Compare the Best Capital One Credit Cards of October 2021

Compare the Best Capital One Credit Cards of October 2021

We boiled down the best Capital One credit cards for 2021. There’s ample opportunity to earn heaps of credit card rewards.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

We boiled down the best Capital One credit cards for 2021 - and there’s ample opportunity to earn heaps of credit card rewards.

Whether you're looking for airline miles or small-business rewards, Capital One has a credit card that will suit your needs.

We analyzed cards on ValuePenguin and on Capital One’s site to pick the best cards based on the value of each card's sign-up bonus, ongoing rewards and other ancillary benefits. Below are the picks for the best Capital One credit cards of 2021.

Best Capital One Credit Cards 2021

Recommended Cards
Best For
Credit Needed
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTravel rewardsExcellent/Good
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardCash backExcellent/Good
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardDiningExcellent/GoodRead Review
Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessSmall businessExcellent/Good
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit CardBad creditLimited/Bad
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website

Recommended Cards

Best for
Credit Needed
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTravel rewardsExcellent/Good
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardCash backExcellent/Good
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardDiningExcellent/GoodRead Review
Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessSmall businessExcellent/Good
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit CardBad creditLimited/Bad
Apply Now
On Capital One's Secure Website

Methodology

To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best Capital One credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

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Capital One credit card benefits | Capital One miles program | Application rules | How to apply | Sign-up bonuses | FAQs

The best Capital One card for travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Excellent/Good

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel

Our thoughts

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an excellent card for moderate spenders who like to travel. With an earning rate of 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, the card has a simple rewards structure. Plus, you can transfer your points to 15+ airline and hotel partners.

The one downside to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, when compared to its competitors, is that it doesn't offer any bonus categories to earn extra rewards points. If you prefer to optimize your spending and get extra rewards in categories like dining and transportation, you'll be better off with a rewards card like the American Express® Gold Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Benefits

  • Valuable sign-up bonus
  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Long list of transfer partners
  • Up to $100 statement credit for TSA Precheck/Global Entry
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Rental car and travel accident insurance policies

Drawbacks

  • No bonus spending categories


The best Capital One card for cash back

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

$0

14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)

Excellent/Good

  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.99%-24.99% variable APR after that
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Our thoughts

If you're looking for a general purpose credit card, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option for everyday spending. The card earns 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day, and there are no rotating bonus categories – like with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ – that you'll have to track. There are also no caps on rewards with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, meaning you can earn unlimited cash back.

In addition, the card comes with an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus. You can earn a One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

The downside to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is that it doesn't earn extra cash back in special categories. However, most cards with bonus categories either charge an annual fee or require you to opt in to the spending categories each quarter. If you value simplicity, you'll be better off with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Benefits

  • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
  • No limit on rewards, i.e., unlimited cash back
  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
  • APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable) APR after that
  • Foreign transaction fees: None

Drawbacks

  • No potential to earn 5% cash back on rotating categories


The best Capital One card for dining

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Our thoughts

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is great for people who spend a lot on dining out. The card has an annual fee of $95 and offers a high rewards rate on dining out: Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases. Be aware that you'll have to spend more than $200 a month in the 4% categories to break even on the card. If you don't spend that much on dining and entertainment, you'll be better off with a no-annual-fee cashback card.

Benefits

  • High cash back rewards for spending in specific categories
  • Valuable sign-up bonus
  • Complimentary concierge service
  • 0% foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • No introductory APR available


The best Capital One card for small businesses

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Our thoughts

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is one of the best small-business credit cards available. With a flat 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere and an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is perfect for small- to medium-sized business owners who value simplicity and have varied expenses.

The card comes with a hefty sign-up bonus. You can Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This bonus is an excellent opportunity to save on a large business expense like new computers or hardware for your business.

One downside to the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is that it doesn't offer bonus categories. There are a few business cards that offer higher rewards rates than the Capital One Spark Cash for Business – namely, the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and the American Express® Business Gold Card – on certain business-related spending categories. These cards may be better for you if your business has predictable expenses.

