Capital One vs Discover

Kalicia Bateman
Kalicia Bateman | Contributor

Capital One and Discover are two well-known and reliable credit card companies, offering valuable rewards to a wide range of consumers. Both companies offer cash back rewards and student cards, as well as secured credit cards for those who are trying to rebuild credit or have no credit history. 

Both companies offer a pre-approval option for card offers. This allows consumers to check their eligibility for card offers with no impact to their credit score (a soft credit inquiry will be performed). If approved for a card, both Capital One and Discover have mobile apps that allow consumers to easily manage their transactions and payments.

Customer Reviews

The majority of customer reviews on BestCompany.com for both Capital One and Discover are positive. Reviews for both companies highlight a quick and easy application and approval process and competitive rates. However, some Capital One customers complain about unreliable customer service, while Discover customers generally seem satisfied with how helpful and professional customer service was during their experience. Some Discover customers also note that interest rates were too high, but this factor is dependent on the consumer’s financial background and credit score, and will vary from consumer to consumer.

Continue reading for a breakdown of Capital One and Discover reviews, how they compare and how they differ, as well as insight into overall customer sentiment regarding both companies.

Capital One logo
#1 Capital One
9.4 Overall Score
4.3
star star star star star_half
(559)
Discover logo
#3 Discover
8.9 Overall Score
4.5
star star star star star_half
(444)

Overview

Capital One

APR

0 - 24.99%

Annual Fees

$0 - 59

Time in Business

27 Years

Discover

0 - 23.24%

$0

61 Years

Ratings

Capital One

Overall Score
9.4 of 10
Review Score
4.3
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
3.7
star star star star_half star_border
Quality of Product or Service
3.8
star star star star_half star_border
Company Trustworthiness
3.8
star star star star_half star_border
Likely to Recommend
8.2 of 10

Discover

8.9 of 10
4.5
star star star star star_half
4.0
star star star star star_border
4.0
star star star star star_border
4.1
star star star star star_half
8.5 of 10

Reviews

Capital One

Number of Reviews
559
Review Breakdown
4.3
star star star star star_half
5 star
61%
4 star
22%
3 star
7%
2 star
3%
1 star
6%

Discover

444
4.5
star star star star star_half
5 star
67%
4 star
21%
3 star
6%
2 star
3%
1 star
3%

Reviews for Capital One

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star_border star_border

peter harmatuk Poolesville, MD

Capitol One Credit cards are widely accepted but normally carry a higher than market rate based upon same credit ratings. I only use my card to pay for Washington CAPs season tickets, as Capitol One gives us some perks for using their card within Capitol One Area. If were not for this use, I would not have their card.

1 month ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

MindyV Lubbock, TX

Capital One is a HORRIBLE company and can't be trusted at all!!!! When I was first married, I received a Capital One credit card. They constantly lied to me and they really screwed me with their fees. Even when I tried to use a credit consolidating company, Capital One was still a nightmare. I don't trust them at all. Never have, never will!!!

2 weeks ago

Reviews for Discover

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Nona Orlando, FL

Always reliable no matter what happens. Customer service is actually trained. They don't bounce calls around and when you need to resolve something, they are there. Have had them for 13 years now and don't plan on leaving

1 week ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

phyllis

It takes too long to earn cash rewards. Get a card like Bank of America. Amazon Rewards card goes through too much "red tape" to even qualify for one. Amazon always wants you to buy a new item and send you new email asking you to buy something. However, Amazon does not allow you to get one of their credit cards right away. You have to go to Chase bank to get an Amazon credit card. That is too much work and effort.

1 year ago

The Final Word

Customer reviews are only one piece of the puzzle in deciding which credit card company is best for you. While Capital One and Discover offer similar services and rewards, there are some key differences to consider.

Variety of Cards

To meet the needs of a wide range of consumers, both Capital One and Discover offer multiple types of credit cards. Consumers can then choose which card will be most beneficial to them based on their needs.

Discover offers eight types of cards, all with no annual fee. Capital One, on the other hand, offers 22 types of cards with varying rewards, fees, and rates.

Based on your credit history and current financial situation, it is important to consider the variety of cards offered by both companies and how they compare and contrast. Both companies offer cash back cards, travel rewards cards, business rewards cards, student cards, and secured cards. When comparing cards, it is important to look at annual fees, interest rates, and the required credit score for each card. Capital One has specific cards for specific credit levels, whereas interest rates and credit limits with a Discover card will be determined based off of your credit score.

If you have an excellent credit score and are looking for the best cash back or miles rewards, Capital One will likely be the best option for you.

Secured Credit Cards

Both Capital One and Discover offer secured credit cards with no annual fee, but there are some differences to be aware of.

A secured credit card is intended for borrowers who are looking to build credit for the first time, or are looking to rebuild credit. Because it is a secured card, a security deposit is required. Capital One requires a minimum refundable deposit of $49, $99, or $200. You will receive an initial credit line of $200 upon paying the minimum deposit, a limit you could increase if you deposit more money before your account opens.

Discover requires a security deposit of $200, which becomes your credit line, an amount which can be refunded if you pay your balance in full and close your account. It is important to note that the Discover secured card is also a rewards credit card, offering cash back, which is a unique offer among credit card issuers.

The purchase rates for Capital One and Discover cards also differ:

  • Capital One — 26.99% variable APR
  • Discover — 22.99% variable APR

Although the secured credit card differences between each card issuer are minimal, it is important to take note as the small details could save you more money in the long run.

Annual Fees

None of the Discover credit cards has an annual fee, including the Discover secured credit card. Many of Capital One’s cards do not have an annual fee, but not all. In general, Capital One cards for fair credit will have to pay an annual fee, but even some of the rewards cards for those with excellent credit charge an annual fee. 

Annual fees are a common practice in the credit card industry and are generally indicative of cards that offer bigger rewards. Generally, the rewards will outweigh the price of the annual fee.

Card Acceptance

Capital One credit cards are backed by either Visa or Mastercard and can be used worldwide. In the past, it was common thought that Discover cards were not widely accepted, but this is not the truth. Most Discover credit cards are backed by the Discover Bank, and are accepted virtually anywhere nationwide. However, outside of the United States, use of Discover credit cards may be limited.

Branch Locations

Capital One offers various banking options and has branch locations and ATMs available to customers. These locations are limited to the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. 

Discover has no physical branch locations, only offering services online. 

Depending on your needs and preferences, this may be a deciding factor for you between the two companies.

Top Choice

Capital One Logo
Capital One

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