Best Capital One Credit Card

Best capital one credit card
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Although Capital One isn’t one of the top five banks in the U.S. (it’s around number 11), it is one of the top five credit card issuers.

That’s why we set out to find the best Capital One credit cards for you. In 2018 alone, Capital One racked up over $336 billion in credit card transactions — yes, billions with a “B.” The reason for this is that Capital One has some really great credit card products for consumers and businesses. After all of our research, we found that the best overall Capital One credit card is definitely the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card.

The Capital One Credit Cards We RAVE About

Here are the Capital One credit cards that should be “what’s in your wallet”:

Best No-Fee Travel Capital One Credit Card: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

This card offers tons of travel benefits without ever having to pay an annual fee. You will get a big sign-up bonus, a good rewards rate, and flexibility in redeeming your miles.

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Best Cash Back Capital One Credit Card: Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

This card is a great cash-back card that especially rewards going out on a Friday night. You get 3% cash back on dining and entertainment on top of a solid sign-up bonus.

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Best Capital One Business Credit Card for Travel: Capital One Spark Miles for Business

If you have a business that regularly requires traveling, this is the card for you. Your first-year annual fee is waived, you get a big sign-up bonus, and great perks for your business travel.

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Capital One offers some great credit card products, but they have some rules that you should be aware of before applying for one. The last thing you want to do is apply for a credit card with Capital One and get denied due to a simple mistake.

First, if you have opened a Capital One credit card in the past six months, it is very unlikely that you will be approved for another one of its cards. However, as soon as six months passes this won’t be a problem or lead to an automatic denial. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people, as one shouldn’t apply for too many cards in quick succession; six months is a good amount of time between opening accounts.

Another rule is that you can only have two personal Capital One branded cards at a given time. If you already have two Capital One personal cards, you likely won’t be approved if you try for a third. You do always have the option to cancel one of your cards and apply for a new one that you prefer.

Generally, when you apply for a credit card, the bank or credit card issuer will do what is called a “hard pull” on your credit history. This means that a credit inquiry will show up on your history and hurt your credit score a little bit for six months or less. Most banks will only use one of the credit bureaus to see your information — Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. Unfortunately Capital One will pull your credit history from all three credit bureaus leading to a small hit to all three of your FICO scores.

Capital One Miles Flexibility

One of the great things about Capital One is that it has credit cards that earn miles that can be transferred to more than 15 different hotel and airline loyalty programs. In order to take advantage of this, you will need to have one of the four cards that earn miles rather than cash back (such as Venture, VentureOne, Spark Miles for Business, Spark Miles Select for Business). By being able to transfer to many different travel programs, you can maximize the value of every single mile you earn.

The beauty of Capital One miles is that you have a lot more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. You can use the miles toward the cash value of travel purchases through Capital One’s Rewards Center (which is similar to many other travel booking sites). You can also use your miles as statement credit toward travel purchases you have made in the past 90 days with the Purchase Eraser.

There is one final feature of Capital One miles that can make them even better. Unlike most of the other credit card companies and banks, Capital One gives you the ability to pool points between your cards and your friends’ and family’s cards. Pretty much every other bank has significant limits and restrictions on sharing or pooling your miles. With your Capital One miles, you can pool your points between your Capital One cards that earn miles, and you can send them to another person’s account (family, friends, coworkers, strangers, you name it).

Methodology

Capital One is a very recognizable name in the banking industry for good reason — the company has a big footprint and can meet all of your financial and banking needs. But on top of the more traditional banking services, it offers some great credit cards that come with awesome perks and rewards. But how do you choose which one is best for you?  

RAVE has looked at all of the Capital One credit cards and broken them down into simple categories to identify the best ones on offer. We assessed the various perks, sign-up bonuses, cash back and rewards earnings, and found the best ones. When evaluating Capital One credit cards, the following criteria were considered:

  • Annual Fee: Does the card have an annual fee. and how much is it? Is it worth paying the fee each year?
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Will you receive cash back or rewards for spending on the card when you open it? What is the value of the bonus, and how much will you need to spend?
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: How much cash back or rewards will you earn for purchases? Do they have multiple categories that offer a bonus?
  • Other Benefits: What are the various benefits and perks that each card offers? How much value can you get from these? Are there any perks it has that other similar cards don’t?

