Comparing Capital One Credit Cards
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. With no foreign transaction fees and generous annual fee offers, the Capital One cards allow you to explore your world in a refreshing way. 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 hefty sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months which is worth $500 when redeemed for travel. You'll also earn a ridiculous 10X miles per dollar on hotels purchased through hotels.com/venture, but also earn 2X miles on all other 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
If you are looking for tight rewards and don't want to be tied down by a specific travel brand, this card 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 after the first year.
While the Venture Rewards card now have airline partners, the 2:1.5 transfer ratio is less than that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card's partners, which can be 1:1.
Bottom line: Through January 2020, you can benefit greatly from the Venture's relationship with hotels.com (10X miles when you book and pay at hotels.com/venture), and the 2X miles on all purchases are solid.
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.
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.
Bottom line: This card can't be beat when you are looking for a no-annual-fee card that has across-the-board boosted ongoing rewards.
This card accepts consumers with average, fair or limited credit. There is no annual fee, unlike the QuicksilverOne, and like the QuicksilverOne, you can up your credit limit after the first 5 months of on-time payments.
There are no ongoing rewards with this card, unlike the QuicksilverOne.
Bottom line: Need a leg up on your credit? Look no further. This is a great first card or a product for the consumer trying to repair his or her credit.
The VentureOne's fun rewards make it worth a look. Its sign-up bonus is equivalent to $200 toward travel (20,000 miles after a $1,000 spend in the first 3 months), and like the Venture Rewards, the VentureOne partners with hotels.com until January 2020.
The ongoing rewards of 1.25X miles on all purchases could be better although there's no annual fee.
Bottom line: This is a strong choice for a first travel card with flexibility in redemptions and partnerships with more than a dozen airlines.
This card's rewards of 4% on dining and entertainment beats the previous offer of 3% on just dining, as well as the same great 2% back at grocery stores. The sign-up bonus is one of the best around for a cash back card – $300 after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.
There's now an annual fee of $95, although it's waived the first year.
Bottom line: With superior ongoing rewards for the foodie and a strong sign-up bonus, the Savor Cash Rewards has a lot to offer.
The SavorOne is an improved product when compared to the old Savor. There's a great $150 bonus after a $500 spend within the first 3 months; 3% back on dining and (now also) entertainment; and 2% back at grocery stores.
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.
Bottom line: There aren't many cash back cards that offer 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.
This card has the same ongoing rewards as the Quicksilver Cash Rewards, making it a compelling choice for your wallet. It also gives you access to a higher credit limit after you make your first 5 payments on time.
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.
Bottom line: QuicksilverOne is a great option for the consumer with fair credit who wants experience with earning rewards, although the annual fee isn't ideal.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard accepts consumers with bad or limited credit and is ideal for someone looking to build 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.
Bottom line: Some of us are struggling to get ahead financially, and this card can get you on your way, with no annual fee and the opportunity to build credit.
The spark that this card's 2% back offers makes it a challenge to ignore. And if you are looking for a cashback card, but want the convenience of a card that grants you employee cards at no charge, this card delivers.
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.
Bottom line: If you are looking for a cash back business card, the Spark Cash for Business has some great features, although the required spend for the sign-up bonus is on the high side.
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.
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.
Bottom line: 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.
Compare the best Capital One credit card offers of 2019
Capital One's exciting lineup of credit cards includes business, cash and travel rewards, as well as vehicles for credit building. They typically have no foreign transaction fee, and 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 2019:
|Credit Card||Best For…||Annual Fee||Review Score|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Travel rewards||$0 first year, then $95||4.2 / 5|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Cash back||$0||3.4 / 5|
|Capital One® Platinum Credit Card||Building credit||$0||3.7 / 5|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||Hotel rewards||$0||3.0 / 5|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Sign-up bonus||$0 first year, then $95||4.8 / 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|
|Capital One® Secured Mastercard®||Students||$0||3.4 / 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 after the first year, 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 requiring fair credit.
Compare Quicksilver cards...
|Card||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards||Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards|
|Sign-up bonus||$150/$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|
|Required credit||Good, excellent||Average, fair, limited|
|Total end of first year||$150+$90=$240||$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 points 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 cards
From no foreign transaction fee 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 retail
- No foreign transaction fees – no Capital One card has a foreign transaction fee, a savings of 3%-5% per foreign transaction
- 24-hour travel assistance – get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance
- Auto rental collision damage waiver – an eligible vehicle is covered for damage due to theft or collision
- Travel accident insurance – covered losses at no extra charge
- Extended warranty – additional warranty at no extra charge
Apps and digital services
- Mobile app – allows you to manage your account on the go
- CreditWise – monitor your credit, even if you aren't a Capital One customer
- Eno – allows you to keep tabs on your account with texting, checking your balance, reviewing transactions and paying your bill
- Security and account alerts – get alerts by phone, email or text
- Fraud coverage – $0 fraud liability
Capital One Venture-hotel offer
- With these cards, you can earn 10X miles for every dollar you spend when booked and paid through hotels.com/venture with your Venture or VentureOne card. This offer is good through Jan. 31, 2020.
|Card||Capital One Venture Rewards||Capital One VentureOne Rewards|
|Sign-up bonus||50,000 miles/$3,000 spend in 3 mths||20,000 miles/$1,000 spend in 3 mths|
|Rewards||2X miles/$1||1.25X miles/$1|
|Hotel rewards||10X miles/$1||10X miles/$1|
|Annual fee||$95 waived first yr||$0|
|Total end of first year||82,000 miles=$820||47,500 miles=$475|
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 email@example.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.