Best Capital One Credit Cards: Grow Your Finances with Rewards Galore (2023)
Capital One is renowned for its popular credit cards featuring easy-to-redeem rewards, low or no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and flexible redemption options with no minimums. The diverse range of Capital One cards caters to various consumers, including business travelers; cash back enthusiasts, students, and individuals with limited credit history.
Capital One’s remarkable growth is evident through its continuous enhancements in transfer partners and transfer ratios for select loyalty programs. The company has also astounded us with various limited-time transfer bonuses in the past. There has never been a better moment to explore Capital One’s top-notch credit cards within the Spark and Venture families, all of which offer valuable transferable points.
Let’s delve into the article.
- Annual fee: $395
- Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Rewards: 10 miles per dollar on car rentals and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2 miles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card stands out as the issuer’s first premium rewards credit card. It offers a wealth of travel benefits, including up to a $300 annual travel statement credit for bookings made through Capital One Travel, a statement credit for TSA Precheck/Global Entry, and a 10,000-mile boost on your account anniversary.
Cardholders also gain access to Capital One’s network of lounges and Priority Pass lounges for themselves and up to two guests. Furthermore, the card allows you to add up to four authorized users at no cost, granting them access to the lounge benefits as well.
TPG's Staff Pick: The Capital One Venture X card has been chosen as TPG's favorite travel credit card. With an annual fee significantly lower than the Amex Platinum, the card provides exceptional value, especially considering the $300 Capital One Travel Portal credit that can effectively bring down the annual fee to $95. Moreover, the card's Priority Pass Select membership comes with the added perk of access to airport restaurants. The card's high earning rate of 2 miles per dollar spent in various categories sets it apart from many other credit cards.
TakeNote: Upon enrollment through the Capital One website or mobile app, eligible cardholders will enjoy an upgraded status level through December 31, 2024. However, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards process will not automatically detect eligibility, and additional terms apply.
- Annual fee: $95
- Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Rewards: 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card has earned its reputation by providing a consistent 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and a straightforward fixed-value redemption structure. Its notable feature lies in the 15-plus transfer partners, with most partners offering a 1:1 transfer ratio, and a few remaining programs offering a 2:1.5 or 2:1 ratio, effectively giving the card an earning rate of up to 2 partner miles or points per dollar spent.
This level of flexibility allows cardholders to choose between fixed-value or transferable-points redemptions on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, the card offers a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) every four years.
- Annual fee: $0.
- Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
- Rewards: Earn a fixed and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a straightforward and hassle-free rewards program. For individuals seeking simplicity without the complexities of award charts or transfer bonuses, this card presents a decent option.
While its cash-back rate may not be the highest in the market, it remains competitive, especially considering its no-annual-fee feature. Though the sign-up bonus is not substantial, the low spending requirement makes it easily attainable.
However, if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee cash-back card with more competitive rewards, you might consider the Citi® Double Cash Card (see rates & fees). Alternatively, there is also the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which comes with a $39 annual fee.
- Annual fee: $0.
- Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 within the first three months from account opening.
- Rewards: 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases.
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card is the no-annual-fee version of the well-known Capital One Venture Rewards Card. It serves as an excellent introduction to the flexible miles program that can also be transferred to Capital One’s 15-plus airline and hotel transfer partners.
This card boasts enticing travel perks, including no foreign transaction fees, travel assistance, rental car coverage, and 24/7 concierge service. However, note that these benefits are available only to accounts approved for the World Elite Mastercard product, subject to terms and conditions.
- Annual fee: $0.
- Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Rewards: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), and 1% on everything else.
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is designed to deliver generous cash-back returns on everyday purchases across popular categories. With no limit on the rewards you can earn and the ability to redeem rewards for pure cash back, this card stands out among its no-annual-fee cash-back counterparts.
Its extensive bonus categories make it a valuable choice for many consumers. Furthermore, it offers the convenience of no foreign transaction fees, making it a suitable option for international use.
- Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
- Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening.
- Rewards: 2 miles per dollar on purchases and 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card offers a valuable option for business owners seeking access to the same great airline and hotel transfer partners available to the Venture family of cards. With free employee cards and no foreign transaction fees, it is well-suited for business travel. Additionally, the card provides up to $100 in credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment fees every four years, adding further convenience for frequent travelers. Terms apply.
- Annual fee: $150.
- Sign-up bonus: Earn $1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first three months of account opening.
- Rewards: Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere.
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is an ideal choice for business owners seeking to maximize their expenses without the complexities of multiple purchase categories. It offers valuable cash-back rewards that can help reduce operating expenses in the long run. The $150 annual fee may be justified for businesses with yearly expenses exceeding $7,500.
The card does not have an APR, as the balance must be paid in full every month. However, if not paid in full, a 2.99% charge is applied to the unpaid portion. Similar to other Capital One cards on this list, Spark Cash Plus does not charge foreign transaction fees.
- Annual fee: $95.
- Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Rewards: The card earns 4% back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% on everything else.
The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card focuses on competitive earning rates rather than lavish perks and benefits. With enticing bonus categories like dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, it offers an attractive cash-back program.
While there may be cards with more valuable individual bonus categories, the Savor stands out for its no-frills approach and multiple solid bonus categories in one package. To make the most of the $95 annual fee, ensure you earn more than $95 in cash back each year.
If you prefer a no-annual-fee option, consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card earns a well-deserved spot on our list of the best cash-back credit cards.
