August 25th, 2009

Chase +1 Student Card – Earn Rewards Today To Build Credit For Tomorrow

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chase +1

Designed with college students in mind, the Chase +1 Student MasterCard rewards young people for doing what it takes to build a good credit history and healthy credit habits. (Chase is a Credit Karma partner.) Chase +1’s “Karma” points system does not revolve around the classic student credit card mantra of “Spend, Spend, Spend,” but instead gives Karma points to consumers for maintaining on-time monthly payments, using credit well, and learning more about how to handle credit and general finances.

In the karmic world of giving to get something in return, Chase +1 shows young card members that good credit behavior can get you Karma points. Chase+1 shares a good lesson in teaching the right credit habits by rewarding card members +2 Karma points for each bill they pay on time and an additional +8 Karma points for six months of consecutive on-time bill payments. This especially caters to young people learning to handle paying their credit card bills for the first time. Promoting on-time payments sets them on their way to building a strong on-time payment history which is the foundation of a healthy credit report and, generally speaking, can comprise nearly 35% of a consumer’s credit score. In addition, providing credit to a younger card member helps set the clock ticking on another important credit score component—the length of credit history—which generally accounts for 15% of a consumer’s credit score.

The Chase+1 card also gives consumers +20 Karma points for their first purchase. We have seen it is not enough just to have credit, but consumers also need to demonstrate regular and responsible credit utilization to have a healthy credit score. Lastly, Chase +1 card rewards +5 Karma points for learning how to use credit wisely by participating in a short quiz at

Once you have become an on-time payment pro and an overall credit guru, what to do with all the Karma points you’ve earned? Chase+1 passes on the goodwill by allowing card members to share their Karma points with their Facebook friends or donate to a good cause like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the World Wildlife Federation (WWF).

If you would rather keep your hard-earned Karma points to yourself, Chase+1’s online store has a huge selection of gifts from small purchases to luxury items that you can redeem with your Karma points. The top products on my Karma points wish list are the Time Traveler’s Wife book for only 9 Karma points, 30 Rock Season Two for 24 Karma points, an Apple iPod Shuffle for 45 Karma points, and my big splurge of a Sony Cybershot Digital Camera for a whopping 230 Karma points. My credit score is going to skyrocket with all the on-time payments I’ll be making to get my Karma goodies.

As you can imagine, this does not all come for free but Chase+1 tries to keep rates low and fees reasonable. The Chase+1 card comes with no annual fee, no penalty for going over the credit limit, and 0% APR for 3 months. After the 3 month introductory period, the Chase+1 APR bounces to up 14.99%, so think twice about placing large purchases on the card. Small, regular purchases you can pay off monthly will be rewarded with Karma points and good Credit Karma in your credit score.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this site is not provided by the bank or issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank or issuer. Credit Karma may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. It is this compensation that enables Credit Karma to provide its members with services like free access to your credit scores and free monitoring of credit and financial accounts at no charge.


Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. Interesting. It’s refreshing to see a credit card for those with little or poor credit history that isn’t completely punitive. I’ve seen a lot of credit cards that just use a poor credit history as an excuse to levy huge fees and give zero leeway when it comes to late payments. This Karma system seems to give positive incentives for practicing healthy spending habits. If everything is as it seems, this looks like a step in the right direction.

    The CardMaster at 6:10 pm on August 25, 2009
  2. I got this card for my youngest daughter before she went off to school. We sat her down and explained the importance of understanding how student credit cards work. I especially like the “+8 Karma points for six months of consecutive on-time bill payments.” She can get a lot with this.

    My oldest daughter applied for almost every credit card she could and then some. She essentially ruined her credit when she was in college and she’s paying the price now while she tries to buy a new car. My wife and I feel confident that our youngest knows how to use this student credit card from Chase, and we made sure to use her older sister as an example.

    Monty Thompson at 11:35 am on December 23, 2009
  3. 5BCDEJ I am always excited to visit this blog in the evenings.Please churning hold the contents. It is very entertaining.

    Silvia at 9:57 am on February 17, 2010
  4. One would think the point of this card is for college students who have none to little credit who want to start building it. Right? WRONG. I recently applied for one of these “student” cards and was turned down for little credit, even though i’ve had an account with chase for 17 years, and have opened numerous department store cards to build credit. I also am a full time college student with a great part time job making over 15k year plus benefits. Not bad for a college student, right? My banker was even a little thrown off and didn’t know what to say. Anyways, a loss for Chase, as I recently was approved for a Charles Schwabb Invest First visa that gives 2% CASH BACK on ALL purchases and way lower apr than this sad excuse for a student card. No annual fees, AND no international fees for currency conversions, big perk for people who like to travel abroad! All cash back is deposited into a free Charles Scwabb account.

    Peter at 1:42 am on February 18, 2010

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