Capital One Credit Cards

Abigail Welles

Abigail Welles

Updated Aug 27, 2019

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Capital One has positioned itself as a recognized financial brand in America, celebrated as one of the nation’s top 10 largest banks. Its identity as a banking authority doesn’t come without a considerably large product backing.

Whether you’re looking to build credit, take advantage of cash back bonuses, or need a card to support your travel expenses, Capital One offers consumers a selection of cards designed to support a variety of lifestyle habits and necessities.

Capital One also has a line of credit cards designed for small businesses, the Spark Business Credit Cards.

Cash Back Rewards

Card & Rewards Annual Fee Credit Level
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • 8% cash back at Vivid Seats (until 5/2020)
  • 4% cash back on Dining and Entertainment
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $300 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
$0 Excellent
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • 3% cash back on Dining and Entertainment
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
$0 Excellent
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
$39 Excellent
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
$39 Average
Although Capital One labels some of its cards as being for excellent credit, that’s a fairly loose requirement and it doesn’t necessarily mean you need credit scores above 800. In most of those cases good credit should suffice, although there’s more to the application decision than just credit scores.

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is made for foodies, with a focus on dining out. If your typical habits include the daily coffee trip or frequent nights out on the town you could find a good value here, but check out the SavorOne below for a similar no-fee option.

Spending Rewards
  • 8% cash back at Vivid Seats (until 5/2020)
  • 4% cash back on:
    • Dining
    • Entertainment
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores
  • 1% cash back for every other purchase
Welcome Bonus Offer
  • $300 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 10%

Key Features

  • Complimentary Postmates Unlimited membership: A $9.99 statement credit per month to pay for a monthly Postmates Unlimited subscription (until December 2019 only).
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

 

The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a lesser version of the Savor, but that doesn’t make it a worse card. Its (slightly) lower rewards are compensated by no annual fee and an intro APR, and depending on how much you’ll spend on dining and entertainment, it could easily be a better pick than the Savor.

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back on:
    • Dining
    • Entertainment
  • 2% cash back at Grocery stores
  • 1% cash back for every other purchase
Welcome Bonus Offer
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 30%

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0

 

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid flat-rate card, without any bonus categories to consider. This makes it ideal to fill in the gaps between the bonus categories of your other cards. If you can’t qualify for this card you may qualify for the QuicksilverOne below, which is similar but with an annual fee.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
Welcome Bonus Offer
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Return on spend: 30%

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% 15 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0

 

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card could be a good choice if your credit isn’t the best. This credit card offers decent flat-rate rewards with no limit but lacks a bonus, and comes with a small fee.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase

Key Features

  • Higher credit line: Access a higher credit line by making your first five monthly payments on time.
  • Annual fee: $39

Travel Rewards

Card & Rewards Annual Fee Credit Level
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • 10X miles per dollar on purchases from Hotels.com/venture (until 01/31/20)
  • 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase
  • 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that Excellent
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • 10X miles per dollar on purchases from Hotels.com/venture (until 01/31/20)
  • 1.25X miles per dollar on every other purchase
  • 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
$0 Excellent

 

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card was created for travelers of all kinds, but currently has an emphasis on hotels thanks to Capital One’s partnership with Hotels.com. You can transfer miles to participating airline partners, and you’ll even get an expedited airport security fee credit — a rare find on a card at this fee level.

Spending Rewards
  • 10X miles per dollar on purchases from Hotels.com/venture (until 01/31/20)
  • 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $500–$1,000 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 16.67–33.33%

Key Features

  • Miles transfer: Transfer your miles to a number of airline frequent flyer programs.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get a credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every four years.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

 

If you like the Venture card but you’d rather not pay an annual fee, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card might suit you better. You’ll earn rewards at a lesser rate (except for the Hotels.com category) and the welcome bonus is smaller, but you’ll also get a 0% intro interest rate.

Spending Rewards
  • 10X miles per dollar on purchases from Hotels.com/venture (until 01/31/20)
  • 1.25X miles per dollar on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus Offer
  • 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
    • Value: $200–$400 (assuming 1–2 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 20–40%

Key Features

  • Miles transfer: Transfer your miles to a number of airline frequent flyer programs.
  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Regular Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 14.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

Building Credit: Unsecured and Secured Credit Cards

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a simple card made for people with average or limited credit, and could make a good stepping stone up to more rewarding credit cards. Consider it if you’re still navigating the credit-building process and are having trouble qualifying for better cards, but also check out the Journey Student card below, a similar option but with cash back rewards (it doesn’t require you to be a student).

Key Features

  • Higher credit line: Access a higher credit line by making your first five monthly payments on time.
  • Annual fee: $0

 

If your credit is poor and you’re ready to work your way back up, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® can help you do just that.

