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Comparing Capital One Credit Cards
Updated: December 28, 2020
Imagine credit cards that are easy to use, miles that are easy to redeem and rewards that are easy to love. Capital One has all this and more. You will find travel cards, cash back cards and products for the consumer just starting out, all backed by one of the nation’s largest banks.
The best Capital One credit card is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This card offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. The bonus is worth $600 when redeemed for travel. You’ll also earn 2X miles on all qualifying purchases. Capital One offers flexible redemption options as you can redeem your miles with any airline or hotel.
We look here at what Capital One offers and how the cards work:
Best Capital One Credit Cards
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for building credit
Need a leg up on your credit? Look no further. The Platinum is a great first card or a product for the consumer trying to build his or her credit with responsible card use.
This card accepts consumers with average, fair or limited credit. There is no annual fee, unlike the QuicksilverOne, and like the QuicksilverOne, you may be able to up your credit limit after the first 6 months of on-time payments.
There are no ongoing rewards with this card, unlike the QuicksilverOne.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for cash back
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is great for consumers who want the freedom of cash back without having to worry about rotating categories.
Unlike the QuicksilverOne, which accepts consumers with lower credit, the Quicksilver has no annual fee. This card can’t be beat when you are looking for a no-annual-fee card that has across-the-board boosted ongoing rewards.
If you are willing to pay an annual fee, you can get a better welcome bonus and better tiered ongoing rewards, as with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
Why this is the best Capital One secured credit card
Some of us are struggling to get ahead financially – especially students – and this card can get you on your way, with no annual fee and the opportunity to build credit with responsible use.
The Secured Mastercard from Capital One accepts consumers with bad or limited credit and is ideal for someone looking to repair credit. That’s because the easiest and fastest way to build credit is with a credit card. Why? Because the dominant scoring models favor responsible credit card use.
With a secured card like this one, you will be required to put down a refundable deposit that you will be borrowing off of for your credit limit. There are no ongoing rewards or sign-up bonus.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for travel rewards
If you are looking for tight rewards and don’t want to be tied down by a specific travel brand, the Venture Rewards is perfect. As one of the best credit cards for travel rewards, it’s worth your while if you do a fair amount of traveling, even with a $95 annual fee.
The Venture Rewards’ 2X miles on all purchases are solid, as is the sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles after only a $3,000 spend within the first 3 months.
While the Venture Rewards card now have airline partners, the 2:1.5 transfer ratio is less than that of some other competitor travel cards.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for no annual fee
The VentureOne is a great first travel card, with no annual fee as well as no foreign transaction fee.
The VentureOne’s fun rewards make it worth a look. This is a strong choice for a first travel card with flexibility in redemptions and partnerships with more than ten airlines.
The ongoing rewards of 1.25X miles on all purchases and the signup bonus could be better.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for dining rewards
It’s practically unheard of to find a cash back card that offers 3% back on dining and entertainment with an unlimited spend. If those are the types of purchases you often find yourself making, the SavorOne is a great option.
The SavorOne is an improved product when compared to the old Savor. There’s a great $200 bonus after a $500 spend within the first 3 months and 2% back at grocery stores, in addition to the great dining rewards.
Although there’s no annual fee, this card’s sign-up bonus is in the middle of the pack when compared to other cash back cards.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for limited credit history
QuicksilverOne is a great option for the consumer with fair credit who wants experience with earning rewards. It also may give you access to a higher credit limit after you make your first 6 payments on time.
This card has the same ongoing rewards as the Quicksilver Cash Rewards, making it a compelling choice for your wallet.
The QuicksilverOne doesn’t have the sign-up bonus of the Quicksilver, and it carries an annual fee of $39, which isn’t waived the first year.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for students
The Journey Student Rewards card incentivizes healthy credit habits with built-in features like a 25% boost to your rewards earnings for paying your bill on time each month– instead of 1% cash back on general purchases, you’ll get 1.25%. Also, cardholders are automatically considered for a credit line increase after six months of on-time payments.
For those just dipping their toe into the world of credit, this is a great card for learning healthy financial habits and earning rewards while doing so. Plus, students who study abroad will love the fact that there are no foreign transaction fees.
