Best of

Best Capital One Credit Cards of January 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 6, 2020

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet's Best Capital One Credit Cards of January 2020

Our pick for

Travel

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Rewards Rate

2x

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is at the front of the wallet for many frequent travelers, thanks to its rich flat-rate rewards, plum sign-up bonus and flexible redemption options.

Pros

The card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, among the best rewards rates in its class. The sign-up bonus is similarly generous: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel. And redemption is easy: Either go through Capital One's travel center, or simply book wherever you want and redeem miles for statement credit against the purchase. There’s no minimum redemption amount, either.

Cons

There's an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. If you'd rather have cash back, a mile is worth only half a cent when redeemed this way.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

Our pick for

Cash back

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a standard-setter: Its easy-to-understand 1.5% cash-back rate on all purchases spawned an army of imitators. The $0-annual-fee card not only earns unlimited rewards, but it also allows you to redeem your rewards in any amount, at any time. Many other cash rewards cards have minimum redemption requirements.

Pros

Easy-peasy describes this card's simple earning and redemption structure. There are no bonus categories to keep track of, no limit to how much you can earn, and rewards don't expire. There's a nice sign-up bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Plus, you'll get a great intro 0% APR period.

Cons

If you're willing to keep track of rotating bonus categories, or if you spend heavily on things like gas and groceries, you might do better with a card that pays higher rewards on select purchases.
  • One-time $150 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; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

Our pick for

Small business

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Rewards Rate

2%

Intro offer

$500

Recommended Credit Score
With versatility and high rewards, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is an ideal option for the right business owner. It earns 2% back on all purchases, and earnings are paid out in cash, which is pretty much the only form of reward that's even easier to redeem than Capital One miles.

Pros

In addition to its 2% flat-rate earnings, the card offers an attractive sign-up bonus: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening. You'll also get some business-specific perks, such as an itemized expense summary at year's end (great for tax time) and free employee cards.

Cons

It's got an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, which could be unpalatable to some. If your business spends heavily in specific areas, you might do better with a card offering higher rewards in those categories.
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to $2,000 in cash bonuses
  • Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

College students

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-1.25%

Intro offer

$0

Recommended Credit Score
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® gives you 1% cash back on all your purchases, plus 0.25% back when you make your monthly payment on time, for a total of 1.25% cash back. That's pretty good for a student card.

Pros

The annual fee is $0. Pay on time your first five months, and your account will be considered for a higher credit line. You don't have to be a student to apply for the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, making it a good option for someone with average credit.

Cons

If you've already built good credit, you can probably score a card with higher rewards than this card offers. The ongoing APR is 26.74% Variable APR, which is steep if you plan on carrying a balance.
  • 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
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get Eno®, your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone

Our pick for

Dining/entertainment

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
Anyone who loves to dine out, take out, or just go out on the town would be hard-pressed to find a better cash-back card for an annual fee of $0 than the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Pros

The card earns an unlimited 3% back on dining and entertainment spending and 2% at grocery stores. All other spending earns 1%. Capital One's definition of entertainment is broad, including such things as concerts, movies, amusement parks, sporting events and more. There's no minimum redemption amount for your rewards.

Cons

If you spend more at the supermarket than on dining out, a card that pays higher rewards on groceries is likely a better fit. Or if you spend more than $9,500 a year on dining and entertainment, this card's big brother — the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card — is a more valuable choice, even after accounting for its annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after 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
  • 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; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

Our pick for

Average credit

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$39

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro offer

$0

Recommended Credit Score
The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of just a handful of cards for average credit that earn rewards. In fact, it earns the same rate as the regular version of this card for people with excellent credit.

Pros

The card pays unlimited 1.5% cash back on all spending. You can redeem those rewards at any time, in any amount.

Cons

There's an annual fee of $39, so you'd have to spend at least $2,600 a year on the card to break even. The APR on this card is high.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

Our pick for

Poor credit

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

N/A

Intro offer
0
Recommended Credit Score
When you have poor credit, a secured card can help. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® reports to all three of the major credit bureaus and may give you access to a higher credit line without an additional deposit after you make your first five monthly payments on time.

Pros

The annual fee is $0. For a starter credit line of $200, your deposit may be $49, $99 or $200. Plus, Capital One will let you pay off that deposit in installments within a certain amount of time after approval. (Learn more about how secured cards work.)

Cons

Like most secured cards, this card doesn't earn rewards. The ongoing APR is 26.74% Variable APR, so carrying a balance is not ideal.
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

Summary of Best Capital One Credit Cards of January 2020

Credit CardBest ForRewards RateIntro OfferAnnual FeeLearn More
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Travel

2x

Points

50,000

Points

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

on Capital One's website

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Cash back

1.5%

$150

$0

on Capital One's website

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

on Capital One's website

Small business

2%

$500

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

on Capital One's website

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

on Capital One's website

College students

1%-1.25%

$0

$0

on Capital One's website

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Dining/entertainment

1%-3%

$150

$0

on Capital One's website

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Average credit

1.5%

$0

$39

on Capital One's website

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

on Capital One's website

Poor credit

N/A

0

$0

on Capital One's website

Credit CardBest ForRewards RateIntro OfferAnnual FeeLearn More
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Travel

2x

Points

50,000

Points

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

on Capital One's website

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Cash back

1.5%

$150

$0

on Capital One's website

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

on Capital One's website

Small business

2%

$500

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

on Capital One's website

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

on Capital One's website

College students

1%-1.25%

$0

$0

on Capital One's website

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Dining/entertainment

1%-3%

$150

$0

on Capital One's website

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Average credit

1.5%

$0

$39

on Capital One's website

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

on Capital One's website

Poor credit

N/A

0

$0

on Capital One's website

Last updated on January 6, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.