Chase Freedom Student credit card now available

Chase has stayed away from student credit cards.

Until now.

Doctor of Credit reported that Chase would roll out a Chase Freedom Student credit card exclusively for students looking to build up their credit.

The card is not available for online applications. It currently appears to only be available by going to a Chase branch.

The Important Stuff

  • Earn $50 sign-up bonus (5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards) after making a single purchase in the first three months.
  • No annual fee
  • 1% back on all purchases
  • Cash back can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards
  • Cardholders will receive $20 every year on account anniversary for five years
  • In-branch applications only

The Details: Chase Freedom Student Credit Card

Analysis

Doctor of Credit posted the following photo earlier this week detailing the new Chase Freedom Student credit card.
Doctor of Credit posted this photo earlier this week detailing the new Chase Freedom Student credit card.

We’ve written about how the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great starter card, but it was hard for those without much credit history to get.

For the first time, those without a credit history – students – have the ability to start earning Chase Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Freedom Student credit card.

The sign-up bonus isn’t great, but for someone who can’t earn Ultimate Rewards otherwise, at least it doesn’t require doing a number things to reach minimum spend requirements. The card earns 1% on everything making it a straight forward card for starters, as well.

It’s unclear how the cash back that the Chase Freedom Student credit card earns will transfer into Chase Ultimate Rewards. It seems likely that it’ll transfer the same way the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited do now.

Each year, the cardholder will get a $20 bonus each year (equivalent to 2,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points). The cardholder gets an automatic credit line increase if five payments are made on time within the first ten months. With that said, as we cover in our Beginner’s Guide, if you don’t plan on paying off your credit card in full each month, travel credit cards aren’t right for you.

Finally, after graduation, the cardholder can automatically upgrade the card to a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. This is great for students who don’t want to waste a 5/24 slot on a non-travel credit card.

Overall, it’s a win for Chase to get students into the Chase brand of credit cards. I imagine it will lead to more conversions to travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Chase Trifecta

We have an entire article on the Chase Trifecta. Pairing the Freedom Unlimited with the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve. one of or both of the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited Card is even more powerful.

Because cardholders of the student card can automatically upgrade to the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, this card is perfect in order to get started on holding the Chase Trifecta.

The Freedom (5x on quarterly rotating categories) and Freedom Unlimited (1.5x on every purchase) are both cash-back cards earning cash back instead of points. However, when a cardholder has the Sapphire Preferred card, the cash back credits can be transferred to become Ultimate Rewards.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been thinking a lot about the addition of this card to the market. I think it’s actually some of the more significant news so far in 2019.

Chase Ultimate Rewards are some of the most valuable currencies out there. You can do things like fly to Thailand using Chase points or use them for many nights in hotels.

Chase allowing for students – those with unestablished credit histories – to join their family of credit cards isn’t only smart by Chase, but also incredibly valuable to young people who want to earn points and miles towards free travel.


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