Best Capital One Credit Cards of August 2020

Which is the best one to have? We'll help you choose

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments we receive from our advertising partners. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

The best Capital One credit cards offer valuable and easy-to-earn rewards, reasonable or no annual fees, solid bonuses for new cardholders, and competitive interest rates, among other things. 

Which one of the popular issuer’s cards is right for you? Some are geared to travelers, students, or small businesses, others are broadly appealing if you want a little something back on each purchase. We analyzed the latest offers to help you determine which might work best for you.

Best Capital One Credit Cards

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best Overall

,

Best for Cash-Back Rewards

Our Rating Among Capital One Cards
4.1
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We ranked this card No. 1 because of its tried and true value: simple but solid cash-back rewards, no annual fee, and a decent, easy-to-earn welcome bonus: $150 when you make $500 in purchases within three months of account opening. You’ll earn the same reliable 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend, with no limits, and you can redeem your cash back in any increments you want, whenever you want. Plus, there’s no interest on purchases for your first 15 months—which gives you a reasonable amount of breathing room if you need to spread out some bigger bills.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Solid cash-back rate on every dollar you spend
    • Simple, no-fuss cash back is easy to earn and redeem
    • Competitive welcome bonus

    Cons

    • No interest-free promotion on balance transfers
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
    • Every purchase earns 1.5% cash back, and the total cash back you can earn is unlimited.
    • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Best for Students

Our Rating Among Capital One Cards
3.7
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card is an excellent stepping stone for students looking to earn some cash back while they build their credit score, and it may even be more rewarding for parents eager to instill good credit management habits. Not only will Capital One give you a little rewards boost each month you pay your bill on time, but you’ll automatically be considered for a higher credit limit in as few as six months.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Higher rewards rate and credit limit available if you make on-time payments
    • Few fees, which helps keep costs low
    • Rewards that are easy to earn and redeem

    Cons

    • No bonus or 0% introductory APR offer for new cardholders
    • High APR if you carry a balance
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 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.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • With Credit Steps your account will be reviewed for a credit limit increase after making your first 6 monthly payments on time.
    • Enjoy unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for Dining

Our Rating Among Capital One Cards
3.7
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back on dining, 3% on entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We like that you don’t need to pay an annual fee to earn a very respectable 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, plus 2% back on grocery spending. There are no limits on what you can earn on these common expenses, so your rewards can really rack up. Plus, there’s an easy-to-earn $150 cash bonus when you spend just $500 on your card within your first three months. Note: Depending on your budget, the Capital One Savor Rewards may be a better bang for your buck. Dining and entertainment purchases get 4% cash back, but there is a $95 annual fee after the first year.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Good cash-back rate on both dining and entertainment, an unusual combination, especially for a card without an annual fee
    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn in bonus categories
    • Travel insurance benefits and lack of foreign transaction fee cater to travelers

    Cons

    • Exclusions on purchase categories may impact your reward-earning potential
    • Some benefits will depend on which type of Mastercard you’re approved for
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • Rewards don't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for Fair Credit

Our Rating Among Capital One Cards
3.7
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $39
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    As with the Quicksilver, you'll earn 1.5% cash back for each dollar you spend. The difference? Qualified applicants probably only need a fair credit score. While you may start out with a credit limit as low as $300, Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher limit after you make your first six payments on-time. You’ll pay a $39 annual fee, and the variable APR is steeper than on the Quicksilver, but if you pay your balance in full each month, interest charges won’t eat into your rewards and you’ll build a track record that can improve your credit profile.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Available to qualified applicants with fair credit, unlike many rewards cards
    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn, and redemptions are simple
    • Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher credit line in as little as six months

    Cons

    • An annual fee, which is rare among cash-back cards
    • Very high interest rate on purchases and balance transfers
    • No bonus or interest-free period for new cardholders, unlike cards catering to borrowers with good credit scores
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
    • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months.
    • Rewards don't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.
    • You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen. That means you will not be responsible for fraudulent purchases.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Best for Businesses

Our Rating Among Capital One Cards
3.6
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Current Offer

