Capital One vs Discover

McCall Martin
McCall Martin | Senior Editor

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
#3 Capital One
7.5 Overall Score
4.5
star star star star star_half
(1,307)
Discover logo
#1 Discover
7.9 Overall Score
4.6
star star star star star_half
(871)

Overview

Capital One

Late Payment Grace Period

15

Late Payment Fee

10

Reward Programs

Cashback

Time in Business

Undisclosed

Discover

15

10

Cashback

Undisclosed

Ratings

Capital One

Overall Score
7.5 of 10
Review Score
4.5
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
4.3
star star star star star_half
Quality of Product or Service
4.4
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.4
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
8.3 of 10

Discover

7.9 of 10
4.6
star star star star star_half
4.5
star star star star star_half
4.5
star star star star star_half
4.5
star star star star star_half
8.7 of 10

Reviews

Capital One

Number of Reviews
1,307
Review Breakdown
4.5
star star star star star_half
1 star
5%
2 star
3%
3 star
7%
4 star
19%
5 star
66%

Discover

871
4.6
star star star star star_half
1 star
3%
2 star
3%
3 star
5%
4 star
19%
5 star
70%

Reviews for Capital One

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Isiah Bullock

February 19th, 2024

DETAILS

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Review Source

Capital One's online banking services are convenient and easy to use. I appreciate the insights provided through their spending tracking tools, which help me manage my finances more effectively. The credit card rewards program offers a variety of options for redemption, and the customer service team is responsive to inquiries. Overall, I'm satisfied with my experience with Capital One.

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Dr. Àmanda Ducksworth

January 16th, 2024

DETAILS

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Review Source

I am a long time customer of Capital One. I have never been late on a payment. I was the victim of a moving scam where charges were made to my card. I reported the incident and solicited help from Capital One to deny the charges. Capital One failed to advocate for me, the customer. I wrote a letter to the president regarding the 3,187.00 charges. The charges were removed but reapplied a few months later. I am so disappointed with their lack of customer service.

Reviews for Discover

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Rikki Racela

February 15th, 2024

DETAILS

check_circle

Review Source

I use the DiscoverIt credit card and they have rotating categories which I get 5% cashback, which is excellent. Also, I had been a victim of fraud where my starbucks app got hacked into and charges were being made onto my Discover card. they handled it well, refunding my money.

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Maya My

July 25th, 2023

DETAILS

check_circle

Review Source

I do not recommend Discover. Even with great payment history and credit, Discover will make applying such a hassle that it isn't worth the hard inquiry. They're manipulative, delayed in reviewing customers, and a lot of places I conduct business with do not accept them.

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

Discover Logo
Discover

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