Best Capital One Credit Cards of August 2021

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With a selection of 22 personal and business cards, Capital One has credit card options geared toward many different types of spenders. 

Capital One cards are typically low-cost (many charge no annual fee and none charge more than $95) and there are plenty of fair-credit options for those rebuilding a bad credit score or starting from no credit history. Plus, you can choose from rewards cards earning points, miles, or cash back in various categories — whether you dine out often, you want rewards on your business spending, or you’re saving for a future trip. 
Capital One doesn’t fall short in customer service, either. The issuer ranks third in customer satisfaction among national U.S credit card issuers, according to the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. If you’re considering a new credit card from Capital One, here are a few of our favorite picks to consider:

Before You Start

Smart credit card use requires a foundation of healthy credit habits like paying your full balance on time each month. It’s important to keep in mind that any high-interest debt balance can quickly wipe out any rewards you earn, so eliminate existing debt before applying for a new credit card.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Best for Flexible Travel Miles
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Flat Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
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Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Staying In or Going Out
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)
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Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Best for Students
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Editor’s Score: (3.1/5)
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Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Best for Business Owners
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
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Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
Best for Walmart Shoppers
Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Best for Flexible Travel Miles

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
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Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

  • Intro bonus: 60,000 miles
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 17.24% – 24.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Overview

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card*, you’ll earn two miles per dollar on every purchase. You can earn 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. The card has a $95 annual fee.

In addition to its standard rewards, the Venture card offers a fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, travel insurance and assistance services, access to Capital One Experiences, and no foreign transaction fees. There’s no blackout dates, expirations (for the life of the account), or limits as to how you can use your miles.

Why we chose this card

The Venture card earns a flat 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make. That means the things you spend on everyday, like groceries, online shopping, and even bill payments, all contribute to savings on your next trip. Capital One miles are also a flexible rewards currency, so you can redeem them in multiple ways, but you’ll get the best value for your miles when you use them to book travel directly. 

When you’re ready to book your next trip, you’ll have access to Capital One’s Purchase Eraser, one of our favorite perks of the Venture card. With this tool, you can redeem miles for statement credits toward any eligible travel purchases made in the past 90 days. You can also transfer miles to one of Capital One’s 10+ travel partners. 

And even while people aren’t traveling as much these days, the Venture card still offers some short-term value. Through April 2021, you can redeem your miles with select restaurants or delivery services, for streaming services, or wireless phone services through the Cover Your Purchases program. 

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Flat Cash Back

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
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Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

  • Intro bonus: $200
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Overview

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card* is a good option for straightforward cash back on every purchase. You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on every swipe, for no annual fee, plus an introductory bonus of $200 when you spend $500 in the first three months from account opening. 

There’s also an introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months your account is open, with a variable 15.49%, 21.49%, or 25.49% APR after that. 

Why we chose this card

The Capital One Quicksilver is an uncomplicated cash back card perfect for everyday purchases. It’s not the highest-value flat cash back credit card available, but 1.5% back on everything you buy is still a solid rate. 

In addition to cash back, you’ll get Capital One perks like 24-hour travel assistance, travel accident insurance when you use your card to purchase fare, access to Capital One Experiences, and complimentary concierge service. You can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time for a check, statement credit, gift cards, with PayPal, or for Amazon.com purchases.

If you have less-than-stellar credit, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card* is a good alternative; you can build your credit while earning that 1.5% cash back rate, but you’ll also take on QuicksilverOne’s $39 annual fee. 

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best for Staying In or Going Out

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)
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Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services. Earn 3% at grocery stores Earn 1% on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $300
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Overview

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card* is a great option for your nights on the town, ordering in, and even purchases you make on the road. You’ll get 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You can earn a $300 welcome bonus if you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. Through January 2023, you’ll also earn 8% cash back on any purchases for future events you make with VividSeats. The card has a $95 annual fee and you can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time.

Why we chose this card

If you eat out a lot or frequently spend on entertainment, then this card can offer some serious savings. Capital One’s “dining” category is broad: it includes everything from fine dining to fast food and even bars. The Savor card also well-suited for travelers, as many of the qualifying “entertainment” categories — including concert and theater tickets, aquariums and zoos, amusement parks, and more — can help you save on activities and tourist attractions while traveling (plus, the card has no foreign transaction fees). 

The no annual fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card* is another great option; it earns a reduced 3% back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, and offers a smaller intro bonus. But if dining and entertainment make up the largest portion of your monthly budget, the boosted rewards may outweigh the extra $95 annual cost. Use your past spending history to help determine which makes most sense for you.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Best for Students

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Editor’s Score: (3.1/5)
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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.