How Do Capital One Credit Card Rewards Work?
Capital One credit card rewards allow you to earn unlimited cash back or miles on every purchase. These rewards can be redeemed for:
• Cash back • Gift cards • Travel • Merchandise
Rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. However, if you close your account, any unredeemed rewards will be lost.
How Do You Apply for a Capital One Credit Card?
To apply for a Capital One credit card, follow these steps:
- Fill out an online application providing the following information:
- NameDate of birthSocial Security numberHome addressEmail addressPhone numberEmployment statusAnnual incomeMonthly rent or mortgage payment
- Bank account type(s)
As soon as you submit your application, Capital One will typically provide a decision within a few minutes. If your application is denied, you’ll receive a letter stating the reason. If approved, you can expect to receive your Capital One credit card in the mail within seven to 10 business days.
For Capital One secured credit cards, you must fund the security deposit before the card is shipped.
What Are All of the Capital One Services Offered?
Capital One offers a comprehensive range of personal and commercial credit and banking services, including:
• Business and consumer credit cards
• Auto loans
• Business banking
• Car shopping tool
• Checking and savings accounts
What Are the Benefits of Having a Capital One Card?
Having a Capital One card comes with numerous benefits, including:
• 24-hour customer service • Access to exclusive events • Automated account assistant • Automatic credit line reviews • Card lock • Emergency card replacement • Flexible rewards • Fraud liability protection • Free credit monitoring • Mobile app • No foreign transaction fees • Online shopping tool • Personalized payment • Proactive account alerts • Security alerts • Unlimited rewards with no expiration date • Virtual card numbers
Types of Capital One Credit Cards
Capital One offers a variety of credit cards across multiple categories, including:
• Cash back credit cards: Offering lucrative earning rates in diverse categories like dining, hotels, travel, and everyday purchases, there’s a Capital One cash back card for every type of spender.
• Travel credit cards: The Venture family of cards provides ways to earn rewards towards travel, with the Venture X card offering impressive perks at a lower annual fee. Additionally, Capital One’s list of travel partners can increase the value of your points when transferred.
• Credit-building credit cards: Capital One offers cards designed for people with little to no credit, providing opportunities to establish and build credit, with some even offering rewards.
Pros and Cons of Capital One Credit Cards
• Credit card variety: Capital One offers a wide range of cards tailored to different spending habits.
• Credit range: Whether you have bad credit or excellent credit, Capital One has a card to help you achieve your financial goals.
• Travel benefits: All Capital One cards have no foreign transaction fees, saving you 3% to 5% per transaction.
• Annual fees: Many Capital One cards have an annual fee, although some waive the fee for the first year or offer ways to offset it.
• Higher-than-average APR: Some Capital One cards have relatively high ongoing APRs, so it’s best to avoid carrying a large balance.
• Competition: Capital One has limited high-end credit card offerings compared to competitors that may offer more rewards and overall value.
How the Capital One Rewards Program Works
Capital One provides a diverse range of credit card rewards, including cash back and miles. Cashback credit cards offer varying percentages of cashback based on the category and specific card. For instance, the SavorOne Cash Rewards card earns 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases, meaning $100 spent in this category would result in $8 back, redeemable at any time.
Alternatively, Capital One’s suite of Venture cards earns miles, which can be used for future trips. The consumer-class Capital One cards that earn miles are:
• Venture X Rewards Credit Card • Venture Rewards Credit Card • VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Once you accumulate Capital One mile, you have several redemption options through your Capital One account:
• Book travel through the Capital One Travel portal
• Transfer miles to a travel partner
• Get cash back as a statement credit or check
• Get gift cards for various brands
• Purchase event tickets through the Capital One Entertainment portal
• Pay for purchases through PayPal or Amazon
Transferring miles to a travel partner generally yields the most value, with most miles transferred at a 1:1 rate. According to the latest points and miles valuation, Capital One miles are worth an average of 2 cents per mile when transferred to high-value partners. This means that 100,000 Capital One miles could be valued up to $2,000.
Capital One’s Travel Cards: Venture, VentureOne, and Venture X
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: If you want to earn travel rewards on your everyday expenses, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice. It offers a flat 2X miles on every purchase and comes with a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, equivalent to $750 in travel. The card has a $95 annual fee.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card:
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is the younger sibling of the Venture card. It has no annual fee and offers a rewards rate of 1.25X miles per dollar spent. For those new to the travel rewards game, this card serves as a great starter option.
It also provides a bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $500 within your first 3 months of account opening, which is worth at least $200 in travel when booked through Capital One Travel.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card:
The Venture X Rewards card is a relatively new mid-tier luxury travel card that earns unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases. Although it comes with an annual fee of $395, this fee is lower than that of other luxury travel cards.
Are Capital One Credit Cards Worth It?
Capital One credit cards are definitely worth considering, especially if you value cash back or high-earning travel cards. The selection of travel credit cards rivals those from American Express and Chase but comes with lower annual fees.
Additionally, the SavorOne Cash Rewards card, Capital One’s cash-back dining card, offers attractive cash-back rates at grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target), restaurants, and take-out. If your spending aligns with any of Capital One’s bonus categories for cash back or travel, their credit cards are undoubtedly worth your consideration.
In summary, Capital One’s credit card lineup presents excellent choices for a wide range of consumers, offering appealing rewards, travel benefits, and redemption flexibility. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or prefer cash-back rewards, Capital One has a credit card to suit your needs.
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