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Capital One is one of the largest US banks, and it is recognized for its technology-focused financial services. Some of its top products include credit cards, auto loans, savings accounts and commercial banking. Capital one was one of the pioneers of credit cards, and it has grown to be one of the five largest issuers of credit cards.
Whether you are looking flat-rate cash back credit card or travel rewards credit card, Capital One has a wide range of credit card options for your needs.
Here are The Smart Investor select's picks of top Capital One credit cards:
The Capital One Venture Rewards is a low-cost travel card that worth’s its value. It allows you to earn rewards and bonus points while traveling for business, leisure, or pleasure. It requires holders to have a credit score of between 690 and 850. It attracts no annual fees, and once you spend up to a thousand dollars, you get 20,000 bonus miles to use as you please.
For the first 12 months, you get zero percent on purchases. This card's issuer has a J.D. power rating of 808, which places it Fifth among all major issuers (fifth out of 11 major issuers).
- APR: 17.24% - 24.49%
- Annual fee: $95
- Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3%
- Foreign Transaction Fee: None
- Rewards Plan: Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase
- Sign Up bonus: 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
- Flexible Rewards Redemption
- Great Sign-Up Bonus
- No Blackout/Expiration Dates
- No Accumulation Limit on Miles
- High Variable APR
- Airline Partners Limitations
- $95 Annual Fee
- Redeem Points for a Statement Credit
The capital one quicksilver card is a very good choice for individuals that either don’t like to spend too much in just one budget category or individuals that prefer one reward rate than multiple rates. The capital One Quicksilver is among the secured credit cards that do not charge any annual fee. The Mastercard is widely accepted abroad compared to most other card brands. Some of the benefits individuals can derive from using this card include; no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, secondary car rental insurance and 24-hour travel assistance services.
- Rewards Plan: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- APR: 15.49% - 25.49%
- Annual fee: $0
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
- Sign Up bonus: Earn a one-time $250 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 0% intro APR for 15 months
- Sign-Up Bonus
- High Rewards Rate
- No Annual Fee or Foreign Transaction fee
- Intro APR on Purchases & Balance Transfers
- No Bonus Rewards Categories
- Requires Good/Excellent Credit
- High APR
The Capital One credit card is the Savor card, which offers an increased 4% rate on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Rewards don’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.
In addition, there is a significant sign up bonus of one-time $300 if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months, as well as $0 intro fee for the first year and no foreign transaction fee.
However, if you don’t spend enough on these types of activities then you won’t get ahead much on the rewards due to the annual $95 fee.
- Rewards Plan: Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- APR: 15.99% - 24.99%
- Annual fee: $95
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
- Foreign Transaction Fee: None
- Sign Up bonus: $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
- $300 Sign Up Bonus
- Unlimited 4% Cash Back
- No Rotating Categories
- $95 Annual Fee
- Approval Can Be Strict
How to Compare Capital One Credit Cards
What Are The Different Types of Capital One Credit Cards?
Known for its catchy slogan “What’s in your wallet”, Capital one has some of the most generous rewards cards for all categories of customers including travelers, business owners, students, and those looking to build their credit score.
There is a credit card for all credit levels, from poor credit, fair credit, good credit, and excellent credit. Capital One is one of the few credit card companies to eliminate foreign transaction fees from its credit card offers to give their cards a universal appeal.
Whether you are looking flat-rate cash back credit card or travel rewards credit card, Capital One has a wide range of credit card options for your needs. Here are the top Capital One Credit card options to consider:
Best Travel Rewards Credit Card: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Venture Rewards credit card earns 2x miles for every dollar spent on purchases. New sign-ups also get 60,000 miles for payments amount to $3000 in the first 90 days from account opening.
The sign-up bonus is equivalent to $600. The accumulated rewards can be transferred to over 14 travel partner programs, or redeemed for statement credit. This card is a great fit if you are a regular traveler looking to collect miles on everyday purchases.
Best for Cashback Rewards: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card
This credit card earns a 1.5% flat-rate cash back on all purchases. There is also a one-time sign-up bonus of $200 if you spend $500 in purchases within 90 days from account opening.
You can earn as many cash backs with every purchase, and the cashbacks do not expire. Capital One Quicksilver is a good pick if you are looking for a low-cost credit card with flat-rate cashback rewards.