Earn $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card is a good fit for business owners who want dependable, easy rewards on purchases without a high annual fee. Getting 2% cash back on all purchases, no matter your budget, is as good or better than competitors offer and these rewards can be redeemed in any amount at any time. Plus, you’ll get some valuable perks (like travel accident and lost baggage insurance), and unlike many cards, there’s no fee on balance transfers.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Stellar cash-back earning rate on all purchases, with no limits
    • Redeeming rewards is as easy as earning them

    Cons

    • Annual fee after the first year
    • No chance for more than 2% cash back on any spending category
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn a one-time $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get unlimited 2% cash rewards.
    • Add employee cards for free and earn all the rewards from their purchases.
    • Get a custom, itemized spending report to simplify planning, budgeting, and taxes.
    • Make purchases outside of the U.S. with zero transaction fees.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Best for Travelers

Our Rating Among Capital One Cards
3.8
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.24% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The opportunity to earn 2 miles per $1 is just one of the standout features of this card. There’s a $95 annual fee, but if you travel enough, the rewards and travel benefits more than make up for it. (For one, you’ll be reimbursed on the application fee for either the Global Entry or TSA Precheck airport clearance program.) Plus, there are redemption options: You can use your miles as a credit against travel charges or toward travel booked through Capital One’s online portal. You can even transfer miles to more than a dozen airline and hotel rewards programs.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Very respectable rewards rate on every dollar spent
    • Statement credit reimbursing TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee
    • Option to transfer miles to other eligible rewards programs may offer a better value in some cases, according to The Balance calculations

    Cons

    • Very few airline travel partners are based in the U.S.
    • Miles are worth half as much when redeemed for cash back instead of travel
    • You won’t know exactly which travel insurance benefits the card will come with until you apply
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 2X miles on all purchases. Earn unlimited miles with no caps.
    • Earn 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
    • Use miles as a statement credit against any airline or hotel booking with no blackout dates. Or, transfer miles to eligible travel loyalty programs.
    • Get a credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ - up to $100 application fee credit every 4 years.

What Is Capital One?

Founded as part of Signet Bank, Capital One spun off in the 1990s and gained popularity through the mass marketing of its credit cards. It’s now the fifth-largest U.S. credit card issuer, with $96.8 billion in outstanding balances—10% of the market—as of June 2019, according to the Nilson Report. In addition to its mainstay of credit cards, it’s grown to offer a range of popular banking products including checking accounts, savings accounts, and auto loans. 

Capital One’s flagship cards target everyday consumers, travelers, small business owners, students, and other audiences. It also issues co-branded store cards, including with Walmart, Kohl’s and Cabela’s Club. 

The company issues both Visa and Mastercard credit cards, and the cardholder benefits you receive will vary depending on the type of card you apply for and ultimately receive. For example, Capital One credit cards come in the form of World Mastercards and World Elite Mastercards, and Visa Platinum and Visa Signature, among other options.

While Capital One tends to target consumers with good to excellent credit for its rewards cards, there are cards for people with average credit as well as a secured card option for people who are rebuilding their credit profile. 

How Does Capital One’s Rewards Program Work?

If you’re considering a Capital One credit card that earns rewards, you’ll need to decide between one that lets you earn cash back and one best for travel rewards. 

Cash-Back Cards

The following cards are considered cash-back credit cards because you can redeem rewards for a statement credit or check in any amount:

  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
  • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
  • Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

You can also use your cash to pay directly at the Amazon checkout or buy gift cards, but redemption values may vary.

Travel Cards

Capital One’s travel rewards cards give you various travel redemption options. Cards that fall into this category include: 

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  • Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

With each of these cards, you earn miles, rather than cash back, and each mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed for any travel purchase. You can either use the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature or book travel through Capital One’s Rewards center. With the Purchase Eraser feature, you simply log into your account or call into Capital One to redeem your miles for a credit that covers all or part of your travel purchase. Airfare, a rental car, a bus ticket or even cab fare count, and you can use any travel agent or website to book your trip.

Purchase Eraser redemptions must be made within 90 days of the travel purchase posting to your account. You should see the credit posted within a few business days. 