Best Overall Capital One Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro fee for the first year, $95 each year after
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 miles after $3,000 spent in the first three months from account opening
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: double miles on all purchases
  • Other Benefits: Global Entry or TSA Precheck statement credit, no foreign transaction fees, miles transfer to 15 different frequent-flyer loyalty programs, travel accident insurance, extended warranty protection, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Pros: waived first-year annual fee, Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit, points transfer
  • Cons: no elevated bonus earning category

If you are looking for the card from Capital One that is going to take it to the next level and help you maximize the rewards on every dollar you spend, then the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is likely for you. With an awesome sign-up bonus, simple yet generous rewards earning, and flexibility in redemption, you can’t go wrong.

The first awesome benefit of this card is the fact that the first year $95 annual fee is waived. Although not unusual, it’s not common to see this kind of benefit on credit cards. It makes the first year especially lucrative thanks to no fees and the sign-up bonus. This card’s sign-up bonus is 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months from account opening. That is worth at least $500 toward your travel budget.

The card is very simple in its rewards earning: you earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on the card. At a minimum, this equates to a 2% return, but depending on how you use the miles, it could be closer to a 2.5% return. Although it may seem like a high earning rate, this is what you will earn on every single dollar you spend regardless of what you buy. To get 1 cent per dollar, you simply use the Purchase Eraser option for your miles to cover the cost of travel purchases you have charged to the card.

Seeing as this is a travel rewards card, it would only make sense that the card has a ton of travel-related benefits. The first great travel benefit is the global entry or TSA Precheck statement credit. If you pay the enrollment fee for either program with the card you will be reimbursed via statement credit (can be used every four years). For something worth up to $100, it’s a really great perk. Most other cards that offer this benefit have annual fees above $400.

Capital One also allows you to transfer your miles to one of many travel loyalty programs. The transfer ratio for most programs is 2:1.5. You will transfer 2 Capital One miles to earn 1.5 miles of the receiving program miles. By transferring your points, you can get more value out of each mile. Some transfer partners are more lucrative, and some should be avoided almost entirely due to poor value. The flexibility in redemption on the card makes it ideal for those that aren’t necessarily loyal to any particular airline.

You also get travel accident insurance should anything happen during your trips. You also get the auto rental collision damage waiver as well as extended warranty protection.

As you can see, this is a really great card for all things travel and hands down the best overall card that Capital One offers.

Best No-Fee Travel Capital One Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months from account opening
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases
  • Other Benefits: miles transfer to 15+ travel partner loyalty programs, 0% intro APR offer for 12 months on purchases, no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Pros: huge sign-up bonus, No limit to rewards, Redemption flexibility
  • Cons: lower earning rate

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards card is the no-annual-fee version of the Capital One Venture Rewards card. It features a lot of the same benefits but without some of the higher-value perks.

A lot of no-annual-fee cards have small sign-up bonuses or none at all, but this card rewards you with 20,000 miles after you spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months from account opening. A 20% return for the sign-up bonus is quite generous on a no-annual-fee card.

The card earns a flat rate of 1.25 miles per dollar you spend. There is no limit to your rewards earning, and you earn the same amount regardless of what you purchase. Each point is worth at least one cent, so you earn 1.25% back at a minimum. You can redeem your miles for 1 cent each by using the Purchase Eraser option. This allows you to use your miles to cover the cost of travel purchases you have made with the card.

What makes the points potentially worth more is that you can transfer the points to one of many hotel and airline loyalty programs at a rate of 2:1.5. For every 2 miles you transfer, you receive 1.5 miles for the partner’s loyalty program. This can give significantly more value if you can find the sweet spots in other loyalty programs.

The card also comes with a 0% APR offer for 12 months on purchases. We don’t recommend carrying a balance from month to month, but this offer can help if you need a short loan to make a big purchase or have an emergency. As a travel card, you will also get travel accident insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and auto rental collision damage waiver. All of these travel protections can make you a little less stressed when traveling abroad.

Although not quite as lucrative as the Venture Rewards card, the VentureOne Rewards card really gives you the best bang for your buck for a no-annual-fee travel card. You will soon be on your next vacation flight without paying anything out of pocket.

Best Cash Back Capital One Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $150 cash back after $500 spent in the first three months after account opening
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: 3% cash back on dining and entertainment; 2% cash back at grocery stores; 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Other Benefits: no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, 0% intro APR offer for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Pros: no annual fee, great sign-up bonus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Cons: limited bonus categories

If you love to have some fun out with friends or family (or just like getting cash back for everything you buy), then the Capital One SavorOne card is likely the card for you. This is a cash-back card that rewards you for your purchases but specifically targets your “fun budget.” If you want a great cash-back card, the SavorOne should be strongly considered.

