Best Capital One Credit Cards of 2019

With rewards credit cards, you often have to choose between business or pleasure. Capital One cards have enough flexibility to turn the "or" into an "and." Here’s our review of the best credit cards from Capital One.

The best Capital One credit cards:

Best for students

Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 - 740)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Rewards Rate:
Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
26.99% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get Eno®, your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.
Welcome Offer:
Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 9 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account. Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠ using a Spark Miles Select card
Welcome Offer:
Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles – equal to $200 in travel – once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 9 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles – equal to $200 in travel – once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠ using a Spark Miles Select card
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Transfer your miles to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 1.5X miles from their purchases
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 - 740)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.
Welcome Offer:
N/A
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
24.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Build and strengthen credit for your business by using this credit card responsibly
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Capital One Image

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

GM BuyPower Business Card from Capital One®

Rewards Rate:
5% Earnings on purchases of GM parts, accessories and service at authorized GM dealers 3% Earnings on purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and office supply stores 1% Earnings on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
N/A
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
18.74% Variable APR

Card Details

  • 3% Earnings on purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and office supply stores; 1% Earnings on all other purchases; plus, 5% Earnings on purchases of GM parts, accessories and service at authorized GM dealers - all of which can be exclusively redeemed toward the purchase or lease of an eligible, new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle
  • No annual fee, no limit to how much you can earn and redeem, and your Earnings don't expire on an open Account; plus, a 0% Intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months and a variable APR of 18.74% after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Author: Barry Bridges


What you need to know about Capital One credit cards

Capital One credit cards offer a wide range of options, including cards for travel rewards, cash back and business. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide detailing everything you need to know before applying for a Capital One card:

How we review cards

Our team at Bankrate has researched the top Capital One cards for every financial situation based on the following categories:

  • Review criteria: We take our reviews seriously. Each card’s review score takes into account rewards rates, sign-up bonuses, extra fees, benefits and more. Additionally, we weigh specific factors more heavily depending on the card.
  • Rewards rate: To many, rewards rates are of the utmost importance when choosing a credit card. When we review Capital One cards, we examine rewards rates via spending categories, redemption options and more.
  • Sign-up bonus: Sign-up bonuses are great, but are they worth the cost of the card you want? Our experts at Bankrate look at each card’s sign-up bonus alongside its rewards rate in order to determine the real value.
  • Annual fee: We take into account each card’s annual fee to show you what you need to spend to make up for the annual cost.

Top picks for Capital One credit cards

Here’s a look at the best Capital One credit cards of 2019 according to our experts:

Card Name Score Best For
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 4.6/5 Travel rewards
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card 4.6/5 Dining and entertainment
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card 4.8/5 Simple cash back
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card 4.1/5 No annual fee travel rewards
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card 3.9/5 Limited credit history
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card 4.7/5 Dining and entertainment with no annual fee
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card 4.1/5 Fair credit
Capital One® Secured Mastercard® 4.2/5 Bad credit
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business 4.7/5 Cash back business card
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business 4.6/5 Travel business card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best for travel rewards

What we love:

  • Earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase
  • Spend $3,000 within your first 3 months of account opening and get 50,000 bonus miles

What we wish were different:

  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year)

Bottom line:

If you’d rather not pay the $95 annual fee, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is fee-free. Keep in mind there’s a lower rewards rate of 1.25X miles per dollar on every purchase.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment

What we love:

  • You’ll earn from everyday spending with an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else
  • When you spend $3,000 within your first three months of account opening, you’ll get $300 in cash back

What we wish were different:

  • Despite it being waived for the first year, there’s a $95 annual fee

Bottom line:

The Savor Cash Rewards card will work best if you spend heavily on dining and entertainment. Pair this card with another high-rate cash back rewards card, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which earns 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and 3% back at U.S. gas stations.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for simple cash back

What we love:

  • You’ll get 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • You won’t be charged an annual fee
  • There’s a $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 within your first 3 months of account opening
  • We especially like the Visa Signature® Benefits that come with the card, such as travel and emergency assistance, auto rental coverage and fraud coverage.

What we wish were different:

  • Depending on what you’re looking for, you may not like the lack of specific bonus categories.
  • Despite there being a 15-month zero percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers (15.74%-25.74% variable thereafter), you’ll be charged a 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months.

Bottom line: This is a great low-maintenance card for earning cash back, but if you’re looking to build your credit, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card may be a better choice. Although there’s no sign-up bonus or introductory APR offer and there’s a $39 annual fee, it’s easier to qualify for (the card is recommended for limited to average credit) while earning the same rewards rate as the Quicksilver.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: Best for no annual fee travel rewards

What we love:

  • Earn an unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar on all purchases
  • Redeem miles for travel statement credit with any hotel or airline listed

What we wish were different:

  • Modest sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles (spend $1,000 within your first 3 months of card membership to qualify)

Bottom line: The VentureOne’s rewards rate and 20,000-mile sign-up bonus ( after spending $1,000 in first 3 months) is much smaller compared to its sibling, the Capital One® Venture Card. But unlike the Venture, you won’t pay an annual fee.