One possible disadvantage for young consumers is the high APR, at 26.99% variable. If you think you may not be able to pay the balance in full each month, you’ll keep more money in your pocket by pursuing a card with a low interest rate.
Why it’s the best Capital One credit card for sign-up bonus
With superior ongoing rewards and a strong sign-up bonus, the Savor Cash Rewards has a lot to offer. Earn $300 cash back after a $3,000 spend within the first 3 months, making it a top cash back card for sign-up bonuses.
This card’s rewards of 4% on dining and entertainment beat the previous offer of 3% on just dining, as well as the same great 2% back at grocery stores.
There’s now an annual fee of $95 that is not waived in the first year.
Why it’s the best Capital One business credit card for cash back
If you are looking for a cash back business card, the Spark Cash for Business has some great features, such as the sign-up bonus. And if you want the convenience of a card that grants you employee cards at no charge, this card delivers.
The spark that this card’s 2% back offers makes it a challenge to ignore. Also, rewards don’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem for any amount.
Although it’s waived the first year, there’s a $95 annual fee. The sign-up bonus’ required spend is also high, at $4,500 within the first 3 months for a $500 bonus.
Why it’s the best Capital One business credit card for travel
The Spark Miles for Business is similar to the Spark Cash, except you get miles instead of cash back, making it a good choice for travel redemptions.
Like the Spark Cash for Business, the Spark Miles card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year, and the ongoing rewards are the same, making it a good card to have for travel.
The Spark Miles earns you 50,000 miles after a $4,500 spend within the first 3 months of card membership, making the required spend a high barrier.
Compare the best Capital One credit card offers of 2021
Capital One’s exciting lineup of credit cards includes business, cash and travel rewards, as well as vehicles for credit building. Also, you can allow an authorized user to build credit while giving a loved one access to a quality credit card. Here is a comparison of the best Capital One credit cards of 2021:
|Credit Card||Best For…||Annual Fee||Review Score|
|Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Building credit||$0||3.7 / 5|
|Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card||Cash back||$0||3.4 / 5|
|Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||Secured credit card||$0||3.4 / 5|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Travel rewards||$95||4.2 / 5|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||No annual fee||$0||3.0 / 5|
|Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||Dining rewards||$0||3.7 / 5|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||Limited credit history||$39||4.1 / 5|
|Journey Student Rewards from Capital One||Students||$0||2.1 / 5|
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card||Sign-up bonus||$95||4.8 / 5|
|Capital One Spark Cash for Business||Cash back on business purchases||$0 first year, then $95||4.1 / 5|
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business||Business travel||$0 first year, then $95||4.3 / 5|
What is Capital One?
As the 10th largest bank in America, it’s little surprise the breadth of services Capital One offers.
From consumer to commercial, this bank offers a wide range of financial opportunities. Here are some of the services offered.
- Credit cards – from credit building to rewards and cash back
- Banking – from checking and kids savings to CDs and IRAs
- Auto – for new or used car loan, or refinancing
- Invest – through Capital One Investing
- Credit cards – Spark Cash and Spark Miles
- Banking – checking and savings
- Borrow – includes business loans
- Invest – includes creating 401(k) plans
- Manage – merchant services and cash management
- Commercial lending – from term loans to lines of credit
- Depository services – commercial checking, savings or CDs
- Treasury management – digital tools and automated solutions
- Capital markets – from foreign exchange to public finance
- Private banking & wealth management – from asset management to trust services
- Corporate card – The One Card from Capital One simplifies expenses, accounts payable and billing processes
Which Capital One card is best for you?
Yes, other card issuers have higher end cards with lots of fancy features that you may or may not use, but a Capital One card is guaranteed to serve you well, depending on what you seek. Here is who can benefit from Capital One products:
The foodie who loves dining out
There are two cards to choose from for experiences. There’s little question that the Savor Cash Rewards card’s 4% back on dining out and entertainment is unbeatable, but if you want to avoid the annual fee, the SavorOne offers a superior 3% back for the same categories. That’s unlimited, making this a millennial’s dream.
There are two options for the traveler, both great for domestic and international, and they are the Venture Rewards and the VentureOne Rewards. The VentureOne is best for the occasional traveler who just can’t justify an annual fee, and the Venture is great for the traveler who wants to max out spending.
