Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
This card is built for people with excellent credit who love experiencing life to the fullest—especially through food and entertainment experiences. But if you love it so much that you spend more than $9,500 per year on dining and entertainment, you might be better off with the similarly-named Capital One Savor Rewards card, which offers a higher cash-back rate on dining and entertainment. But you’ll pay an annual fee of $95 for the privilege of earning more with that card, while the Capital One SavorOne Rewards is annual-fee-free.
If you spend less than $9,500 a year on dining and entertainment, the SavorOne might be a great option for you. Keep in mind that the average American household spent $6,568 on dining and entertainment in 2017, according to government data.
No foreign transaction or annual fees
Unlimited cash back within rewards categories
Cash back is easy to redeem
No-interest promotions on purchases and balance transfers
Some businesses fall outside expected categories
- No foreign transaction or annual fees: If you’re into food and experiences, there’s a good chance you also love traveling abroad. In that case, this card might be especially valuable to you, because you can rack up rewards without paying foreign transaction fees.
- Unlimited cash back within rewards categories: It’s not unusual for credit cards to offer higher cash-back rewards in specific categories. What is unusual is for those rewards to be unlimited. There’s no cap on how much you can earn each month within each cash-back rewards category.
- Cash back is easy to redeem: You can redeem cash back at any time, and for any amount. You can even set up automatic redemption options to truly simplify the process.
- No-interest promotions on purchases and balance transfers: This card isn’t designed to be a balance transfer or 0% APR card. But you can transfer a balance from another card or pay off a big purchase interest-free during an initial 15-month promotional period. Just be aware that balance transfers will be charged a 3% fee.
- Some businesses fall outside expected categories: What counts as a qualifying purchase in bonus categories isn’t always what you’d expect. For example, if you buy milk from a gas station, that won’t count towards “groceries.” And even though you might really enjoy playing golf with your buddies, that won’t count as an “entertainment” purchase. You’ll still earn cash back on these purchases, but at the lower 1% rate.
Capital One SavorOne Rewards’ Sign-Up Bonus
You can earn an extra $150 if you spend at least $500 within the first three months after you open the card. For most people, that’s probably an easy threshold to meet, especially if you’re putting all of your everyday spending on the card.
This is a one-time bonus, so if you close the card and then reopen it, you won’t be eligible for the bonus again.
For a card with no annual fee, this sign-up bonus is a decent deal. It’s easy to find cash-back rewards cards with even higher sign-up bonuses, but you may have to spend more to earn it. For example, the Capital One Savor Rewards card offers double the bonus—$300—but you’ll need to spend $3,000 within the first three months to get it.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Capital One SavorOne Rewards’ cash-back structure is relatively straightforward for purchases. You’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% on grocery purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else.
The way “dining,” “entertainment,” and “grocery” purchases are classified can get fuzzy. Like other card companies, Capital One uses merchant codes—codes used to classify each store that accepts credit cards—to identify your purchase.
For instance, “dining” purchases generally include items you buy at restaurants, bakeries, and bars. But eateries inside hotels and department stores, or even some food trucks, may not be classified as dining establishments, so you might not earn the extra rewards.
Similarly, groceries bought at a gas station, warehouse club (like Sam’s Club or Costco), or superstore like Target or Walmart won’t earn rewards at the 2% level.
Capital One allows you to redeem cash-back rewards any time you want, and for any amount. Your rewards never expire, though you’ll lose rewards left on the card if you close the account. You can redeem your cash back for a:
- Statement credit
- Gift card
- Credit for previous purchases
You can even set up automatic redemption rules if you want a truly hands-off process. You can choose to redeem at certain times of the year or whenever you’ve reached certain dollar thresholds ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,500).
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
It doesn’t take much to earn the sign-up bonus. But monitor your spending in the first three months to make sure you use the card enough to take advantage of it.
If you want to truly maximize your cash-back earning potential, you might want to pair this card with a card such as the Citi Double Cash card, which earns 2% cash back on all purchases. You could use that card for every purchase that doesn't earn at least 2% with the SavorOne.
Capital One SavorOne Rewards’ Excellent Perks
The Capital One SavorOne Rewards only offers a few perks that The Balance considers to rise above the more standard benefits offered by many.
- Travel accident insurance: You’re eligible for compensation in case of death or disability while traveling on a fare bought with your card.
If you qualify for World Elite Mastercard® benefits upon application (which is based on creditworthiness), you’ll also get access to:
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If you’ve charged the cost of a trip on your card and it’s interrupted or canceled due to circumstances beyond your control, you can be reimbursed for up to $1,500 worth of non-refundable expenses.
- Baggage delay insurance: If the airline misplaces your bag, you’ll receive $100 per day for up to three days.
Capital One SavorOne Rewards’ Other Features
- Access to special events and dining experiences
- Extended warranties
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
- Roadside assistance hotline
- Travel advice plus medical referrals and consultations while traveling
World Elite cardholders also receive:
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Lowest advertised price match
Capital One customers rated their overall satisfaction with the company as “average,” according to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Online Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
One nice feature that Capital One does offer is its CreditWise tool, which lets you view and monitor your VantageScore credit score for free. You can also text message Eno, a chatbot assistant, to check your balance or pay your bill.
You don’t have to have a Capital One card to use CreditWise, though if you do have a card, you’ll get a credit score update whenever you log into that account.
Most of Capital One’s security features are standard for the industry. But the company does stand out in a few ways. First of all, it provides you with a virtual credit card number to use when shopping online. And if you ever lose your card or if it’s stolen, you can lock your card so that no one can use it.
Also, as part of CreditWise, Capital One will send you alerts from two credit bureaus whenever there are changes to your credit reports that could be a sign of fraud. In addition, CreditWise alerts you if your Social Security number is found on the dark web, where criminals exchange this information.
Capital One SavorOne Rewards’ Fees
This card is the rare one that combines valuable cash-back rewards and a sign-up bonus with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, its fees are typical for cards of this type.