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Best for limited credit history

What we love:

  • Good for building your credit history
  • After 5 on-time payments, you’re eligible to be considered for a higher credit line
  • Since this is an unsecured card, you won’t have to pay an upfront security deposit

What we wish were different:

  • You won’t earn any rewards with this card
  • The 26.99% variable APR is pretty high

Bottom line: You won’t get much out of this card other than a solid platform for building credit, but it does come with Mastercard Platinum benefits, which include travel and car rental protections.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment with no annual fee

What we love:

  • Earn an unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months of account opening

What we wish were different:

  • 3% fee on balance transfers made within the first 15 months

Bottom line: If you spend a decent amount of money on eating out, catching concerts or seeing movies, the SavorOne is a great way to earn cash back while doing so.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for fair credit

What we love:

  • Straightforward rewards card for those with less than stellar credit
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • You can redeem your rewards anytime (in any amount) as an account credit, check, gift card or cash back

What we wish were different:

  • There’s no sign-up bonus
  • $39 annual fee

Bottom line: The QuicksilverOne is nothing fancy, but it can help you build you your credit while earning a respectable amount in cash back rewards. There are other flat-rate cash back card options that can earn you at least 1.5% cash back without charging an annual fee, such as the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, but you’ll need good-to-excellent credit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Best for bad credit

What we love:

  • Capital One regularly reports to all 3 major credit bureaus – that means you may be considered for a higher line of credit after five on-time payments

What we wish were different:

  • There is no rewards structure
  • High purchase APR of 26.99% variable

Bottom line: The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a standard secured card, but it doesn’t charge an annual fee. Another added bonus is that you could qualify for a higher credit line than your secured deposit.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Best for cash back business card

What we love:

  • Earn an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase
  • The $95 annual fee is waived your first year
  • For a limited time earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening

What we wish were different:

  • No introductory 0% APR
  • If you miss any payments, you’ll be charged up to $39, in addition to possibly being subjected to a high penalty APR

Bottom line: You can’t go wrong with the Spark Cash for Business card. It’s a great option for flat cash back rewards, especially if your spending isn’t concentrated in small-business categories.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Best for travel business card

What we love:

  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase
  • For a limited time you get a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening
  • Your miles won’t expire and there aren’t any blackout dates or seat restrictions on travel
  • Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

What we wish were different:

  • $95 annual fee, waived for your first year.

Bottom line: The Spark Miles for Business is a great option for small businesses with a lot of traveling to do. With a variety of redemption options, a generous sign-up bonus and simple rewards structure, you can’t go wrong.

Benefits of having Capital One cards

From travel to cash back to business cards, Capital One has a variety of credit card options for various types of credit scores. Here is a rundown of what else Capital One has to offer:

Account management services

  • Eno® Your Intelligent Assistant from Capital One allows you to keep tabs on your account with texting, balance checking options, transaction review and bill payment.
  • You’ll have access to 24/7 customer service support.
  • Capital One offers Proactive Account Alerts via email and text to keep you updated on account happenings.

Apps and digital services

  • With the Capital One Mobile App, you can view your balance and transactions, pay your bill and more.
  • CreditWise® from Capital One helps you monitor your credit for free, without hurting your score.

Travel and retail benefits

  • No Capital One cards charge foreign transaction fees, giving you a savings of 3% to 5% per foreign transaction.
  • You have access to 24-hour travel assistance, including an emergency replacement card option and cash advances.
  • If you rent a car using your Capital One card, you’ll be covered for damage due to collision or theft with an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.
  • Enjoy access to Travel Accident Insurance and Roadside Assistance.

Downsides of having a Capital One card

  • There are no high-end cards available from Capital One. High-end cards are more advantageous in terms of rewards and overall value.
  • Some of Capital One’s lower-end credit cards have low credit limits to match.

Benefits of the Capital One travel rewards program

The Capital One travel rewards program offers a decent amount of flexibility when it comes to earning miles. Capital One offers the Venture® Rewards and VentureOne® Rewards as travel card options. Seeing as they aren’t co-branded cards, or affiliated with certain hotels or airlines, you won’t be limited to one brand. Plus, you’ll earn a flat rewards rate for every purchase – no rotating bonus categories, no problem.