This card comes with no annual fee and a really great sign-up offer. If you spend $500 on the card within the first three months from account opening, you will get $150 cash back. For such a low spending requirement, that’s a really great deal.

When it comes to the bonus rewards on the card, you will be most rewarded for the things you buy when going out and having fun. You earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, so whether you like to go out for a dinner and movie for date night or pizza and bowling with your friends or kids, you will be earning that 3% cash back. You might be thinking there is a limit to your rewards, but this category is actually unlimited.

The card also earns 2% cash back at grocery stores, which is something that everybody spends money on regularly. All of your other purchases will earn 1% cash back. These are nice bonuses for your expenses, but if you like to eat out and have some fun you will be rewarded even more.

The card comes with travel accident insurance and no foreign transaction fees. Both of these can be great benefits if you travel frequently or just on occasion. Although it’s not necessarily a travel credit card, it really helps you when traveling. Better yet, when you eat out during your international vacation, you will still be earning 3% back.

The card also comes with extended warranties on eligible items you purchase and an intro 0% APR offer. For 15 months, you will get 0% APR for both balance transfers and purchases. That means no interest will accrue on your transferred debt and all of your purchases. Just be sure to pay everything off before the 15 months expires.

If you like getting cash back (and a night out on the town), you can’t go wrong with the Capital One SavorOne credit card.

Best Capital One Credit Card for Students

Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

Journey Student Rewards Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Sign-Up Bonus: none
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Other Benefits: no foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, extended warranty protection
  • Pros: no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, good travel benefits
  • Cons: no sign-up bonus, low cash-back rate

If you are a student without much credit history, you might be thinking that it is unlikely you will be approved for a credit card and nearly impossible to be approved for one that earns cash back. Thanks to the Capital One Journey Student Rewards credit card, you couldn’t be further from the truth. This card offers cash back without an annual fee and has a lower credit score threshold for approval since it is meant for students.

Because this card is meant for students and has a lower credit requirement, you won’t be earning huge rewards like some of the other cards on our list. This is to be expected, but don’t worry. One of the best things about student credit cards is that they are meant to help you build credit quickly. If you are diligent about paying off the card on time and in full every month, you will soon be eligible for some of the lucrative credit cards.

This card will earn you 1% cash back on all purchases without exceptions. Although this is a lower rate than some of the other cards mentioned, it is still better than a lot of other student cards that offer no rewards. The goal of this card should be to establish good habits around credit so that you are considered trustworthy by banks once you graduate and start applying for loans for cars or a home.

As a student, you often have the freedom and ability to travel during summer and spring breaks. This is a great card to have with you when you travel, as you won’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees, and you will get travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver. The last thing you want is a problem during your spring break, and both of these perks can keep you confident that you will be covered.

The card also comes with extended warranty protection on eligible items. So if your laptop or other items break past the manufacturer’s warranty, there’s a good chance you won’t be out a bunch of money.

Best 0% APR Capital One Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Credit Card
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Other Benefits: no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Pros: no annual fee, great sign-up bonus, no rewards limit
  • Cons: average cash back

Not only is the Capital One Quicksilver Rewards credit card the best card for the intro 0% APR offer but also Capital One’s best card for flat-rate cash back. Not only does the card not have an annual fee, it also comes with a great sign-up bonus and a few other good perks.

The sign-up bonus on this card is $150 after spending only $500 on the card within the first three months after account opening. For a no-annual-fee card, this is a large sign-up bonus that earns a 30% return.

As a flat-rate cash-back card, the Quicksilver earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases regardless of what you are buying. You don’t earn any cash back for balance transfers or cash advances, just purchases. This cash-back flat rate is on par with many other similar cards and should be strongly considered if you need an extended 0% intro APR period.

The 0% intro offer on this card will last 15 months and is good for both purchases and balance transfers. Generally, we recommend not carrying over a balance from month to month due to the high interest rates on credit cards. If you get charged interest, the value of your rewards are lost almost immediately. However, we understand that there is an appropriate place for 0% APR periods.

