Chase’s Freedom Student Card: A Good Start On The Rewards Journey

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Student credit card rewards usually aren’t very rich, but they can be helpful in building credit to eventually qualify for a rewards card. Many students do already qualify for premium cards. There are students being approved for those all the time. But many aren’t.

The Chase Freedom® Student credit card is a nice way to get started. It’s a no annual fee card which earns a $50 Bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening and earns 1% cash back on all purchases.

There’s a kicker, because each account anniversary for up to 5 years it offers a $20 Good Standing Reward.

What I like about earning ‘cash back’ with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card is that Ultimate Rewards points are combinable across accounts. So I’d save up the points rather than spending them, and combine into a premium card later where the points being earned on this card become even more valuable (think using points at 1.5 cents apiece through ‘Pay Yourself Back’ with a Sapphire Reserve card, or transferring to airline miles).

There are even additional premium features to Chase Freedom® Student credit card like,

  • DoorDash: complimentary 3 months of DoorDash DashPassoffering unlimited deliveries for a $0 delivery fee on eligible orders over $12 from DoorDash and Caviar (other fees apply). Then you get 50% off DashPass for the next 9 months (auto enrollment). Requires activation by December 31, 2021.

  • Lyft: 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022

  • Coverages: purchase protection; extended warranty protection; trip cancellation/interruption coverage

A student card can be designed to facilitate approvals for a demographic without a significant credit history, but potentially higher income than one has today. It’s a niche product I wish we’d see more of that also offers rich rewards. I wish we’d see this too in ex-pat cards.

If Chase can get students into their ecosystem that may be even better than a late career-stage professional. They have less money today, but more years ahead of them as potential customers.

In fact, I’ve even been seeing ads for Chase accounts for 6 year olds when I log in at lately. It’s smart to extend the reach of family accounts (increases switching costs) and reach customers when they’re young (and beginning to form financial habits).

I’d use the Chase Freedom® Student credit card as a springboard to more. More rewards cards will let you do better, but they’re designed in many cases for those with more robust credit history. It’s good to see products that start the credit journey without making customers give up rewards entirely to do it.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Hope this saves others some time, I just tried it for my 17 year old and unfortunately ya gotta be 18 to apply.

  2. “…seeing ads for Chase accounts for 6 year olds…. It’s smart to extend the reach of family accounts
    […] and reach customers when they’re young (and beginning to form financial habits).”

    Gary you have a young child at home. Curious to see if these affiliate link driven opinions remain true when your child is 10 or 12 or 14.

    I get that VFTW makes money on affiliate links and commissions. Fine.

    But leave kids alone. They’re kids once. Feeding them to Chase (et al) is reprehensible.

  3. Nice article, and a great idea for most students. Just clicked though and it has a 3% foreign transaction fee. My son will be a freshman this fall in Toronto, so unfortunately it won’t work for us. Thanks though.

  4. @david, most students don’t have a clue about personal finance. Credit cards of any type will send them into serious debt. Your son might be different but that is the exception and not the norm.

    @Ex Ua Plat is spot on with his criticism here. Feeding kids to Chase is irresponsible behavior. On the topic of feeding, one should also learn healthy eating and exercise habits to avoid obesity, but that is neither here nor there, eh?

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