Best for Entertainment Rewards: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Savor Credit Card from Capital One is popular for dining and entertainment rewards. Dining and entertainment purchases earn a 3% cashback while purchases in grocery stores earn back 2%.
There is also a 1% cashback on other purchase categories. Savor Cash rewards card sign-ups earn $200 in bonuses for payments amounting to $500 in the first 3 months from account opening. If you are looking to collect unlimited rewards on dining and entertainment purchases at minimal cost, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good pick.
Best Rewards Card for Small Businesses: Capital One Spark Cash for Business
If you are looking for a rewards card for a small business, Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers the best deal. With a 2% cashback on every purchase, you can collect cash bonuses in every category with no limits.
This credit card also offers a generous $500 cash bonus for purchases amounting to $4500 within the first 90 days from account opening. Business owners also get free employee cards with 2% flat-rate cashback on all purchases.
Capital One charges $0 in annual fees in the first year, and $95 from the second year. If your purchases exceed the allowed credit limit, Capital One will not charge you over-limit fees. Capital One Spark Cash for Business is perfect for business owners looking for a flexible credit card for large purchases that earn flat-rate cashback across all categories.
Best for Bad Credit: Secured Mastercard from Capital One
This credit card is a good pick if you are looking for a no-annual-free credit card for credit building. Capital One reports your on-time payments and account credit card activity to credit bureaus to help you improve your credit scores.
You may also qualify for a higher credit line if use the Secured Mastercard responsibly for at least 6 months. Plus, this secured credit card gives you a higher credit limit than the security deposit. You will need to make a refundable security deposit of $49 to $200, which requires an authorized bank account to make the deposit.
Best for a College Student: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
This credit card earns you 1% cashback on every purchase and an additional 0.25% when you make payments on time. You also get $60 on select Streaming Subscriptions for the first 12 months if you make on-time payments. This card has a $0 annual fee.
If you are a college student with little or no credit, this credit card is a good fit to help you build credit while earning cash backs on every purchase.
Best No-annual Fee Credit Card: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
This card earns unlimited 1.25 miles on your everyday purchases. Capital one also gives you a sign-up up bonus of 20,000 if you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. The bonus is equal to $200 in travel purchases.
There are over 10 travel partners in the Capital One network that allow cardholders to redeem miles for airfare and hotel stays. If you are looking for the best first travel card, this credit card is a great pick considering its $0 annual fee and zero transaction fees.
What Credit Score Will I Need in Order to be Approved?
Whether you have limited credit, fair credit, or excellent credit, there is a Capital One credit card for every credit score range. Here are the credit scores required for each credit card:
Good to Excellent Credit Score
A credit score of 700 and above puts you in the good to excellent credit score, and you can get the top-tier Capital One credit cards. Some of the Capital One credit cards available in this credit score level include Venture Rewards Card and Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card.
You will also get the most competitive rewards rates and interest rates in the good to excellent credit level.
Fair credit score
With a credit score of 630 to 700, you can get Capital One Quicksilverone Credit Card, Journey Student Rewards, and Capital One Platinum Credit Card.
These credit cards can help you build your credit into the good or excellent credit score range, as you earn rewards on your purchases.
Bad credit score
A credit score of 629 and below puts you in the bad credit score range. This category comprises people with limited or no credit history and those rebuilding their credit after one or more defaults.
A bad credit score limits the options you have, but the Secured Mastercard from Capital One can help you build your credit score with its $0 annual fee. Capital one submits regular credit card information to the three credit bureaus to help you improve your credit.
How Capital One Cashback Offers Work?
The idea behind Capital One cashback offers is simple: every time you use your Capital One credit card to shop, you earn back a small percentage of the amount you spent.
Capital One cash backs are structured in the following two ways:
A flat-rate cash back earns you the same percentage on every purchase you make. Some Capital One credit cards earn a flat rate cash back of 1.5% to 2% on the amount spent on purchases.
Examples of cards that earn flat-rate cashback include Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Cash and Capital One Quicksilverone.
Tiered Cash Back
A tiered cashback structure earns a different percentage of cashback on different purchase categories.
For example, the Capital One Savor Credit Card has different cashback rates for dining and entertainment, purchases at grocery stores, and other purchases.
