Capital One Financial Corporation was founded in Richmond, Virginia in 1994. Although it’s one of the newer faces in the credit card / financial industry, they are already a popular, well-known brand. They have 963 bank branches and 2,000 ATMs. They also employ over 10,000 people around the world. Not only does Capital One offer credit cards to their customers, they also offer banking services, online banking, home loans, car loans, investments, and more. Over the years, Capital One has had many famous spokespeople, include Alec Baldwin, Samuel Jackson, and Jennifer Garner.

 

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
8.24 - 18.0%
8.3
#2
11.24 - 23.24%
8.0
#3
11.24 - 23.24%
7.9
#7
thumbnail-3
12.24 - 24.99%
7.7

The Good

Annual fee range

Annual fees for Capital One’s cards range from $0-$59. We found that many of their cards have zero annual fees, except their QuicksilverOne® Rewards with a $39 annual fee, Spark® Cash for Business card, which has an $0 intro annual fee for the first year and $59 after that and their Spark® Miles for Business with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year and $59 afterwards. Compared to a handful of companies who offer all their cards without annual fees, Capital One’s offer is more expensive if you get one of the cards that do have annual feels. Regarding Capital One’s fees, they are cheaper than many companies’ cards we reviewed, which typically ranges around $79-150.

Customer support

Customer support at Capital One is available 24/7 with access to customer service online, via mobile device, or on the phone. Their phone hours are 24/7, making them similar to many of their competitors, large and small. We did find that not all credit card companies offer 24/7 customer support. Quite a few offer limited hours, such as Monday to Saturday 8am -5pm. Capital One is available every day of the week (including Sundays and holidays) so you don’t have to worry that they won’t be there in an emergency or situation that falls outside of regular business hours or days.

Cards Offered

One thing we liked about Capital One’s credit cards is that they display customer reviews next to each card on their website with a star rating of 0-5 stars.

Here is a list of the credit cards Discover offers:

  • Venture® Rewards
  • Quicksilver® Rewards
  • VentureOne® Rewards
  • QuicksilverOne® Rewards
  • Platinum
  • Journey® Student Rewards
  • Secured MasterCard®
  • Spark® Cash for Business
  • Spark® Cash Select for Business
  • Spark® Miles for Business
  • Spark® Miles Select for Business
  • Spark® Classic for Business
Options for Rewards

When it comes to Rewards options, Capital One has some attractive offers for customers with a few unique rewards as well.

Here are our favorites:

  • Quicksilver® card—one of Capital One’s best Bonus Offers where card members get every 10th Uber ride free up to $15 through March 2017. When you add Quicksilver as your Uber payment method, you’ll see your progress in your Uber app, your free rides will load automatically, and you can use them anytime you want through April 2017.
  • Spark® Miles for Business—offers 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. Plus, the opportunity to 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.
  • Venture Card—gives Unlimited Rewards where you earn unlimited 2X miles— 2 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. 100 miles = $1 in travel rewards. You also get a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles—equal to $400 in travel—once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. For example, if your monthly spending is $, you get 52,800 miles every year.
Unique Features

A standout feature from Capital One that we did not see with other companies is CreditWise®, a mobile app which lets anyone monitor their credit score for free. You do not have to be a Capital One customer to use this app and access your credit score. It’s updated weekly, tells you key factors that impact your credit and has a Credit Simulator that shows how your decisions could affect your score. It won’t hurt your score and you are never asked to enter a credit card number.

Building Credit/Student Cards

Capital One does a commendable job for consumers needing to build or repair their credit. They offer more than one card for both students and people with poor credit.

Their Secured MasterCard® gives cardholders a $200 initial credit line with a refundable deposit of $49, $99 or $200. If you make your first 5 payments on time, you get access a higher credit line. We have not found this benefit available for secured cards elsewhere.

For students, Capital One offers a Journey® Student Rewards card where you earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. If you pay on time to boost, Capital One will increase your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month. You also get unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile.

