Review: Capital One Credit Cards

Below we offer a rundown of credit cards currently available from Capital One, with short reviews of each. Click through on any link to apply via the card’s online application:

– Cash back credit card offers a 1.5% rebate on all purchases you make with the card, which is fairly generous and very easy to understand.

– This is Capital One’s no-annual-fee travel rewards credit card, offering you a straight 1.25 “miles” per dollar on all card purchases, plus 20,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $1000 with the card in the first 3 months. Your miles can be used across airlines and other travel purchases such as hotel rooms. These “miles” are essentially points worth one penny each and can be used to offset or completely pay for your travel purchase. In other words, if you have 20,000 “miles”, you essentially have $200 toward any travel purchases you make. You don’t necessarily get a free flight for reaching any particular point total, you simply use the points as money toward the purchase price.

– This Capital One travel credit card offers a more generous rewards program than the VentureOne Visa listed above, but it also comes with a $59 annual fee (but $0 for the first year). You get 2 “miles” for every dollar spent with the card, and you use these miles to offset or completely pay for travel expenses. Again, each mile is essentially worth a penny. According to our calculations, it only becomes worth it to pay the annual fee if you spend over $7800 per year with the card; if you spend less, the VentureOne card is the better deal rewards-wise.

– Calling this card “platinum” is what is known as a euphemism. In reality, Capital One’s standard platinum card is really the card they give to bad credit customers who barely qualify to actually be customers. It offers a whopping 24.99% interest rate but no annual fee. Get this only if you can’t qualify for anything better.

– The Capital One Secured MasterCard, for those with bad credit or no credit history, requires you to make a security deposit, and your credit line is, in most cases, the same as the amount you’ve deposited. You still pay a bill every month like any other credit card. The only difference is you have to put a deposit down — if you stop paying your bills, Capital One then has the deposit to get paid from. No annual fees but a high 24.99% interest rate on unpaid balances, so be sure to pay your bill in full each month. (For more on what a secured card is, see our Secured Credit Cards page.)

– Student credit card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 25% bonus when you pay your bill on time — in other words, if you always pay your bill on time, you’ll get 1.25% cash back. The 20.49% interest rate is high but in line with the rates of other student credit cards.

– Good small business credit card offers a 1.5% cash back rebate on all purchases and there is no annual fee. You can earn a one-time $200 bonus if you spend at least $3000 with the card in the first 3 months of having it.

– Offers 2% cash back on all card purchases, but note that you’ll pay a $59 annual fee after the first year of having the card. (The annual fee is waived for the first year.)

– Basically the same as the card above, except you can only use your rebate toward travel purchases. You get 2 points per dollar charged to the card, with each point worth essentially one cent. You can then convert these points into dollars to offset or fully pay for your travel purchases. Has the same $59 annual fee as the card above. We would choose the Spark Cash credit card over this one because that card gives you more flexibility in using your rewards.

– Capital One card aimed at small businesses offers 1% cash back and a high 23.49% interest rate. If the perks don’t look as good as the Capital One business credit card above, that’s because this card is aimed at business customers with “average” credit versus “excellent” credit. So, if you’ve had some bad luck (or bad credit) in the past, this could be for you.

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