BEST OF

Best Capital One Credit Cards of August 2021

NerdWalletJul 20, 2021
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ALSO SEE: Best credit cards of 2021 || Visa || Mastercard || American Express || Discover || Bank of America® || Capital One || Chase || Citi || US Bank || Wells FargoCapital One's credit cards include some of the best-known products on the market, thanks to the company's celebrity spokespeople and its ubiquitous catchphrase, "What's in your wallet?" But the issuer's cards are more than hype — they include generous rewards cards as well as excellent products for business owners, students and those with average or poor credit. What won't you find on any Capital One card? Foreign transaction fees.

NerdWallet's Best Capital One Credit Cards of August 2021

Best Capital One Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

17.24% - 24.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

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 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening And redemption is easy: Go through Capital One's travel center, or simply book however 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 $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 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

Our pick for

Travel rewards + no annual fee

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

3.8

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers an unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar spent, with miles redeemable the same way as on the regular Venture card, for an annual fee of $0.

Pros

  • Miles can be redeemed for statement credit against travel purchases at a value of 1 cent per mile, with no restrictions on when you travel. There's a sign-up bonus, too: Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.

Cons

  • The ongoing rewards rate is lower than the 1.5 points or miles per dollar offered by some competitors in the no-annual-fee travel card field.

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

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.

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 $200 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 $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; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

Dining/entertainment rewards + no annual fee

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card — the $0-annual-fee version of Capital One's popular dining card — pays unlimited 3% cash back on dining, grocery stores and entertainment, including streaming services, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Pros

  • Though it offers a lower rewards rate on dining and entertainment than its annual-fee-bearing big brother, this card is a better choice for people who eat out less often. The sign-up bonus is smaller, too, but still quite nice: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Cons

  • If you're a one-card kind of person rather than someone with a card for every occasion, you might get more value from a card that pays 1.5% or 2% cash back on every purchase.

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
  • 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
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Our pick for

College students

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

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. On top of the spending rewards, the card also offers up to $60 in credits for streaming media. With responsible use, you can be considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months. 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 26.99% 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
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone

Our picks for

Fair credit

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.4

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$39

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

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. Pay your bill on time, and you can be automatically considered for a credit limit increase in as little as six months.

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
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • 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
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.4

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is an ideal choice for those with average credit who don't carry a balance, don't want to pay for carrying a card and appreciate an incentive for responsible behavior. It also travels well.

Pros

  • The annual fee is $0. Pay your bill on time, and you can be automatically considered for a credit limit increase in as little as six months. You can choose your own due date, which lets you schedule payment for the time of the month that best suits your cash flow. If you do make a late payment, the card doesn't impose a penalty APR. And the card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • There are no rewards. Plus, the ongoing APR is on the high end at 26.99% Variable APR. That's not an issue if you pay in full every month, but look elsewhere if you expect to carry debt from month to month.

  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this

Our pick for

Poor credit

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

When you have poor credit, a secured card can help. The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One 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. Pay your bill on time, and you can be automatically considered for a credit limit increase in as little as six months with no additional deposit.

Cons

  • Like most secured cards, this card doesn't earn rewards. The ongoing APR is 26.99% Variable APR, so carrying a balance is not ideal.

  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One 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

Our pick for

Small business: Cash back

Capital One Spark Cash Credit Card

on Capital One's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

20.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

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, the most flexible reward of all.

Pros

  • In addition to its 2% flat-rate earnings, the card offers an attractive sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. You'll also get business-specific perks like an itemized expense summary at year's end (great for tax time).

Cons

  • It's got an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, which could be unpalatable to some. (You could be able to deduct it as a business expense on taxes, though.) If your business spends heavily in specific areas, you might do better with a card offering higher rewards in those categories.

  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Purchase above your credit limit with no hassle and no over-limit fees
  • $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

Small business: Cash back + no annual fee

Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus

on Capital One's website

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus is a solid choice for entrepreneurs who don't spend as much: unlimited 1.5% cash back and a $0 annual fee.

Pros

  • With its 1.5% rewards rate and $0, this card is like a "Quicksilver for business." You also can earn a solid sign-up bonus.

Cons

  • If you expect to put more than $19,000 a year on the card, you'd come out ahead with the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, described above, even with its annual fee.

  • Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere — with no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for any amount
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees

Our pick for

Small business: Travel rewards

Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

20.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is made for traveling entrepreneurs whose spending doesn't fall neatly into specific categories. You simply get an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on everything.

Pros

  • Capital One's miles are easy to use. They can be redeemed for any travel expense — no blackout dates or restrictions — at a rate of 1 cent apiece. In addition to the standard rate of 2 miles per dollar on purchases, you can earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. There's a great sign-up bonus, too.

Cons

  • The card has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. After the first year, you'd have to spend at least $4,750 a year on the card before the rewards would outweigh the cost. But keep in mind that this fee could be deducted as a business expense on your taxes.

  • Earn 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
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Transfer your miles to 15+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA Pre✓® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2X miles from their purchases

Here are the top Capital One credit cards. Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, verify details on the issuer's website:

CONSUMER CREDIT CARDS

Our pick for: Travel rewards

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is probably the best-known general-purpose travel credit card, thanks to its ubiquitous advertising. You earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and miles can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent apiece for any travel purchase, without the blackout dates and other restrictions of branded hotel and airline cards. The card offers a great sign-up bonus and other worthwhile perks. Read our review.

Our pick for: Flat-rate cash back 

The original 1.5% flat-rate cash-back card still holds its own in a now-crowded field. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a compelling combination of a good rewards rate, redemption flexibility, sign-up bonus and introductory 0% APR period. Read our review.

Our pick for: Dining/entertainment rewards

If a night out is more than a once-in-a-while proposition for you, consider the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. You get a best-in-class cash-back rate on dining, entertainment and eligible streaming services, plus bonus rewards at grocery stores. The sign-up bonus is one of the best you can get on a cash-back card. Read our review.

Our pick for: Dining/entertainment rewards + no annual fee

Love the night life but dead-set against paying an annual fee? Consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It pays a lower cash-back rate on dining and entertainment than the regular Savor card, but the rewards are nevertheless quite good. The sign-up bonus is smaller than on the annual-fee version, too, but it's still solid. Read our review.

Our pick for: College students

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One gives newcomers to credit a powerful incentive to develop responsible habits. You earn cash back on every purchase, but when you pay your bill on time, the cash-back rate for that month gets a boost. Read our review.

Our pick for: Fair credit

You don't get rewards with the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, or a sign-up bonus or a 0% period. But if you've got fair credit and you need a card you can use to build credit without paying an annual fee, it's definitely worth a look. Read our review.

Our pick for: Fair credit + rewards

This card for people with fair or "average" credit pays the same cash-back rate as the regular Quicksilver card, which targets people with excellent credit. The key difference is that this version charges an annual fee while the regular one does not. Read our review.

Our pick for: Poor credit

The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One requires a security deposit, as do all secured credit cards. But while most cards require you to put down a deposit equal to your credit line, this one allows some qualifying applicants to get a $200 credit line with a deposit of $49 or $99. Further, you can be automatically considered for a higher credit line with no additional deposit in as little as six months. Read our review.

BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS

Our pick for: Small business cash back

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is an excellent option for business operators whose expenses are all over the map and don't fall into the bonus categories on other business credit cards. You get a high, flat rewards rate on every purchase, with no limit to how much you can earn. There's a great sign-up bonus offer, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Small business cash back + no annual fee

For flat-rate cash back without an annual fee, look to the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus. The sign-up bonus is the same as the regular Spark Cash card, but the rewards rate is lower. Still, because there's no annual fee, smaller spenders might come out ahead compared with the regular version. Read our review.

Our pick for: Small business travel rewards

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is basically a business version of the popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and miles can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent apiece for any travel purchase, without the blackout dates and other restrictions of branded hotel and airline cards. The card offers a great sign-up bonus, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Small business travel rewards + no annual fee

The Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business offers a lower rewards rate and a smaller bonus offer than the regular Spark Miles card, but there's no annual fee, either. Smaller spenders might come out ahead compared with the regular version. Read our review.

Our pick for: Small business fair credit 

The rewards rate on the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business isn't going to wow anyone, there's no sign-up bonus and the APR is high. What makes this card valuable is that it's available to business operators with fair or "average" credit, who don't have a lot of options in business credit cards — especially with no annual fee. Read our review.

Other credit cards issued by Capital One

Last updated on July 20, 2021

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.