Capital One is a financial organization that specializes in credit cards, loans and other financial products and is one of the ten largest banks in the United States, with an equally huge share in Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries.
We have discussed Capital One many times on this site, including when looking for the Best Rewards Cards and the Best Travel Cards. In this guide to Capital One credit cards we are going to take a closer look, seeing what the best and worst Capital One credit cards are and telling you just why you should choose these guys over other providers on the market.
Best Capital One Credit Cards
Capital One have a host of quality, competitive products, including credit cards. This is really the main reason to focus on them. You should still focus on other providers, taking a look at everyone from Chase to American Express and Discover (the Discover It Card in particular has some impressive features), just make sure you include Capital One cards in the mix.
Capital One Quicksilver
Every time you spend money on the Capital One Quicksilver you get 1.5% cashback. That may not sound like a lot when compared to the 3% and the 5% offers you may have seen elsewhere. But those offers are often limited to $6,000 a year, typically split into quarterly amounts. And once you pass those limits then you go back to earning 1% or even less.
With the Capital One Quicksilver you don't get those occasional peaks, but you do get a rate that remains solid throughout and that’s why this card will appeal to big spenders who tear through $30,000 and more a year.
You also get $150 free when you spend just $500 in your first three months and there is an introductory 0% APR that lasts for 15 months and applies to both purchases and balance transfers. The APR can then be as low as 14.49%, although it can also go as high as 24.49%.
The Capital One Quicksilver is a very good rewards card and one that offers a number of benefits, which we will get to shortly. However, you need to have an “Excellent” credit rating to be approved, and that will rule out the majority of people reading this guide.
If you have a good credit rating you may be able to spend a little time improving it and getting it to where you need it. Just take a look at our guide on How to Improve Your Credit Score. Alternatively, you may get approved for one of these other Capital One credit cards.
Capital One Venture
The Capital One Venture card was created with frequent flyers in mind. It is Capital One’s biggest and best entry in the 2018 travel credit card market and it is currently one of the best travel cards around.
You can earn 2x miles on a huge number of purchases and if you spend money on bookings at hotels then you can earn 10x. These miles go towards securing you big savings on travel essentials, including flights to destinations around the world.
There is also a bonus that rewards you with a total of 50,000 air miles if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
As far as rewards go, it is one of the best Capital One credit cards on the market. However, it is far from perfect. As with the Quicksilver card, you will need to have a very good credit rating to apply and it is also geared more towards big spenders than customers who typically spend $5,000 to $10,000 a year.
That’s because not only do you need to spend an average of $1,000 a month for the first three months to unlock the big reward, but there is also a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year) and this can seriously eat into your rewards if you are not spending enough to benefit from them.
Capital One Savor Dining
The previous cards were ideal for everyday spending and for travel respectively, but this one is all about dining and entertainment.
You can actually earn rewards every time you spend, with 1% paid out on most purchases, but you will earn 3% when you spend at restaurants and you can also earn 2% on groceries.
There is a $150 cash bonus available as well and there is also an introductory APR that returns 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After this period you will pay anywhere from 15.99% to 24.74%.
Worst Capital One Credit Cards
While we are happy to recommend the above cards, we can’t say the same about the following ones. These cards are either too restrictive, don’t have as many rewards, or have too many fees.
Capital One Secured Card
We have reviewed secured credit cards before and have discussed how these can be essential for someone who has no credit or bad credit. However, the Secured Credit Card from Capital One just doesn’t have the same appeal as many of the better secured credit cards out there.
The maximum credit line is just $200 and there is an APR that is only a fraction below 25%. Very few secured credit cards look good when you compare them to rewards cards and other standard cards, but this one doesn’t even look very good when you compare it to other secured cards.
Capital One Platinum
We love a good VIP credit card as this is when the rewards really come into their own. We are big fans of the classic Amex Platinum card, because even though it is no longer the best, it was one of the first and is still the preferred premium card for many.
However, the Capital One Platinum falls someway short of the standard set by the Amex. The APR is considerable, with a rate that can be as high as 26.73% and never goes below 19.73%.
The good news is that you don’t need a great or even a good credit rating to get it, which means it’s not like the exclusive platinum cards offered by other lenders. But it’s lacking in so many areas that we can’t understand why anyone would choose this card over all of the others on the market.
Are Capital One a Good or Bad Provider?
Capital One is still a bank, it’s still a huge corporation, and it still gets a lot of things wrong. It is by no means perfect, and there are countless negative reviews out there from customers who have had bad experiences with Capital One.
One review site we looked at scored them 1 star out of 5 after calculating hundreds of user reviews, but it’s important to remember that it’s pretty much the same story with all other lenders. The vast majority of customers only leave reviews when they want to vent and have something negative to say, so those sites are never a great indicator.
On the whole, looking at what consumer groups have had to say about the matter, Capital One do not have the best customer support, but they don’t have the worst either and are probably somewhere in the middle.