No Rotating Categories
Compared to other credit card companies, Capital One does not offer rotating category cash backs. Capital One credit card customers earn cash backs on all purchase categories. Other credit card issuers have purchase categories that change every quarter.
How Capital One Points Rewards Offers Work
Capital One rewards program offers some of the most flexible rewards that travelers can redeem for travel purchases, gift cards, a statement credit, and other options. Capital One uses the term “miles” to refer to its reward points. This rewards program rewards you 2 miles for every $1 charged to your Capital Credit card.
You also earn miles through sign-up bonuses when you make payments up to a certain limit within 3 months from account opening.
For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards card earns 60,000 miles for purchases totaling $3000 within 3 months from account opening, in addition to the 2x miles for every $1 spent on purchases.
Cardholders have an option to convert their miles into fixed value rewards or transferring points to travel partners. One of the fixed value rewards involve using miles to cover purchases made in the last 90 days. Usually, this option offers 1 cent per mile.
You can also book new travel via Capital one Travel Center at the rate of 1 cent per mile, redeem for gift cards at 1 cent per mile, or redeem for cash back at 0.5 cents per mile. An alternative to fixed value rewards is to transfer miles to airline partners. This option may give you a higher value than one cent per mile.
What is the Capital One Rewards Program?
If you are looking for a simple way to earn rewards on your credit card purchases, Capital One has various rewards that you can consider. The Capital One rewards program comprises two main rewards i.e. cashback and miles.
The Capital One cashback program earns a percentage back on all the qualifying purchases paid using your credit cards. Plus, with the straightforward redemptions, you don’t have to worry about cashback conversions. Most of the Capital One Credit cards offer fixed-rate cashback for all purchases, meanings that cardholders earn cashback on every dollar spent on purchases.
Examples of flat-rate cashback cards include the Quicksilver and Quicksilverone that earn a 1.5% cashback on all purchases. The Savor credit card is a tiered cashback credit card, and it has different cashback rates for different purchase categories i.e. 4% cashback on dining and entertainment, 2% cashback on purchases at grocery stores, and 1% cashback on the rest of purchase categories.
The accumulated cashback can be redeemed for gift cards, statement credit, check deposits, and online shopping on retail stores.
Capital One Miles reward program is one of the most versatile points reward programs in the credit card industry, and it allows cardholders to redeem points for a dozen options such as airfare, rideshare, car rentals, statement credit, and transfer to partner travel programs.
Some of the credit cards that earn miles include Venture rewards card and Spark Miles for business. The venture rewards cards earns 2x miles for every $1 spent on purchases. There is also a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles for payments amounting to $3000 in the first 90 days of account opening.
Capital One credit cards earn 1.25x to 2x miles for every payment made using the credit card, and there is no cap on the number of miles you can hold.
Capital One Redemption Options + Cashback Calendar 2021
Capital One allows customers to redeem their miles and cashback rewards for various purposes. To check the redemptions options available, logging into your credit account via the Capital One mobile app or website. The redemption options include:
Cover eligible purchases
Capital One has a unique feature known as purchase eraser that allows customers to cover recent travel purchases incurred in the last 3 months. Examples of eligible purchases include rideshares, plane tickets, streaming services purchases, and restaurant delivery.
If you prefer to use your points to shop at specific retailers, you can redeem your rewards for gift cards at a value of 1 cent per mile, subject to change.
If you have a card that earns cash backs, you can redeem the accumulated cashback for cash or check. You can choose to get the cash redeemed as statement credit or have the check sent to your address.
Shop on Amazon
Capital One now allows cardholders to link their eligible cards with Amazon, and use their miles and cashback to pay for purchases on the retail store. This option offers a low value for your points, and you may get about 0.8 cents per mile.
If you prefer to redeem your points for travel purchases, you can check the Capital One Travel website for the travel options available. Customers can redeem their miles for travel booking, and use a mix of miles and cash to cover the payment.
- Transfer points to a travel partner
Transferring your rewards to Capital One travel partners offers the best value. Capital One travel partners include airlines and hotels, and you can redeem your points for airline tickets or hotel stays.
For example, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have a transfer rate of 2:1, and 2 miles will get you 1.5 miles in one of these airlines.
