitration rule.