You can also redeem your points toward travel you book through Capital One’s Rewards center. Just use the card’s website or call into the card issuer to book your flight, car rental, or hotel room. 

Travel rewards are the best bang for your buck with these cards. Yes, you can redeem your miles for statement credits, Amazon purchases, or gift cards, but you’re not likely to get the same value. Each mile is only worth 0.5 cent if you choose a statement credit, and could be worth just 0.8 cent if you choose a gift card. 

One standout feature of Capital One’s travel program is that you can transfer your miles to various airline and hotel rewards programs that partner with Capital One. These include:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France/KLM
  • Air Canada
  • Alitalia
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Accor hotels
  • Wyndham hotels

While having the option to transfer points to airlines and hotels gives cardholders lots of flexibility, keep in mind that the transfer ratios aren’t as good as those offered through Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. Most, if not all, of the transfers through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards are one-for-one.

All but three Capital One partners give you 1.5 airline miles or hotel points for every 2 Capital One miles. Accor, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines give you just 1 of their currency for every 2 Capital One miles.

How Good Is Capital One Customer Service?

Capital One got an “about average” rating in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which gauged satisfaction among more than 28,000 credit card customers nationwide.

Here are some of the most noteworthy features of its cards: 

  • Eno, a virtual assistant, will alert you to potential fraud, track spending, and answer your text questions
  • To help prevent misuse, you can use a virtual card number when shopping online
  • If your card is lost or stolen, you can use the Capital One app to lock your account
  • Customer service agents are available 24 hours a day
  • Capital One’s app lets you track your spending and pay your bill using your mobile device

Methodology

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Our reviews are always impartial. No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

Here’s another summary of the top Capital One credit cards, based on our research:

Best Capital One Credit Cards
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Best Overall $0
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Best for Students $0
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Best for Dining $0
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Best for Fair Credit $39
Capital One Spark Cash for Business Best for Businesses $0 for the first year, then $95
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Best for Travelers $95
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Best for Cash-Back Rewards $0

About This List

The Balance team created this best card list using the same evaluation process used to score our best overall card rankings, but focused solely on cards issued by Capital One, excluding co-branded cards. We re-evaluate this list on a monthly basis, or when there are major changes to Capital One's credit card offerings.

Compare Capital One Credit Cards

Looking to compare credit cards from Capital One? Here are all of the cards that we considered when compiling our list. 

Our annual rewards estimate is determined by calculating the amount of rewards the average consumer could expect to earn based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. Any annual fees are deducted from the value, while any travel or dining reimbursement credits are added in. Because the annual fee is deducted, a card may receive a negative value.

Compare Capital One Credit Cards
Card Name Annual Fee Rewards Annual Rewards Value Estimate
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card $0 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. $365
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card $39 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. $325
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card $0 Earn 3% cash back on dining, 3% on entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases. $356
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card $0 Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase. $309
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card $0 for the first year, then $95 4 % Cash Back on dining and entertainment. 2% back at grocery stores. 1% back on all other purchases. $392
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $0 for the first year, then $95 Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. $456
Capital One Platinum Credit Card $0 This product does not earn rewards. $0
Capital One Secured Mastercard $0 This product does not earn rewards. $0
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One $0 Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. $242
Capital One Spark Cash for Business $0 for the first year, then $95 Earn 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere. $422
Capital One Spark Classic for Business $0 Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions. $242
Capital One Spark Miles for Business $0 for the first year, then $95 Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. $456
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business $0 1.5% cash back on all purchases. $364
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business $0 1.5 miles on all purchases. $371

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Capital One. "Investor FAQs." Accessed April 30, 2020.

  2. Capital One. "2019 Annual Report." Accessed April 30, 2020.

  3. Capital One. "Compare Credit Cards." Accessed April 30, 2020.

  4. Capital One. "Visa and Mastercard Benefits Guides." Accessed April 30, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "Credit Card Rewards War Reaches Inflection Point as Competition Grows, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed April 30, 2020.

  6. Capital One. "Eno." Accessed April 30, 2020.