Chase Freedom Student Credit Card Review: A Starter Card for Building Credit and Earning Rewards

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Chase Freedom® Student credit card
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Chase Freedom® Student credit card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Freedom® Student credit card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    $50
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 1% cash back on all purchases plus $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • $20 reward each year your account is in good standing (for the first five years)
  • Credit line increase in as little as five months
Cons
  • Lower rewards rate than some other student credit cards
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • High ongoing APR
The Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card provides college students with a valuable introduction to credit-building. Not only can you begin building your credit history and improving your score with on-time payments, but you can earn a welcome bonus, get rewards on every purchase, and pay no annual fee. If you plan to study abroad though, you will pay a fee for using this card internationally.

Additional Card Details

  • Access your credit score for free through Chase Credit Journey
  • Qualify for a credit line increase after five on-time payments within the first 10 months of account opening
  • Purchase protection against damage or theft worth up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty — an additional year of coverage for items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $1,500 per person and up to $6,000 per eligible trip
  • Fraud monitoring
  • Can redeem rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Student Credit Card Full Review

Card Type

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card is a student credit card for college students looking to begin building credit for the future.

Annual Fee

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee. 

Welcome Offer

You can earn a $50 bonus when you make at least one purchase within three months of account opening.

Introductory Offer

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card does not have an intro APR offer for purchases or balance transfers.

Rewards

This card’s rewards are simple: earn a flat 1% cash back for each dollar you spend.

When you’re ready to redeem, you can trade in your rewards for cash back as a statement credit or direct deposit, gift cards, shop with points at select retailers online, or book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Fees

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card has several fees to be aware of, including a 5% (minimum $5) balance transfer fee, a 5% (minimum $10) cash advance fee. There’s also a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad, so it may not be the best card choice for traveling internationally. 

Pro Tip

If you plan to travel abroad during college, consider a student credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

You may be charged a late payment fee or returned payment fee of up to $40. If you pay late or your payment is returned, you can also take on a penalty APR up to 29.99%.

Other Benefits

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card comes with quite a few perks for a student credit card — including a $20 good standing reward each year your account remains in good standing (for the first five years).

As you build credit, you can access your free credit score and monitor credit through Chase Credit Journey, and qualify for a credit line increase after making five on-time payments within the first 10 months of account opening.

Other cardholder benefits include purchase protection against damage or theft, extended warranty protection on eligible purchases and trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Benefits of Chase Freedom Student Credit Card

College students can use the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card to build credit and earn rewards. Plus, the Chase Ultimate rewards you earn with this card are incredibly flexible. 

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, which is another major plus. Most importantly, the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card reports credit balances and payments to the three credit bureaus and offers ongoing incentives — like a credit line increase and annual good standing rewards — for practicing good credit habits.

Drawbacks of Chase Freedom Student Credit Card

The primary downside of the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card is the fact some other student credit cards offer a higher rewards rate.

For example, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students offers 3% back in a category of your choice (among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement/furnishings) and 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined 3% and 2% category spending), and 1% back on other purchases.

Meanwhile, the Discover it® Student Cash Back offers 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in rotating bonus categories each quarter (then 1% back) and 1% back on other purchases. While this card doesn’t offer a traditional welcome bonus, Discover will double all the rewards you’ve earned after the first year.

How to Use Chase Freedom Student Credit Card

Maximize your Chase Freedom Student Credit Card by prioritizing good credit habits to build your score. Charge only purchases you can afford to pay off when your statement is due, then pay your credit card bill early or on time each month. 

You can also improve your credit by keeping your balance low, and improving your credit utilization ratio. Once you’ve made five on-time payments, you can earn a higher credit limit, which can go a long way in lowering your overall credit utilization, too. 

In the meantime, sign up for Chase Credit Journey so you can keep tabs on your credit score and progress. Once you’ve built a solid payment history and your score improves, you can move from a student credit card to a cash back credit card with better perks.

Chase Freedom Student Credit Card Compared to Other Cards

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Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    $50
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
Learn More externa link icon
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.24% – 24.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
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Petal® 2

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.24%-27.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Petal’s secure site

Is the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card Right for You?

If you want to build credit while you’re in college, the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card can help. You won’t pay an annual fee to use this card, and you’ll even earn rewards on your purchases. Not only can you use this card to build your credit score, but you can start practicing positive credit habits to last a lifetime.

Even so, compare other student credit cards to make sure the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card is best for your needs. You may also want to consider non-student credit cards for people with no credit history. These cards don’t have specific perks for students, but may offer different rewards, fee structures, and benefits that better suit your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card charge foreign transaction fees?

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card charges 3% in foreign transaction fees if you use it for purchases outside the United States.

Does the Chase Freedom Student have an annual fee?

The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card does not charge an annual fee.

What is the credit limit on the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card?

Your exact limit will vary based on your approval; depending on Chase’s review of your application, you may receive a credit limit of at least $500 to $5,000.

How can you redeem Chase Freedom Student Credit Card rewards?

You can redeem rewards earned with this card for cash (statement credits or direct deposit), gift cards, travel, and more.