  • Intro bonus: No current offer
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 26.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: (No Credit History)

Overview

The Capital One Journey Student Rewards* credit card is a good starter card for students who want to earn some cash back while building credit. You’ll get an initial 1% cash back on every purchase, but there’s an added incentive to pay your bill on time. Each billing cycle you pay by the due date, you’ll earn an extra .25% cash back for a total 1.25% rewards rate. 

You can also earn up to $60 in credits ($5 per month for 12 months) toward eligible streaming subscriptions when you pay on time. There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a variable 26.99% APR. 

Why we chose this card

This card is Capital One’s only student card option, but it’s a valuable tool for students looking to begin building credit. Capital One offers tools like alerts, autopay, and CreditWise credit monitoring to assist your credit journey. Plus, the opportunity to earn 1.25% cash back on every purchase isn’t bad for a starter credit card.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business
Best for Business Owners

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Editor’s Score: (4.0/5)
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Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.

  • Intro bonus: $500
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Regular APR: 20.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Overview

Business owners can earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase with the Spark Cash*, plus a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. The annual fee is waived for the first year, and $95 after that. 

You’ll also get a few added perks like free employee cards, fraud coverage alerts, year end summaries and purchase records for accounting, and the ability to spend above your limit when you need. 

Why we chose this card

Capital One offers a few different business credit card options, including the Capital One Spark Miles for Business* card comparable to the Venture personal card. But we like the Spark Cash card for its straightforward, flexible rewards that can help any business owner or sole proprietor save money. 

Flat 2% cash back on every purchase means that you can earn rewards on client lunches, office supplies, business travel, or any other costs your business incurs. Plus, rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open, and you can redeem for any amount in the form of a check or statement credit. 

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
Best for Walmart Shoppers

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®

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Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery Earn 2% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores and fuel stations and 2% cash back on restaurants and travel purchases. 1% cash back on all other purchases everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted.

  • Intro bonus: 5%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 17.99% – 26.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score: 580-740 (Fair to Good)

Overview

With the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard*, you’ll get 5% cash back at Walmart.com (including pickup and delivery); 2% cash back at Walmart stores and fuel stations, restaurants, and travel; and 1% back on all other purchases. There’s no annual fee. 

The card’s introductory offer will boost your in-store earning to 5% cash back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months — if you use Walmart Pay (the retailer’s mobile payment system).

If you don’t meet approval requirements for this card when you apply, you’ll automatically be considered for the Walmart Rewards Card, a closed-loop retail card with similar rewards that you can only use at Walmart or Walmart.com.

Why we chose this card

Frequent Walmart shoppers can gain a lot of value from this card, especially considering it charges no annual fee. Just remember that outside of the introductory offer, you’ll get the highest cash back percentage for Walmart orders online, not in stores. If you do most of your grocery shopping at Walmart, this can be a great alternative to rewards cards with traditional grocery or supermarket categories, since superstores (including Walmart) are generally excluded.

You can redeem your cash back in a few different ways: for statement credits or checks, to cover purchases during checkout at Walmart.com, for gift cards at Walmart and other retailers, and for travel purchases. 

Best Capital One Credit Cards of August 2021

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Good For: Flexible Travel Miles 

Earn a flat 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make. These miles can be put directly towards your next trip — or redeemed in multiple other ways. 

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Good For: Flat Cash Back

A simple card for cash back rewards. Get 1.5% cash back with every swipe. Plus, no annual fee, and an introductory bonus of $200 when spend $500 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. 

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Good For: Staying In or Going Out

Save around town with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. You’ll get 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% back at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Journey Student Rewards

Good For: Students 

If you’re just starting out your credit journey, the Journey Student Rewards card can help you out. Build your credit while earning 1% cash back on every purchase. 

Capital One Spark Cash

Good For: Business Owners

Business owners can grab 2% cash back on on every purchase, and a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. 

Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard

Good For: Walmart Shoppers

Earn 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery, 2% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores and fuel stations, 2% back on restaurant and travel purchases, and 1% on everything else. 

Best Capital One Credit Cards Summary 

CardWhat It’s Good ForAnnual FeeSign Up BonusRewards
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardFlexible Travel Miles$9560,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months2x miles on every purchase
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardFlat Cash Back$0 $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening1.5% cash back on every purchase
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit CardStaying In or Going Out$95$300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
Journey Student RewardsStudents$0N/A1% cash back on all your purchases. Boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% each month you pay on time
Capital One Spark CashBusiness Owners$0 for the first year, $95 after that$500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening2% cash back on every purchase
Capital One Walmart Rewards MastercardWalmart Shoppers$05% back on in-store purchases at Walmart using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval5% back on purchases made at Walmart.com and the Walmart app, 2% back on purchases in Walmart stores and at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations, 2% back on restaurant and travel purchases, 1% back on all other purchases

Capital One Credit Card Benefits

Capital One offers a few different benefits for cardholders from automatic credit line renewals, to $0 fraud liability protection, to virtual card numbers to protect yourself while shopping online. Plus, any points or rewards you earn with your card never expire as long as your account is open.