As a secured card it requires a security deposit to fund your credit line, but in this case you’ll be asked to make a starting deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. No matter which amount you’re required to deposit, you’ll get an initial credit line of $200 (you can deposit more for a higher credit line).

It’s a small credit limit, but most secured cards give you a limit that simply matches your deposit. The Capital One Secured card also gives you a higher credit line after paying on time for five months, another feature that sets it apart from other cards of this type.

Key Features

  • Higher credit line: Access a higher credit line by making your first five monthly payments on time.
  • Security Deposit: Minimum required deposit will give a $200 credit limit; deposit up to $1,000 for a $1,000 credit line.
  • Annual fee: $0

Student Credit Cards

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is great for building credit and learning the ropes of responsible card use, all while earning a bit of cash back. Despite the name, you don’t actually have to be a student to qualify for this card; anyone is welcome to apply.

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back for every purchase
    • 1.25% cash back if you pay on time

Key Features

  • Higher credit line: Access a higher credit line by making your first five monthly payments on time.
  • Annual fee: $0

Co-Branded & Store Credit Cards

In addition to its personal lineup of cards, Capital One partners with a handful of retailers and organizations to offer cards with perks specific to each company.

Retailer Card
Bass Pro Shops Bass Pro Shops CLUB Card

Cabela’s Cabela's CLUB Mastercard®
GM Capital One BuyPower Card®

GM Extended Family Card

BuyPower Business Card™

Helzberg Diamonds Helzberg Diamonds Credit Card
Justice Justice Credit Card
Kohl’s Kohl's Charge Card (Review)
Lord & Taylor Lord & Taylor Card
maurices maurices VIP Credit Card
Menards

Menards® BIG Card®

Menards® Contractor Card

Menards® Commercial Account

Neiman Marcus/Bergdorf Goodman

Neiman Marcus Credit Card

Bergdorf Goodman Credit Card

Saks SaksFirst Store Card (Review)

SaksFirst Mastercard® (Review)

Teamsters Teamster Privilege Credit Card
Union Plus Union Plus Credit Card

Capital One Credit Card Features

Capital One provides a number of standard features to cardholders, in addition to any specific card perks. These benefits may vary slightly depending on the category of card you’ve chosen (e.g. secured vs. travel), so be sure to read up on the features of your particular card to make the most out of it.

Cardholder benefits may include:

  • Account management and support: Capital One has modern online systems to simplify account management, allows you to customize your payment plan. You can choose your monthly due date and preferred payment method. You’ll have access to a mobile app and the Eno online assistant, to help keep an eye on your accounts and alert you when something is wrong, as well as 24/7 customer service if you have immediate questions.
  • Fraud coverage and protections: All Capital One cards come with zero-risk fraud liability to cover you against fraudulent purchases in the case of a stolen or lost card. You can create virtual card numbers to make online purchases safer, or easily place a lock on your card should you find that you’ve misplaced it (or if it might be stolen).
  • Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides access to your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can also explore various aspects of your TransUnion report, like account and credit utilization details.
  • Mastercard or Visa benefits: Your card will come with a number of benefits and/or shopping and travel protections, depending on the tier at which you’re approved (World Mastercard, World Elite Mastercard, etc.). These may include a personal concierge service, price protection, travel accident insurance, and many more.
  • Miles Transfer: Capital One miles can be transferred to a number of airline frequent flyer programs, where you can use them to help fuel your travel plans.
  • No foreign transaction fees: All Capital One cards come with no foreign transaction fees, making them good picks for traveling abroad or making purchases in foreign currency.

A Brief History of Capital One

Capital One’s journey to the seventh-largest bank in the U.S. (based on total assets) was one accomplished relatively quickly — the credit card issuer was founded in 1988 by Richard Fairbank, who currently serves as the Chairman and CEO.

He believed that information, technology, and analytics could be brought together to provide customers with powerful financial tools to support their personal economic development. This belief propelled the company’s reliance on analytics as its primary strategy for creating credit cards for a variety of customers.

Richard Fairbank, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Capital One.

Richard Fairbank, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Capital One. Image credit: Capital One Press Room

Advertised as a “monoline” company, meaning virtually all revenue comes from a single product, its profits soared off of credit cards alone. During strong economic times, the bank was able to compete with more diverse competitors offering products beyond credit cards. However, during harder periods of financial inconsistencies, the company struggled to keep up.

The Move From Monoline

Although Capital One is still most notable for its expansive line of cards, it began to understand the need for diversity as it neared the 21st century. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it entered retail banking to minimize the risk of limited revenue streams under a monoline business approach. This marked the time in which Capital One began applying its analytical data, previously utilized to construct customer profiles to propel its credit card business, to the sector of auto financing.

