Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Well-known for its advertising slogan “What’s in your wallet?” Capital One presents a compelling case for always having one of its cards on hand for earning rewards on every purchase you make.
Add the fact that J.D. Powers recognized Capital One as having the highest in customer satisfaction among mobile banking apps of all financial institutions,¹ and you’ll start to understand the company’s delivery commitment.
Capital One cards historically don’t come with fancy quarterly bonus categories, airline or hotel perks, promotions needing registration, or a long list of bonus categories you have to memorize. You’d normally just be earning unlimited rewards and enjoying no-hassle redemptions.
However, Capital One’s most recent entry into the premium travel rewards card space offers a new, more vibrant card option that we’ve included in today’s collection.
If you’re looking for a credit card that earns travel rewards, cash-back, or a chance to build or rebuild your credit history, there’s bound to be a Capital One card that fits your needs.
Let’s take a look at the rewards, benefits, and credit-building solutions offered by some of the best Capital One credit cards.
While we will review a more exhaustive list of the best Capital One credit cards for various categories, here is a detailed overview of some of our favorites:
|Card||Welcome Offer and Annual Fee||Benefits|
Capital One’s flagship credit card, the Capital One Venture X card, is a powerhouse when it comes to earning Capital One miles on travel purchases. You’ll fare best when purchasing travel via Capital One Travel, however, you’ll still earn 2x miles on every other purchase you make, including travel.
And, as you’d expect from a premium travel rewards card, you’ll have plenty of perks and benefits. Enjoy worldwide lounge access with your Priority Pass Select membership, access to Capital One Lounges and Plaza Premium Lounges, a $300 travel credit for travel purchased via Capital One Travel, cell phone protection, car rental insurance and benefits, and more.
If simplicity is still your priority, the Capital One Venture card may be a fit as you’ll earn double miles every day on every purchase you make — making it a great travel rewards card option.
When it’s time to redeem your miles, you’ll have the same options of purchasing travel via Capital One Travel or transferring to travel partners.
That strong marketing message of earning double miles has made the Capital One Venture card a popular choice, and with simple earning and redemption options, plus lots of benefits, it’s an easy card to have in your wallet.
Have more questions about these 2 popular Capital One travel rewards cards? Don’t miss our in-depth article comparing the Capital One Venture X card and the Capital One Venture card.
Hot Tip: Cardholders of the Capital One Venture X card, Capital One Venture card, and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card can enjoy exclusive experiences and up to $300 in discounts towards a Gravity Haus membership. The club caters to adventurers who are interested in health and wellness and those who enjoy the outdoors.
Often overlooked, but certainly worthy of consideration, is the Capital One Savor card.
If you’re a foodie, have a lot of business dining expenses, or dine out frequently, you can’t go wrong earning 4% cash-back on dining.
You earn at least 1% cash-back on every purchase and 2% at grocery stores, so there’s plenty of earning potential for everyday spending.
Hot Tip: A great perk that comes with all Capital One consumer and business cards through June 22, 2024, is a free 6-month membership to The Cultivisit, a service offering free access to museums across the world.
They may lack excitement, but simplicity may be more important when it comes to everyday earnings, and that’s what you’ll get with Capital One cash-back credit cards.
You’ll earn cash-back on every purchase, but you’ll also have the opportunity to take advantage of the 0% APR periods for purchases and balance transfers that come with all of these cash-back credit cards.
Hot Tip: Don’t forget that you can earn additional cash-back by using Capital One Offers.
Capital One has a long list of cards in its lineup that do not charge an annual fee. The collection of no-annual-fee Capital One cards includes a credit card for every spending profile and credit history.
You’ll find rewards-earning credit cards, 0% APR credit cards, cash-back credit cards, cards for less-than-perfect credit, and a card for rebuilding your credit.
|Best Capital One No-Annual Fee Credit Cards|
|Recommended For Excellent Credit||
|Recommended For Average Credit||
|Recommended For Rebuilding Credit|
Earning 2% cash-back or 2 miles per dollar on all of your business expenses can be a respectable return, but you will have to pay an annual fee to do so on the following cards versus the no-annual-fee business credit cards.
Don’t let the
The same is true for the Capital One Spark Miles card earning 2x miles per dollar spent. Spending $50,000 would equal 100,000 Capital One miles for just an annual fee of
Let’s look at how the cards compare:
|Best Capital One Credit Card for Business||Earnings||Annual Fee|
|Capital One Spark Cash Plus card||2% cash-back on every purchase|
|Capital One Spark Cash Select card||1.5% cash-back on every purchase||$0|
|Capital One Spark Miles card||2x miles on every purchase|
|Capital One Spark Miles Select card||1.5x miles on every purchase|
It would be wishful thinking to find a credit card that doesn’t charge interest, but the next best thing is a credit card that doesn’t charge interest for a specific period of time.
A window of interest-free purchases or balance transfers allows you to make a large purchase and pay the balance off over time — or transfer balances from your high-interest credit cards and receive temporary relief from interest charges.
You’ll want to manage your 0% APR transactions well and make sure all balances are paid off in full prior to the expiration of the 0% APR period to avoid incurring any interest charges. Once the 0% APR period has expired, you’ll be subject to normal interest rates on the card, which can exceed 20%.
Recommended Capital One card choices for introductory 0% APR offers:
Have you had past credit challenges and want to get back on the right path? Or are you just starting out and need a credit card to help you build a solid credit history? Perhaps you’re even an entrepreneur with less-than-stellar credit trying to get your business up and running.
