This Student Credit Card Offers the Best Cash Back Rate We Can Find

If you are looking for a simple student credit card, with a great cash back rewards rate, it’s hard to go wrong with Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students. With 1.5% cash back across your spending—it’s the best overall rewards rate we found in the student card category.

Quicksilver Rewards for students has some other perks too. If you book hotels or rental cards through Capital One Travel, you will receive 5% cash back. And there is a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $100 in the first three months. All this is why Buy Side from WSJ named it Best Student Credit Card for Rewards Rate.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Base rewards rate: 1.5%
  • Sign-up bonus: $100 if you spend $100 in first three months
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • APR: 17.99% – 27.99, variable

Are the rewards worth the fees?

As is the case with all student credit cards, there is no annual fee for this card, making it an easy call to say that the rewards are worth the fees.

Moreover, these are lucrative rewards for a student credit card. If you were to spend $1,000 a month with this card, you would earn $280 in the first year, thanks to the card’s $100 sign-up bonus after spending $100 in three months. In subsequent years, you would net $180 in cash back rewards.

You can find student credit cards with higher rates in certain bonus categories, but if you want a student credit card with the highest base rewards, the Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card is it.

Card details you might miss

While Buy Side from WSJ analyzes student credit cards primarily by its cash back offers, many cards come with additional terms and features you should know about:

  • Additional warranty protection at no charge on eligible items that are purchased with your credit card.
  • Automatic travel accident insurance for a covered loss at no extra charge when you use your credit card to purchase your fare.

Who benefits most from Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students?

With 1.5% cash back rewards across your spending, Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students is a great all-purpose credit card, useful for any type of student. 

Still, some student credit cards offer more lucrative rewards in certain bonus categories. If you spend heavily in one of these, you may do better with a different card. 

The Capital One SavorOne for Students, our pick for Best Overall Student Card, offers 3% cash back on groceries, as well as dining, entertainment and streaming. On everything else, SavorOne for Students offers 1% cash back.

If you are looking for flexibility, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students offers 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement-furnishings. You’ll also get 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. There is, however, a spending cap: You will earn the 3% and 2% bonus rewards rates on your first $2,500 in combined spending between your chosen category and the grocery category per quarter. But afterwards you will earn only 1% cash back. 


To pick Buy Side from WSJ’s Best Student Credit Card, we looked for cards with the best rewards rate, both overall and in popular spending categories we thought would be useful to students such as groceries, dining, entertainment and travel. We also looked for cards that were easy to use.

To find out more about how we choose credit cards—and to meet our panel of experts—you can also check out Buy Side from WSJ’s full best credit cards methodology.

The advice, recommendations or rankings expressed in this article are those of the Buy Side from WSJ editorial team, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by our commercial partners.

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