Pros and Cons of Capital One Credit Cards

Pros

  • Travel insurance

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Rewards redemption flexibility

  • Rewards don’t expire

  • Good cash back options

Cons

  • Not as many travel transfer partners as other issuers

  • Can earn higher rewards rates with other issuers

  • Limited added cardholder benefits

How to Redeem Capital One rewards

The redemption methods available for your rewards will depend on the individual Capital One card you have. But you can generally redeem for cash, directly for items when shopping, or for travel purchases like hotels and flights. You can see all the specific options eligible for your rewards by logging into your online account or the Capital One mobile banking app. 

Capital One rewards never expire as long as your account is open, and you can redeem any amount whenever you want. But remember: you earn rewards on net purchases only, which excludes anything you return to the store for a refund or credits applied to your statement. 

Capital One Miles

Business owners can earn miles using Spark Miles for Business. But the personal credit cards that earn Capital One Miles all fall under the Venture Rewards card family. There are three different Venture options, each suited to different cardholder types. 

Venture RewardsVentureOne Rewards*VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit* 
Rewards2x miles per dollar on every purchase1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase
Introductory Offer60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months from account openingN/A
Credit RequirementExcellentExcellent Good
Variable APR17.24% – 24.49%15.49% – 25.49%26.99%
Annual Fee$95$0$0

Even if you choose a miles-earning card, you don’t have to redeem your rewards for miles. Because Capital One Miles are a flexible rewards currency, you can also redeem for non-travel options like statement credits, cash, and gift cards, though you may get less value than by booking travel. 

Capital One Travel Transfer Partners

You can transfer miles earned with your Capital One Venture card to any of the following airline and hotel transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • ALL Accor Live Limitless
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Wyndham Rewards

If you choose to redeem via transfer, the redemption value of your miles can vary based on partner and the details of your trip.

How to Apply for a Capital One Credit Card

If you’ve decided on a Capital One card you’d like to add to your wallet, the application process is simple:

  • Check your credit. View your credit report (you can do this for free via AnnualCreditReport.com) for any errors, and make sure your credit score aligns with the recommended score for your card to guarantee the best chances of approval.
  • Submit your application. You’ll need to provide general application information like your name, address, income, and Social Security number.  
  • Don’t apply for too many cards at once. Several new card applications within a short time can have a temporary negative effect on your credit score. Similarly, if your application is denied, don’t rush to apply for another. Take time to build healthy credit habits that can improve your credit score before applying for another card down the road with better approval chances.

Restrictions  

Capital One has two unconfirmed application rules that you should keep in mind before submitting a new card application. We reached out to Capital One to try and learn more, but Capital One did not respond to our requests for comment.

The first such rule says you can only be the primary cardholder of two personal Capital One credit cards at one time (this does not include business credit cards or personal cards on which you’re an authorized user). 

Capital One is also strict about the timing of your applications. You’ll only be approved for up to one card (including business cards) every six months, so make sure you time your applications accordingly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I transfer my Capital One miles?

You can transfer your miles to Capital One travel partners. They are: Accor Live Limitless, Aeromexico, Air Canada/Aeroplan, Air France/Flying Blue & KLM, Alitalia, Asia Miles, Avianca, Cathay Pacific, Emirates (2:1), Etihad, EVA Air, Finnair, Hainan Airlines, JetBlue, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Wyndham Rewards.

How do I see my Capital One rewards?

Keep track of and redeem your credit card rewards online through your Capital One portal or mobile banking app.

How many Capital One credit cards can I have?

Capital One has an unconfirmed rule that you can only be the primary cardholder on two credits cards from the issuer. This rule reportedly doesn’t apply to business cards or cards on which you’re an authorized user.

Methodology 

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

To determine our picks for the best Capital One credit cards, we consider each card currently available from the issuer, basing our picks on those we believe will be most beneficial to a broad range of consumers. We evaluate factors like annual fee, rewards structures, sign up bonus, and additional card benefits to make our decision. 

*All information about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Credit Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Journey Student Rewards, Capital One Spark Cash for Business, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, Capital One VentureOne and Capital One VentureOne for Good Credit has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.