These are all situations that Capital One addresses with its credit card offerings for building or rebuilding credit.
|Capital One Credit Card for Building/Rebuilding Credit||Benefits|
|Capital One Platinum Credit Card||
|Capital One Platinum Secured card||
|Capital One Spark Classic card||
Applying for a credit card can be intimidating, as you’re never 100% sure you’ll get approved. Fortunately, you can diminish that stress with Capital One credit cards, as they have a user-friendly pre-qualifying process designed to let you know upfront if you’re likely to qualify for one of its credit cards.
You’ll simply complete the short form to see if you’re pre-qualified for any of its cards.
The pre-qualification form is not a credit card application, so there’s no hard credit pull and no guarantee you’ll ultimately be approved. However, it does give you an idea of which cards you’re likely to be approved for.
To read about the pre-qualifying process for Capital One and other credit card issuers, you can access our complete guide to credit card pre-qualification.
Another option is to use the CardMatch tool that lets you know if you’ve been targeted for any credit card offers. Capital One is one of the participating financial institutions on the site.
Once you sign in to your Capital One online account, you’ll have the option to easily redeem your miles for travel.
Capital One miles are generally worth 1 cent each, are easy to redeem, and you have several redemption options. Just log in to your Capital One online account for access to several redemption options. Note that all redemption options will not be available on every card.
1. Use for Travel Purchases
You can redeem your miles for new travel with Capital One Travel or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases from the previous 90 days.
2. Transfer Miles to Travel Partners
One of the best options for redeeming your rewards is to transfer to airline and hotel partners. This option, if available on your card, can result in potentially far better than 1 cent per mile in value.
3. Redeem for Gift Cards
Use your miles to purchase gift cards at the value of 1 cent per mile.
4. Redeem for Cash
Not a good option as your miles are only worth 0.5 cents per mile when redeemed for cash. Avoid this choice if you can!
Redeem your miles for a charitable donation by selecting from a long list of organizations such as the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. Be sure to select an option that gives you at least 1 cent per mile in value.
6. Checkout With PayPal
When your eligible card is linked to PayPal, you can checkout with PayPal and redeem your miles at a rate of 125 miles to $1. We’d recommend this only if you can’t use your miles for travel or as a statement credit.
Hot Tip: Look for special offers when redeeming miles for gift cards as there are frequent options to redeem for better than 1 cent per mile.
It’s easy to collect the cash-back you’ve earned on your Capital One cash-back credit card.
You’ll simply log in to your Capital One online account to view your rewards balance and choose the redemption option you want.
Take your cash-back as a statement credit that will be applied to your credit card balance, or you can request that a check be sent to you.
Cash-back rewards can also be redeemed for gift cards or for a charitable donation.
Hot Tip: Are you curious about how Capital One credit cards stack up to its competitors? Check out our head-to-head comparison of Capital One cards to Chase cards.
Your specific Capital One credit card will have its own travel protections, shopping benefits, and additional features and benefits. This list comprises many of the benefits and protections available. However, your card agreement will determine which ones apply to your individual credit card.
You will receive a cardholder agreement in the mail accompanying your new credit card, or you can access any Capital One benefits guide online.
Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details.
The broad collection of Capital One credit cards ensures there’s an appropriate card for every type of consumer, including frequent travelers.
And with the addition of the Capital One Venture X card, you’ll now have access to premium travel perks such as travel credits, elevated earning categories for travel, and worldwide lounge access.
Business owners looking for related bonus purchase categories such as office supplies, shipping, travel, and internet or phone services won’t find these offerings on Capital One credit cards, but they will find solid flat rate earnings that ensure every purchase earns rewards.
And even if your credit is less than perfect, you’ll find a card that can help you build or rebuild your credit.
Capital One seems to know its market well and does a good job of delivering solid credit card solutions that offer simple-to-earn rewards that are also easy to redeem — and plenty of its cards do not charge an annual fee.
No identity crisis here, Capital One knows exactly what it’s doing.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Classic for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Platinum Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Neither the Capital One pre-qualifying tool nor the CardMatch tool will hurt your credit score.
Although you do have to provide a partial or full Social Security number when completing the forms, neither does a hard credit pull on your credit report, so your credit score is not affected.
Both are helpful tools for a no-risk look to see if you have any targeted credit card offers.
The perfect Capital One credit card is the one that matches your spending habits, offers rewards you can use, and has an annual fee you can live with, or no annual fee if that is your preference.
For example, if you don’t travel, you may want to select a credit card that earns cash-back. You may also want a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. These 2 factors narrow the choices significantly.
You’ll also want to select a credit card for which you’ll have a chance of getting approved. If your credit history has some blemishes, you may want to start with one of the credit cards suited for rebuilding your credit.
The Capital One Platinum Secured card functions like a normal credit card. You charge a purchase and then pay it off at the end of the billing period.
However, applying and getting approved for the Capital One Platinum Secured card is different than a normal credit card in that you’ll need a security deposit to secure the card. The security deposit for the card will range from $49 to $200 (depending on your creditworthiness) to receive a credit limit of $200.
This is because a secured credit card is designed for consumers who have no proven credit history or have bad credit. Once you’ve made 5 consecutive on-time payments, you will be considered for a higher credit limit.
Even with these restrictions, a secured credit card is a good vehicle for building or rebuilding your credit history because it reports your activity to all 3 credit bureaus.
Capital One rewards, whether cash-back balances or miles, do not expire as long as you have an active account open. If you close your account, any miles or cash-back that have not been redeemed will be forfeited.
Capital One miles can be transferred to other Capital One accounts, which can be an option for preserving your unredeemed balance.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.