Benefits

  • Unlimited 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • Free employee cards
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Drawbacks

  • No bonus spend categories


The best Capital One card for bad credit

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

$0

26.99% (Variable)

Limited/Bad

  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone and checking your credit does not hurt your credit score

Low security deposit to help you build your credit

Our thoughts

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a solid card for those looking to build or rebuild their credit profile. While most secured cards only extend a credit limit equal to your initial deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card may give you a credit limit up to four times higher than your deposit. The card currently offers a refundable minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 (note, you’ll need access to an authorized bank account to make your security deposit). Also, you'll be considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months, which can help to boost your credit score if you're approved for an increased line. The card also comes with a $0 annual fee.

If you're looking to build credit, a secured card is an excellent option. Most secured credit cards don't come with rewards, but they'll help increase your score as long as you keep your credit utilization low and pay your bills on time. As your credit score rises, you'll have access to a variety of great rewards cards – including Capital One cards on this list like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Benefits

  • Higher credit limit compared to other secured cards
  • Reports to the three credit bureaus
  • Can help you build credit history
  • $0 annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Requires a security deposit
  • No rewards program

ValuePenguin’s verdict

Capital One offers credit cards for all types of credit. Whether you have poor (or no) credit to excellent credit, you’ll find the perfect option for you. All of the cards come with reasonable annual fees, with none of the cards exceeding $95 per year. Yet, all of the cards come equipped with strong benefits and sign-up bonuses.

Capital One credit card benefits

Outside of the lucrative sign-up bonuses and rewards for spending, Capital One credit cards have outstanding benefits to make being a cardmember a worthwhile experience. The full list of benefits can be found here, but we will highlight the most important below.

Travel insurance

While you are traveling, things can go awry quickly. From simple issues like a flat tire to more urgent needs like a car accident, Capital One has insurance policies to help assist with the matter.

As you are traveling, you will have access to the following coverages:

  • Travel accident insurance: This is common carrier accidental death or dismemberment, at no extra cost, when you charge your entire travel fare to your eligible Capital One credit card.
  • Roadside assistance: If you need your car towed or a locksmith, this benefit is available 24/7. However, each service costs $59.95.
  • Rental car insurance: When you purchase a rental car with a Capital One credit card, it will cover the car. Keep in mind it is secondary insurance, and you must decline the insurance offered by the rental car agency.

No foreign transaction fees

Capital One credit cards don't charge transaction fees for purchases made outside the United states. While other credit card issuers typically waive foreign transaction fees on their premium travel cards, Capital One is the rare issuer that waives foreign transaction fees on all its credit cards, including its no-annual-fee cards.

Extended warranty

For warranties of three years or less on eligible items purchased with your Capital One credit card, Capital One will extend the life of your warranty by an additional year.

Capital One miles

Capital One offers credit cards that earn both travel rewards, called Capital One miles, and cash back. Capital One miles are quite valuable as they can be redeemed for things like gift cards, cash back or redeemed for travel. Generally, Capital One miles are best reserved for travel as they can save you a significant amount of money on your travel expenses.

Which cards earn Capital One miles?

Capital One has several credit cards that earn Capital One miles, including the following:

All of these cards are flat-rate cards that award the same rate of miles on every purchase. This type of travel credit card is beneficial to customers who don't want to put a lot of effort into tracking spending categories.

However, if you spend regularly in specific categories such as gas or dining and are willing to put extra effort into tracking your spending to earn extra rewards, you may want to consider a travel rewards credit card that gives bonus miles for those purchases.

Redemption options

If one of the above Capital One credit cards fits your needs, there are plenty of options to redeem the miles you earn, and Capital One makes it very easy to do so at a good value.

Some of these redemption options are more valuable than others. Travel redemptions are generally the best use of Capital One miles. Here is a list of Capital One's redemption options and their values:

  • Cash - 0.5 cents per mile
  • Travel purchase eraser - 1 cent per mile
  • Booking travel through Capital One portal - 1 cent per mile
  • Purchasing gift cards - 1 cent per mile
  • Transfer points to another Venture cardholder - Varies
  • Transfer points to travel partner - ~1.5 cents per mile

Capital One transfer partners

In addition to redeeming miles for travel statement credits with Capital One's purchase eraser, you can transfer and redeem miles for awards with one of Capital One's travel partner partners. Generally, sending Capital One miles to the right transfer partner is more valuable than redeeming them through Capital One. If you aim to redeem your miles for first or business class seats, you can find values higher than 1 cent per mile.