The seeker of convenience
Want a cash back card that you don’t have to think about to get great rewards back? The Quicksilver and QuicksilverOne cards have the same across-the-board cash back offer, although the QuicksilverOne has an annual fee and no sign-up bonus in exchange for only recommending fair credit.
Compare Quicksilver cards…
|Card||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards||Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards|
|Sign-up bonus||$200/$500 spend in 3 mths||N/A|
|Rewards||1.5% cash back||1.5% cash back|
|Spend||$500 a mth/12 mths||$500 a mth/12 mths|
|Recommended credit||Good, excellent||Average, fair, limited|
|Total end of first year||$200+$90=$290||$90-$39=$51|
The consumer just starting out
If you have thin or fair credit, Capital One offers two cards to choose from. The Capital One Platinum is a good choice for the consumer with fair credit, while the Capital One Secured accepts consumers who have no credit history. Neither has an annual fee.
The business owner
Whether you travel often for work or you have a fair amount of business expenses, Capital One has two business cards to choose from – the Spark Cash for Business offers cash back on all purchases, and the Spark Miles for Business offers miles on all purchases. Both cards’ $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Capital One rewards program and best redemption options
It’s relatively easy to earn and redeem with the Capital One rewards program.
With the cashback program, you simply log in and follow the prompts to redeem. You can even set it up to automatically get your cash back. You can use your cash back for statement credits, a check, gift cards or donate to charity.
With the Capital One travel rewards program, you earn miles for all purchases and you get a sign-up bonus as well. A big advantage to the Capital One travel rewards program is that you aren’t tied down by loyalty to brands, and you aren’t limited to rewards for specific types of purchases. And you can also transfer your miles to a number of airline partners and travel loyalty programs.
You can use your miles for travel in the past 90 days, book new travel through Capital One, gift cards, a check or you can transfer them to another account. One plus about Capital One Venture cards: You always get 1:1 for travel redemption of miles. Redemption even includes spending on Airbnb and Uber.
Other benefits of having Capital One credit cards
From no foreign transaction fees to travel accident insurance, Capital One cards offer a plethora of benefits, including travel and retail; apps and digital services; and security. Here’s what this bank issuer offers:
Travel and shopping
No foreign transaction fees
Capital One cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees, saving you about 3% to 5% per purchase outside the U.S.
24-hour travel assistance
You can get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance any time, along with emergency, medical, travel and legal referral services. The extent of services available (like roadside assistance) vary by card.
Auto rental collision damage waiver
An eligible rental vehicle is covered for damage due to theft, collision or possibly towing charges. Further coverage may depend on your card and whether it’s a domestic or international rental.
Travel accident insurance
When the entire travel fare is purchased using your card, eligible losses are covered at no extra charge.
At no extra charge, you could receive an extended warranty of up to three additional years on eligible items purchased with your card for up to $10,000.
Venture and VentureOne miles can be transferred to any of Capital One’s 10+ travel loyalty programs for the adaptability your trip needs.
Foodies, travelers and sports fans get access to cardholder-exclusive premium experiences, including dining, music, sports and entertainment events.
Capital One Shopping
This browser extension from Capital One saves online shoppers money by scanning the web for lower prices on your item.
This online shopping service from Capital One tracks your online purchase confirmation emails from over 25 major retailers to monitor price changes and helps you get refunds for retail price drops, late deliveries and returns.
The Capital One Mobile app allows you to manage your account on the go with activity and credit monitoring features, mobile check deposit, rewards redemption, Zelle® mobile payments and Card Lock to freeze your stolen or lost credit card.
CreditWise™ is a comprehensive, free credit monitoring resource that scans the dark web for your SSN, alerts you to any changes from two credit bureaus, and guides your next steps. This service is available to cardholders even if they aren’t Capital One customers.
The Capital One assistant tool allows you to keep tabs on your account with the ability to text a Capital One associate, check your balance, review transactions and pay your bill. Online shoppers can also use Eno to generate virtual credit card numbers for each merchant in order to keep your real credit card number secure.
Security and account alerts
Capital One monitors your account and can notify you through text, email and phone if they notice possible suspicious transactions.
In case your credit card was stolen, Capital One’s $0 fraud liability means you won’t even have to pay the FTC’s $50 liability limit for verified unauthorized purchases.
Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura’s work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.