Chase Freedom Student card review: Earn a $50 bonus after your first purchase and a $20 Good Standing Reward every year

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Bottom line: The Chase Freedom® Student credit card doesn’t offer the highest bonus or rate of cash back on purchases, but it comes with solid benefits (including a $20 annual Good Standing Reward) and the opportunity to earn a credit line increase after making on-time payments.

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Review: Is the Chase Freedom Student card the best credit card for you?

There are plenty of parts of college that may feel hard: studying for exams, dealing with the odd hours of your new roommate, and feeling overwhelmed while trying to plan ahead for the rest of your life, to name a few. However, one piece of the puzzle can feel easy with the Chase Freedom® Student credit card.

The card’s sign-up bonus is the most simple and achievable offer on the planet: Chase Freedom® Student credit card. The card also comes with an annual $20 Good Standing reward payout. Each year, you’ll earn an extra $20 as long as you are paying your bill on time.

Finding the right credit card, however, is about more than one-time and once-a-year perks, and this card doesn’t pack a big punch for your everyday spending. The Chase Freedom® Student credit card earns 1% cash back on all your purchases. That rewards rate isn’t much to celebrate compared with other student credit cards that have recently hit the market.

Read more: The best student credit cards

For example, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students earns 1.5% cash back on all your spending, and the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores.

One other downside to the Chase Freedom® Student credit card is the 3% foreign transaction fee. If you’re planning to travel outside the US for a vacation or thinking about spending a semester abroad, you’re better off with any of Capital One’s student credit cards or the Discover it® Student Cash Back. None of those charge additional fees for transactions outside the country.

While other card offerings can make your spending during college more rewarding, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card is worth your consideration if you have no credit history. You can use Chase’s Credit Journey tool to monitor your FICO score. Plus, you’ll score a credit limit increase – a key piece of boosting that score – by making five monthly payments on time.

The card also comes with a surprisingly good range of benefits for a student credit card, including purchase protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and extended warranty.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Comparison: Chase Freedom Student card vs other Chase Freedom cards

The Chase Freedom® Student credit card is the only student credit card available from Chase. However, the bank does have a wider line of Freedom-branded cards that are designed for customers with more established credit. While Chase doesn’t publish specific credit score requirements, the other Freedom cards are much more rewarding if you can qualify for one of them.

And if you can’t meet the requirements for one of these (which is highly likely if this is your first card), consider these more lucrative benefits a source of inspiration to build your credit and take advantage of one of them down the road.

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Annual fee

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

$0

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Rewards rate

1% cash back (1x points) on all purchases

5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards

3% cash back (3x points) on dining and drugstore purchases

1.5% cash back (1.5x points) on everything else

5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards

5% cash back (5x points) on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter in rotating bonus categories when you activate, then 1%

3% cash back (3x points) on dining and drugstore purchases

1% cash back (1x points) on everything else

Welcome bonus

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

$200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening

5% cash back (5x points) at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending during the first year of account opening (then 1x).

$200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

5% cash back (5x points) at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending during the first year of account opening (then 1x).

Card benefits

$20 annual Good Standing Reward

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Three-month complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership (activate by December 31, 2021)

5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Car rental insurance (secondary in the US, primary otherwise)

Trip interruption/cancellation insurance

Travel and emergency assistance services

Cell phone protection

Car rental insurance (secondary in the US, primary otherwise)

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Travel and emergency assistance services

Introductory 0% APR offer

N/A

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then a 14.99%-23.74% variable APR

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then a Chase Freedom Flex℠ variable APR

Foreign transaction fee

Yes

Yes

Yes

Review

Chase Freedom Unlimited card review

Chase Freedom Flex card review

Chase Freedom Student card vs other student credit cards

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Annual fee

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Rewards rate

1% cash back (1x points) on all purchases

5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined spending when you activate (then 1%) Discover It Cashback rotation

1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

1% cash back on all purchases (1.25% cash back if you pay on time that month)

Welcome bonus

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

None, but Discover will match all the cash back you earned after the first 12 months

N/A

Card benefits

$20 annual Good Standing Reward

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Three-month complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership (activate by December 31, 2021)

5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

$20 Good Grade Reward as a statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to 5 years

Free FICO score

No late payment fee on your first late payment (then up to $40)

$5 per month credit toward select streaming subscriptions for 12 months (when you pay on time)***

Free credit monitoring with CreditWise from Capital One

Introductory 0% APR offer

N/A

0% APR on purchases for the first six months (then Discover it® Student Cash Back)

N/A

Foreign transaction fee

Yes

No

No

Review

Discover It Student Cash Back card review

Capital One Journey Student Rewards card review

How to earn rewards with the Chase Freedom Student card

Earning rewards is straightforward with the Chase Freedom® Student credit card. You’ll earn 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point for each dollar you spend, with no bonus categories to worry about.

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You can also earn bonus points by shopping through the Chase portal.

How to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You don’t have to redeem the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn from the Chase Freedom® Student credit card for cash back (although that’s the simplest method). Here are your redemption options:

Cash back (1 cent per point)Gift cards (1 cent per point)Airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (1 cent per point)Apple purchases (1 cent per point)Pay Yourself Back (1.25 cents per point toward eligible charities through December 31, 2022) Amazon purchases (0.8 cents per point)

Paying with points at Amazon checkout should be avoided – you’re better off paying for an Amazon purchase with your card, then after the charge posts to your account, using points at 1 cent apiece for a statement credit.

There are no minimum requirements for redemption.

Benefits and features

Student credit cards don’t typically have an expanded set of perks, but there are a few notable add-ons for having the Chase Freedom® Student credit card in your wallet.

$20 annual Good Standing Reward

Each year on your Chase Freedom® Student credit card account anniverary, you’ll receive a $20 Good Standing Reward (2,000 Ultimate Rewards points). In order to qualify, your account must be open and not in default, and you can receive the reward for the first five years of account opening.

5% back on Lyft rides

Through March 2022, you’ll earn 5% back (5x points) on all your Lyft rides. So, if you’re constantly shifting loyalty between Lyft and Uber, you’re better off sticking with Lyft through the beginning of the spring with this card.

3-month DashPass subscription

DoorDash’s DashPass waives delivery fees on orders more than $12. You’ll be able to enjoy this service for free for three months. If you like it, you can get 50% off a subscription for nine months (activation is required by December 31, 2021).

Read more: The best credit cards for food delivery

Automatic credit limit increase

As long as you make five monthly payments on time within the first 10 months of opening your account, you’ll be eligible for a credit limit increase.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

The Chase Freedom® Student credit card offers some peace of mind when you’re traveling: You can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable fares if your trip is cut short by sickness, bad weather, or other qualifying situations.

Read more: The best credit cards with travel insurance

Purchase protection

There is some additional peace of mind when you’re at home, too. When you pay for a new, eligible item with the Chase Freedom® Student credit card, you can be covered against damage or theft for 120 days (up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account).

Read more: Chase credit cards offer purchase protection if a new item is damaged or stolen – here’s how to file a claim

Extended warranty

Eligible items you purchase with the Chase Freedom® Student credit card with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less can qualify for an additional year of extended warranty coverage.

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Fees and costs

There is no annual fee for the Chase Freedom® Student credit card, which is the norm for most student credit cards. If you wind up carrying a balance (which you should avoid at all costs), the card charges a Chase Freedom® Student credit card APR.

Read more: The best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

The major downside with the card is a 3% fee on all foreign transactions. If you’re planning on traveling outside the US at all during your college term, this isn’t the card to use on those adventures. If you’re staying stateside, though, it’s worth considering.

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