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New customers can earn a $50 bonus earned after making their first purchase within the first 3 months from account opening. The APR offered on this card is also very competitive for a student card.
If you're considering a student card and wondering if Chase is the right bank for you, here are some things you should consider.
Chase has been operating as one organization or another for over 200 years. During that time, it has established a branch network consisting of over 5,000 branches and an ATM network with access to over 15,000 ATMs. If physical access is a concern for you, Chase has you covered.
Chase is a powerhouse when it comes to credit cards, and they know how to deliver what customers are looking for. The Chase Sapphire Reserve was so popular when it was launched that Chase ran out of metal to print the cards. If you're looking for a best in class bank when it comes to rewards, Chase is a good option.
As a student, you may be thinking about your long term goals with a banking partner. Chase offers all the banking products you'd expect. It' can be a one-stop shop for your checking and savings needs, auto loans, and even your mortgage when that day comes. If convenience is what you're after, Chase can be a safe bet.
Chase Freedom for Students makes our Best Credit Cards for Students list because it is a generally good, well-rounded card. It doesn't do any one thing extraordinarily well, but we think it'll serve students well as a first card.
The Freedom for Students offers a flat 1% cash back on all purchases. The standard Freedom cards in Chase's lineup offer increased earning opportunities in additional categories, and it is disappointing to see those missing from the student version, however, as a student you're unlikely to have the income needed to really juice rewards on a card. We consider rewards a nice to have while you build credit.
The Chase Freedom charges reasonable fees in most categories. Late payment, return payment and penalty APRs are all inline with competitors. The card also charges no annual fee, which is an important feature on a first credit card. Where the card stands out from its competitors is the reasonable APR. Some student cards have APRs over 25%. If you plan to carry a balance while you are a card member, the Chase Freedom Student is one of the best (of the worst) to do it with.
On the high end of fees, the card does charge a standard foreign transaction fee, which is a bit disheartening to see, especially if you plan to take any big trips or study abroad. Foreign transaction fees can quickly add up as you travel, if you aren't careful. The balance transfer fee is also above the industry average, but as a student, we don't anticipate you'll be transferring a balance from another card.
The Freedom Student offers two bonuses of note. First, new cardholders are eligible to earn a $50 bonus after making a first purchase within the first 3 months from account opening. Second, students are eligible for a $20 good standing reward each account anniversary year for up to 5 years. It takes $2,000 in spending to earn $20 in rewards, so this bonus is worth noting as it could easily double the rewards you earn in a given year while a student.
The Chase Freedom Student card also offers extended warranty protection for eligible purchases, trip cancellation insurance and fraud alerts. It's interesting to see trip cancellation insurance on a card that charges a foreign transaction fee, but the perk is still nice for domestic travel.
Chase doesn't offer a specific credit score required for approval, but they do market the card as needing good to excellent credit. This would generally include students with a limited credit profile as well. If you've already established some credit history and have made some late payments in the past, this might not be the right product for you. If you already have negative marks on your credit, a secured credit card might be worth considering.
This is an area where Chase lags the competition. Chase does not currently offer a prequalification tool. If you're concerned about being approved, we'd recommend going through a prequalification process with a card like the Quicksilver for Students.
The Chase Freedom for Students is a relatively new offering, and reviews are mixed. Some students report not being able to be approved for the card with a limited credit history. Others have reported success by going into a branch to apply. Other reports suggest you may have better luck with approval if you already have a checking account open with the Bank.
We also took a look at reviews for the non-student version of the card. Many users appear to be happy with the Chase Freedom, with the most common complaint we saw being that the card has limited use as a started card. In order to unlock the most value of Freedom points, it is useful to have a premium Chase card. This unlocks the ability to transfer your points to travel partners, like Hyatt. This maneuver can be beneficial if you have a stash of points, but is less important for a student starting their credit journey.
In short, we like the Chase Freedom Student card. Chase is an overall good bank for credit cards. If you hope to have a long-term relationship with Chase, getting a foot in the door as a student and building history with them is a good thing. On the other hand, this card doesn't excel at any one thing. If you're looking to earn strong rewards or limit your exposure to fees, there are better cards on the market.
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