Throughout the early 2000s, the company made several key acquisitions to help support its transition into retail banking. It bought out Hibernia Nation Bank in 2006, followed by North Fork Bank and Chevy Chase Bank in 2008 in order to boost its market share in the New York and Washington D.C metropolitan areas.

One of the most important acquisitions, which finalized a transition from a monoline business layout to a diverse model that focused on providing retail banking services, was of ING Direct in 2012. This particular acquisition allowed Capital One to begin exploring online banking as a strategic tool in the customer’s financial experience.

Analytical Giants

One advantage Capital One had over competitors, even during its monoline days, was the ability to deep-dive into analytical reporting in order to understand its customer’s spending patterns. This level of intelligence allowed it to design cards according to the specific needs of its customers.

Analytics helped Capital One produce quality products that allowed it to stay afloat during harsher economic periods, despite only having credit cards as its sole stream of revenue. Its dedication to quality customer support and personal attention helped its customer base grow organically, so when it began acquiring larger banks in the early 2000s, its following naturally ventured into the expanded line of products and services.

A Small Period of Tremendous Growth

Capital One’s analytical abilities further complemented the growth experienced by the additional acquisitions. Like many big banks before it, Capital One strategically acquired companies based on their expertise in order to boost its own capabilities.

When Rob Alexander was appointed as the company’s Chief Information Officer in 2007, he placed a focus on acquisitions as a means of growing its reach and expanding its financial offerings.

The Historical Journal Square where Capital One houses one of its thriving New Jersey offices. Image credit: ChickPeaJC

This included additional lenders to increase its own credibility within the loan space, and technology companies to expand its digital and analytic operations. Its acquisition of ING in 2011 was key in pushing the company into the online banking sphere.

Alexander recognized the significant role mobile banking would have in the years to come. He began actively adopting a more agile business management style from 2011 onward, building a software development team to deliver better online banking to customers.

The ING acquisition and everything that followed allowed Capital One to be deemed third-largest card lender in the U.S, after financial powerhouses JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.

Expanding and Making Finance More Accessible

Headquartered in McLean Virginia, Capital One has progressed significantly from its monoline days. Despite its now-diversified offering of products and services, it remained true to its credit card roots and demonstrates unwavering dedication to providing a high-quality customer experience.

It currently has 123 offices across the U.S as well as locations in Canada, Germany, France, the Philippines, and the U.K. Capital One is beginning a new endeavor to revamp the way customers experience banking through the development of trendy financial cafes to complement its traditional local branches.

Capital One Cafe, NYC location. Image credit: Business Insider

Through the lure of freshly roasted coffee and innovative workspaces, these cafes are intended to provide a welcoming space for customers to take control of their finances. They offer one-on-one money coaching as well.

The Name You Know Today

As of 2018, Capital One earned $32.38 billion in revenue, and continues to help fund charitable endeavors such as its Future Edge initiative to support affordable housing and increase financial literacy. To accomplish this, the program has invested $150 million over the course of a five-year plan, focused on low-opportunity areas.

Logo for Capital One’s Financial Edge financial literacy program.

Image credit: Capital One

In addition to funding financial literacy programs that teach financial independence, Capital One also has committed itself to sponsoring college-based athletic programs to help students succeed academically and in its communities, as well as furthering financial and professional opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Capital One’s 2019 Data Breach

In July 2019, Capital One hit a bit of a speedbump.

A hacker managed to access a variety of personal information, ranging from Social Security numbers and linked bank account numbers to names and addresses, belonging to millions of Capital One customers in both the U.S. and Canada.

The good news? The suspect has since been apprehended, and Capital One’s rundown of the incident suggests that none of the information accessed seems to have been disseminated.

Nevertheless, the situation is an important reminder that even the modern security technology employed by global businesses has its weaknesses. If you think you may have been impacted by this breach, or any other data breach, make sure you understand how to deal with identity theft, and monitor your credit reports to keep an eye out for fraudulent activity.

Capital One has stated that it will notify customers that may have been impacted via traditional mail. Free credit monitoring and identity protection services are being offered to those affected.

Looking for cards from other issuers? Check out the best credit cards in a variety of categories and from many different issuers.
Was this helpful?
  • Jeff Lane

    I was recently late for a payment ( 5 days ) and they stopped the account. they didn’t notify me of that. I went out to eat with some family and my card was declined. I have a black cabelas card and pay off the card every month. I was late 5 days and this happened. don’t get this card you’ll be sorry. i’m cancelling my card as soon as I pay my next bill. there are a lot of other cards that are better. bye!

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