If you need to make an expensive purchase (for which you currently lack the cash) or have high-interest credit card debt that you need to stop from accruing interest for a while, the Quicksilver will do that for you for 15 months. Just be sure to pay off the balance before the 15 months expires or you will be back charged all the interest.

This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees and travel accident insurance. Although not necessarily a travel credit card, it can be useful while traveling due to these two perks. You will also get extended warranty protection for many of the items you purchase with this card.

Best Secured Capital One Credit Card

Capital One Secured Mastercard

Capital One Secured Mastercard
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Sign-Up Bonus: none
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: none
  • Other Benefits: refundable security deposit, no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Pros: no annual fee, low security deposit, no foreign transaction fees
  • Cons: no rewards earning

Secured credit cards are for those individuals who are on the path to breaking free from debt and improving their financial fitness. If your credit score is not where you want it to be, the Capital One Secured Mastercard should definitely be on your radar. As a secured credit card, its primary purpose is to help you increase your credit score (which in turn can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the years).

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One does not have an annual fee, but it does carry a security deposit. Due to poor credit from consumers, banks need to have some collateral to ensure that your bill will be paid on time so they aren’t left with an account in default that goes unpaid.

This secured card comes with one of the following security deposits in order to get a $200 line of credit: $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit. Most secured cards require a 1:1 match between security deposits and lines of credit, so this is definitely a feature that stands out from other secured cards. You can also increase your credit line by depositing more money, up to $1,000. Even better, if you make your first five payments on time, you could be eligible for a higher credit limit by increasing your security deposit.

You don’t earn rewards with this card, but don’t worry — if you are diligent about paying off your balance in full and on time every month, your score will increase to help you get approved for a rewards card in the future. It is also possible to upgrade your account to a rewards-earning card after showing Capital One that you are worthy of an unsecured credit card after they review your account.

You will also get some perks worth mentioning with this card. You will get no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, and auto rental collision damage waiver. For a secured credit card, these are some great travel benefits that many other secured cards lack. You also get extended warranty protection on eligible items you purchase with your card.

Best Capital One Business Credit Card for Cash Back

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Capital One Spark Cash for Business
  • Annual Fee: $0 first year, $95 every year after
  • Sign-Up Bonus: $500 cash back bonus after spending $4,500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Other Benefits: no foreign transaction fees, free employee cards, auto rental damage waiver, purchase security, extended warranty protection
  • Pros: first-year annual fee waived, no limit on rewards earning, good sign-up bonus
  • Cons: limited benefits

If you own a business, you know that every dollar you can save for your business goes directly to improving your bottom line. That’s why it is important to have a business credit card that can earn you some great cash back like the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.

First off, one of the great things about this card is that it has no annual fee for the first year. That means that you can try this card for a year without having to worry about spending enough to earn cash-back equivalent to the fee. If you find you like the card and that it is worth the fee, you can keep it. If you find that you won’t get enough value, you can always cancel the card and find another business card that works for you.

The sign-up bonus on this card is pretty good, although it does require a bit of a high spending requirement. You will earn $500 cash back after spending $4,500 on the card within the first three months from account opening. Just be sure that you will be able to spend the $4,500 in the first three months or you will lose the bonus.

This business card is very simple in the way it earns rewards. You will get 2% cash back on all of your purchases without any limit. For a flat-rate card, that is a pretty good return especially during the first year without an annual fee.

The card also comes with some other worthwhile features. You will get free employee cards so that all of the expenses they charge doing business will reward you with 2% as well. You also won’t ever have to pay foreign transaction fees when you travel, and your rental car will be covered with the auto rental damage waiver. The card also has purchase security and extended warranty protection features.

If you want a no-frills simple cash-back business credit card, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is a great choice.

Best Capital One Business Credit Card for Travel

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro fee for the first year, $95 each year after
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months
  • Bonus Earning/Categories: 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel, 2x miles on all other purchases
  • Other Benefits: Global Entry or TSA Precheck statement credit, free employee cards, no foreign transaction fees, transfer miles to 15 different frequent-flyer loyalty programs, auto rental collision damage or theft waiver, purchase security, and extended protection
  • Pros: waived first-year annual fee, large sign-up bonus, Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
  • Cons: large spending requirement

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is very similar to its cash-back-card equivalent, but offers some other benefits that give it even more value. It has a lot of the same features as the Spark Cash, but for those business owners who like to travel, this would be the card for you.