When compared to student cards offered by other companies, Capital One’s card does not skimp on the rewards or other features as some companies do. Some student cards do not offer rewards or cashback like regular cards and don’t offer an opportunity to get access to a higher credit line by making payments on time. Also noteworthy is that both Capital One’s student and secured cards have no annual fee, which the majority of student cards have as well as no foreign transaction fees, making these cards very affordable for consumers.

The Bad

APR Range

Capital One offers variable APRs ranging from 12.24% to 24.99%. These APRs are based on the Prime Rate, which can fluctuate according to the market. They also offer Introductory APRs on some of their cards of 0% APR ranging from 9-12 months, depending on the card. For example, their VentureOne® Rewards card has an intro APR of 0% for 12 months while their Quicksilver® Rewards card has an intro APR of 0% for 9 months.

When comparing APRs, we found Capital One to fall within the most common APR range among all the credit card companies we reviewed.

Late Payment

If you make a late payment with a Capital One card, you will be charged fees ranging from $35-$39. The majority of their credit cards have late fees up to $35 while their Spark® Cash Select for Business has late fees up to $39. We compared these fees with other competitors and found that their $35 is both high and on par with many companies, who either offer late fees of up to $35 or late fees up to $37. The exception is their Spark® Cash Select for Business card, which surpasses most companies with their $39 fee. All of the above are in contrast to the Credit Card Act of 2010 which states that late fees should cap at $25 to protect consumers.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Many of Capital One’s cards have no foreign transaction fees. What is unusual that Capital One does not list the percentage for the cards that do have foreign transaction fees. For example, most credit card companies list their cards’ foreign transaction fees of 3%. Although we applaud Capital One offering zero foreign transaction fees for some of their cards, we find error in them not disclosing the foreign transaction fees for the remaining cards.

Security

After researching all of Capital One’s security measures and policies, we found a robust, superior list of security features, including:

  • Security Alerts: You can get personalized emails or text messages to stay on top of the security of your account.
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.

There are others, but unfortunately, security features can vary depending on the credit card. For example, Venture® Rewards card offers $0 Fraud Liability while their Platinum card does not. Zero Liability should apply to all credit cards, which many companies we found do offer. Although we liked that Capital One offered a nice variety of security features, it makes it less attractive that these features are not uniform to every card.

The Bottom Line

Capital One is a popular mainstream credit card brand with not-so-great APRs. It isn’t that their APRs are higher than the average credit card company (with the exception of a handful with very low APRs), it’s that their APRs are not any more competitive. Their annual fees are better, with many of their cards having zero annual fees and the others having cheaper-than-average annual fees that are affordable.

One thing we liked about Capital One’s credit cards is that they display customer reviews next to each card on their website with a star rating of 0-5 stars. They offer many cards for both business and personal use, with a nice variety of rewards and benefits we didn’t find with a lot of companies. They also have cards for people trying to rebuilding their credit, or just starting out. Their CreditWise® app is really unique, which lets anyone monitor their credit score for free. Overall, Capital One doesn’t require as high of a credit score to apply for their credit scores, which may be an important factor for some consumers. One more thing we like about Capital One is their Quicksilver® card that lets you get every 10th Uber ride free up to $15 through March 2017.

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2 Capital One Reviews

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  1. User Score

    9

    September 21st, 2016 Belleville, NJ

    I love Capital One. When I needed to refinance my car, they were able to help me out without a problem. I had some problems in the past with my credit but after I was able to work them out, I was able to get a new loan through them and they really helped me save money by offering a lower interest rate and not trying to take advantage of me like some other loan companies were.

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  2. User Score

    10

    September 9th, 2016 Belleville, NJ

    Anytime I’ve had questions or comments about my account, someone from Capital One is easily there to help me with my questions or concerns. I have two credit cards and a car loan through them and they are easy to work with. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a new card or credit for an auto loan.

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