If you are interested in transferring your points, Capital One offers 14 airline transfer partners, with more and more added throughout the year:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Hainan
  • Qantas
  • Qatar
  • Singapore KrisFlyer

Here are a few other perks:

  • You can redeem miles for travel, gift cards or as a statement credit for travel booked in the past 90 days on your Capital One card.
  • Redemption also includes spending on Airbnb and Uber.

Let’s break down the Venture vs. VentureOne using a few examples:

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

If you’re a frequent traveler looking to earn a good amount of rewards on travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good match. You’ll earn a flat 2X miles on every purchase. This card comes with a 50,000-mile bonus (equal to $500 towards travel) when you spend $3,000 within your first three months of account opening. There’s no annual fee for the first year, but you’ll be charged $95 thereafter.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is the younger sibling to the Venture card. It offers no annual fee and a lesser rewards rate of 1.25X miles per purchase.

If you’re just getting into the travel rewards game, this is a great starter card. There’s also a small bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $1,000 within your first three months of account opening.

The bottom line

Both the Venture and VentureOne offer the option to transfer your miles to 14 airlines and counting. There aren’t any blackout dates on travel and you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees for spending abroad.

The main difference is that VentureOne does not have an annual fee and the Venture offers a higher rewards rate. Consider whether or not your spending habits will allow you to make up for the $95 annual fee of the Venture card. If you already travel a few times a month, we say go for it.

Card Capital One Venture Capital One VentureOne
TPG November 2019 point valuation 1.4 1.4
Spending example $500 * 12 months * 2X miles* $0.014 = $168 $500 * 12 months * 1.25X miles * $0.014 = $105
Rewards structure Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase Unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase
Annual fee $95, waived first year $0
Welcome bonus 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months (worth $500 towards travel) 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months (worth $200 towards travel)
First-year value $668 (including welcome offer) $305 (including welcome offer)

How to pair Capital One cards

Maximize your spending and rewards earned by combining two Capital One cards. Here’s one example:

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

In order to maximize the value of pairing these two cards, it’s best to use the Savor for all dining, entertainment and grocery store purchases, then the Quicksilver for everything else. Try not to use the Savor’s 1% category, seeing as you could use the Quicksilver and earn an extra .5% cash back.

If you’re interested in transferring any debt or paying off big purchases without interest, use the Quicksilver to do so. You’ll get a 15-month introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (15.74%-25.74% variable thereafter). Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay a 3% fee on any balance transfers made within the introductory period (the first 15 months).

Let’s take a look at first-year spending example for the two cards:

Card Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
Best for Dining and entertainment Simple cash back
Spending example $300 * 12 months * 4% cash back * $0.01 = $144

$300 * 12 months * 2% cash back * $0.01 = $72

$200 * 12 months * 1.5% cash back * $0.01 = $36
Rewards structure Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all other purchases Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Annual fee $95, waived first year $0
Welcome bonus $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 within your first 3 months of card membership. $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 within your first three months of account opening.
First-year value $516 (including welcome offer) $186 (including welcome bonus)

The bottom line

At the end of your first year of card membership, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards would earn you a total of $1,046.

How do I get a Capital One credit card?

So, you’ve decided you want a Capital One credit card. Here’s what an issuer will look at when you apply for one of their credit cards:

Credit score

First and foremost, any credit card issuer will look at your credit score to determine whether or not you qualify for a card. Your credit score is made up of the following categories:

  • Accounts owned
  • Payment history
  • Credit mix
  • Length of credit history
  • New credit

Read our piece on how to build your credit here.

Debt-to-income ratio

A card issuer will also look at your debt-to-income ratio, meaning how much of your monthly income is dedicated to paying off debt.

Check if you’re pre-qualified

Capital One offers a 60-second credit card pre-qualification check on their site. The tool will match you to Capital One credit cards that you qualify for, only requiring a few basic informational questions. Most importantly, it won’t impact your credit score.

Applying for a Capital One card

When applying for a card, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • Estimated gross annual income
  • Checking or savings account information

Card Approval

Capital One will notify you of their decision by mail within 7 to 10 days. If you are approved, you can use the card as soon as you activate it.

Who is Capital One?

Established in 1994, most Capital One branches are located in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Capital One is one of the 10 largest U.S. banks based on deposits and the third largest credit card issuer. Here are some additional statistics:

  • 8th largest U.S. bank by deposits
  • 2nd largest financial institution auto loan originator
  • 3rd Largest Issuer of Small Business credit cards in the U.S.
  • Total Assets: $372.5 billion
  • Total Deposits: $29.8 billion
  • Total Revenues FY 2018: $28.1 billion

Source: Capital One By The Numbers

Services offered

Besides personal and business credit cards, Capital One offers checking and savings accounts, auto loans, business banking services and commercial banking solutions. To learn more about these services, visit https://www.capitalone.com/.


Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to bbridges@bankrate.com.

Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.