The first-year annual fee is waived on this card, which gives you the freedom to try the card for a year, see if you like it, then reassess at the end of the time period. After the first year, the annual fee is only $95, which should be relatively easy to offset if you travel for work.

The sign-up bonus on this card awards 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 on the card in the first three months from account opening. The sign-up bonus is worth a minimum of $500 — 1 cent per point. This isn’t the highest value sign-up bonus of business credit cards in general, but for a card that has no fee the first year, it is hard to beat.

The card rewards all purchases pretty well but especially incentivizes spending on travel. You earn 5 miles per dollar spent on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel booking portal. If you regularly travel for work, you can easily find a ton of value from this bonus category. All other purchases earn 2 miles per dollar, which is at least a 2% return on everyday spending.

As a business travel card, there are plenty of travel-related benefits for this card. First, you will get statement credit to cover the cost of the enrollment fee for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck. If you go with Global Entry, it is worth $100; TSA Precheck costs $85. When traveling, you also won’t pay any foreign transaction fees—an absolute must for any card marketed as a travel credit card.

The card also features an auto rental collision damage or theft waiver so long as you book your rental car with the Spark Miles card. The primary feature that can add more value to this card is the fact that you can transfer your miles to multiple different travel loyalty programs, both hotel and airline. This gives immense flexibility in how you use your miles and can boost their value.

The card also doesn’t have any fees for employee cards. You will also get purchase security and extended warranty protection for eligible items you buy with the card. If you have a business that requires travel, you can’t go wrong with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card.

Is Capital One the best bank to use for a credit card?

This is a very difficult question to answer, as it depends on what kind of credit card you would like. They offer a broad range of credit card products and should have at least one that will work well for you. However, if you find none of them work for you, check out one of our many other credit card rankings to find one you like.

If you are worried that there could be problems with opening a credit card at Capital One, you can rest assured. Because they are one of the biggest banks in the country, they are secure and likely won’t be going belly up at any point.

Can I get multiple Capital One credit cards?

You can have multiple Capital One credit cards at a given time. However, they do have a rule that states you can only apply for one of their cards every six months. This rule applies to both personal and business card products. If you apply for more than one within six months, your application will be automatically denied.

What if I don’t get approved for a Capital One credit card?

If you are not approved for a Capital One credit card, it could be due to a couple of different reasons. If you previously applied for another Capital One credit card in the last six months, you will be denied another account.

If you haven’t applied for one of Capital One’s credit cards recently, it could be due to your credit score or some other unfortunate reason they deem insufficient to approve you for one of their cards. If it is because your credit score is too low, there is still a good chance you could be approved for the Secured Mastercard on our list. This type of card is meant for those who want or need to bring their score up. If you want to see other possible secured credit cards, see our ranking of all of the best secured credit cards.

What kind of credit score do I need for a Capital One credit card?

The answer varies significantly depending on the card for which you would like to apply. Generally speaking, the more rewards and benefits a card offers, the higher credit score you will need.

For example, some of the higher-rewards-earning cards on our list (Venture Rewards Card, VentureOne Rewards Card, and SavorOne Rewards card) would potentially need a 700 credit score or higher. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but it could be difficult to get approved with a lower score.

However, the Secured Mastercard on our list doesn’t require a high credit score. You have the potential to be approved with a poor credit score as the purpose of a secured card is to help improve your credit score.

What is the best overall Capital One credit card?

The best overall Capital One credit card is the Venture Rewards credit card. This card has a $95 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year. The sign-up bonus is worth at least $500, which is pretty high for a mid-tier card with a first-year waived fee. The card earns 2 miles for every dollar you spend regardless of what you buy.

You get a Global Entry or TSA Precheck enrollment credit and other travel protections to go with it. You will also have the ability to transfer your miles to multiple hotel and airline loyalty programs, thus potentially boosting the value of every mile you earn. This is hands down the best card that Capital One offers.

RAVE Recommends

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  • CreditFirm.net: Sometimes a credit card application can be denied due to poor credit. If your credit needs a boost, check out creditfirm.net. They are a reputable professional credit repair service rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. The firm can help you get back on track to a healthy relationship with your credit score.
  • SoFi Personal Loans: If you have good credit but are in need of some cash to cover a big expense or to get you through a short-term crisis, SoFi personal loans should be highly considered. They are a 100% online personal finance company that doesn’t charge origination fees, late fees, or early payoff fees. Your interest rate could be as low as 6%.