The Capital One transfer partners are:

  • Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
  • Aeromexico Club Premier (1:1)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (2:1.5)
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue (2:1.5)
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia (2:1.5)
  • Avianca Lifemiles (1:1)
  • British Airways Avios (2:1.5)
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1:1)
  • Choice Privileges (1:1) Available later in 2021
  • Emirates Skywards (2:1)
  • Etihad Airways Guest (1:1)
  • Eva Air Infiinity MileageLands (2:1.5)
  • Finnair Plus (1:1)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1.5)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer (1:1)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
  • TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go (1:1)
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (2:1.5)
  • Wyndham Rewards (1:1)

Keep in mind that, with many partners, the transfer ratio is 2:1.5. This means that 2 Capital One miles will give you 1.5 miles in the program you select. While this is a slight reduction in value, the possibility is high that you will find the best value for your miles by transferring them.

Also keep in mind that many of these airlines belong to airline alliances through which you can redeem miles for flights on partner airlines. For example, you can redeem Aeromexico miles for Delta Air Lines flights because of the SkyTeam alliance.

So in evaluating the airline partners, be sure to dig deeper into the nuances of each program to see how you can maximize each one.

Capital One application rules

Before applying for a credit card from any issuer, it is vital to know each issuer's specific rules. These rules include a minimum credit score needed along with a number of credit inquiries. Here are the rules you need to know:

Capital One 1/6

This rule means that you will not be approved for a Capital One personal card if you have been approved for a credit card in the last six months. This includes both personal and business credit cards.

Capital One two card maximum

This one is a bit self-explanatory. You can only have two Capital One credit cards simultaneously.

How to apply for a Capital One credit card

You can apply for a Capital One credit card through one of our links below, calling Capital One directly or using the Capital One website.

To apply for a Capital One credit card, you will need basic contact information, your yearly income, checking/savings account information and a valid Social Security number. Once you apply, the bank will begin checking your credit score to see if it qualifies for the specific card you applied for. Once all of this is gathered, Capital One will determine if you are approved or not.

If you are declined for a card, it is best to give Capital One customer service a call. Give these numbers a try:

  • Application Services: 800-625-7866
  • General Customer Service: 800-951-6951
  • Application Status: 800-933-5182

Capital One Credit card bonuses

We've highlighted below the bonuses currently available from Capital One credit cards. To earn the bonus for each card, it requires that you spend a minimum amount within the first three months to earn the bonus. Occasionally, cards will offer an additional bonus, not listed below, for hitting a larger spending target over the course of a year. Depending on your budget, this may impact your ability to earn the bonus.

Personal cards
Bonus
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardOne-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardEnjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit CardEarn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardEarn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardEarn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Business cards
Bonus
Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessEarn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus$500 Cash Back once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Capital One Spark Miles for BusinessEarn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for BusinessOne-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Is Capital One a good credit card?

Capital One is a bank that issues several credit cards that offer travel rewards, cash back and secured cards to help build credit.

How do I activate a Capital One credit card?

To activate a Capital One credit card, you have to be enrolled in Capital One online banking. You will need the physical card as you’ll need to enter the three-digit security code on the back to activate it.

How do I pay my Capital One credit card?

You can pay on Capital One’s website by logging into your customer portal.

How many Capital One credit cards can you have?

You can have a maximum of two Capital One credit cards as the primary cardholder. However, business cards do not count into that maximum.

How do you get a Capital One credit card?

You can apply online or over the phone. Keep in mind that factors including credit score and income are taken into consideration when you apply.

How do I get cash from a Capital One credit card?

You can do a cash advance by calling Capital One customer service, ask for a pin and then pull cash out against your allocated credit line. Be aware that cash advance interest rates and fees can be costly.

The information related to Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, Capital One Spark Cash for Business, Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, Capital One Spark Miles for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card may no longer be available.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).