Capital One Cashback Redemption Calendar
Jan to April 31:
Customers can redeem miles for eligible restaurant delivery (from restaurants, cafes, and delivery services like UberEats and Favor), takeout, and streaming service purchases (Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu).
Spark Miles credit cardholders can also redeem their miles and cashback for wireless telephone services such as mobile phone bills and purchases with Verizon and AT&T. However, this list excludes internet and landline services.
How to Maximize Capital One Rewards?
Capital One credit cards earn rewards in form of miles and cashback, which can be redeemed for various uses such as travel purchases, gift cards, statement credit, and transfers to travel partners.
Here is how to make the most out of your Capital One rewards:
1. Use Purchase Eraser
The purchase eraser feature allows credit customers to make travel purchases directly, and then use the rewards to cover the eligible purchases from their bill.
This feature allows you to redeem miles for statement credit to cover purchases made within 90 days from the date of travel. You get 1 cent per mile, and there is no minimum redemption amount or blackout dates.
Any travel purchase coded as “travel” such as rideshare, travel agents, hotel stays, and airfare is eligible for redemption using the purchase eraser.
2. Transfer Miles to Partners
Transferring your miles to travel partners offers a higher value than redeeming your rewards for gift cards and statement credit. Capital One has partnerships with various airlines and hotels such as Emirate, JetBlue, and Air Canada.
Some of these partners offer a transfer rate of 2:1:5, which may be higher than the 1 cent per mile offered in other redemption options.
3. Book Travel through the Travel Center
The Capital One Travel Center allows you to book travel and pay using miles, or a combination of miles and cash. You can also book hotels, flights, and rental cars at the travel center, and pay additional costs such as taxes and surcharges using your reward points.
4. Share Rewards with a Family Member/Friend
If you have a family member with a miles-earning Capital One credit card, you can share your points with them. This can help them pool enough points to pay airfare or other major travel expenses.
5. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
If you use your credit card to pay for membership fee to these programs, you will be reimbursed the fee once every four years. You can also use these credits to offset the annual credit card fee.
What are the Other Benefits of Having a Capital One Card?
Apart from earning cash backs and miles, the following are the other benefits of having a Capital One credit card:
No foreign fees
Capital One is one of the few credit card companies to eliminate foreign transaction fees on all their credit cards. Most credit cards charge 3% to 5% in foreign transaction fees. When using your Capital One credit card to pay for purchases abroad, there are no foreign transaction fees and this will save you money on your purchases.
If you want to consolidate your higher APRs credit card debts, you can transfer your balances to a Capital One credit card. For example, the Capital One Quicksilver credit card offers a 0% APR for the first 15 months and an ongoing variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49% when the introductory period lapses.
Auto rental collision damage waiver
Buying auto rental coverage may be pricey due to the add-ons included in the coverage. If you want to save money on auto rental insurance, use a qualifying Capital One credit card to rent your car. This option may get covered for auto rental collision damage waiver and save you money in expensive rental insurance add-ons.
Credit line reviews every 6 months
If you are using one of Capital One’s credit building credit cards such as the Journey Student Rewards and QuicksolverOne rewards card, you can get approved for a higher credit line within 6 months.
If your card is lost or stolen, you can quickly lock your card without having to call the bank. This can help prevent unauthorized credit card transactions in case the card gets in the wrong hands.
How Many Capital One Credit Cards Can I have at One Time?
Capital One limits the number of cards you can have to just two credit cards. The Capital One two-card rule started in 2011, and it applies to its list of consumer credit cards. However, some consumers may still apply and get approved for the Capital One Secured Mastercard, co-branded cards, and business cards that do not count towards the two-card rule.
Credit cardholders who had more than two credit cards before 2011 and those who held cards with banks that were acquired by Capital One were allowed to retain their cards and may have more than two cards.
How Do I Cancel a Capital One Credit Card?
You can cancel your Capital One credit card account in the following two ways:
- By Phone: Call Capital One Customer Support at 1-800-227-4825, provide your full credit card number, and ask them to close your credit card. The bank representative may ask you to keep the card open, and even offer a lower APR or higher rewards. Be sure why you want to close the account and stick with your decision.
- Online: Sign in your Capital One credit card account and select “I want to” at the top of the page and choose “close account”. Follow the steps provided to close your account.