Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
Learn More
Terms Apply
Build credit and earn rewards - great for those with fair credit
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Learn More
Terms Apply
80,000 bonus point offer plus a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases
American Express® Gold Card
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our pick for the best rewards and best travel card of 2021
Blue Cash Preferred® Card
Learn More
Terms Apply
$150 offer and, in the first 6 months, 20% back at Amazon.com, up to $200 back
Citi® Double Cash Card
Learn More
Terms Apply
Cash back on all eligible purchases and a great balance transfer offer
Select’s editorial team independently created this content. We may receive a commission from affiliate partner links. Click here to read more about Select. Click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
Resources

Here are the best Capital One credit cards of May 2021

CNBC Select analyzed the pros and cons of Capital One credit cards using an average American's annual spending budget to find the best based on consumer habits.

Share
Capital One
Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners.

Capital One offers some of the best cash-back and rewards credit cards available to consumers and small business owners. The Savor and Venture cards both rank on Select's list of best dining and travel cards, respectively, and other cardholders can earn generous rewards on everyday spending.

Capital One often updates its cards to make them more competitive and even adjusts them to meet consumers' changing spending habits. Most recently, the Savor cards added bonus rewards on streaming services for a limited time and before that, Capital One expanded the reward redemption options for its Venture cards.

Select reviews the top Capital One credit cards in six categories, so you can choose the best card based on your spending habits.

Best Capital One credit cards

Best no-annual-fee Capital One card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Information about the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    1.5% cash back on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    15.49% to 25.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Low spending requirement for the welcome bonus
  • Redeem cash back for any amount at any time
  • 0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee during the first 15 months your account is open
  • No bonus rewards categories
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $532
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,859

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is an easy-to-use no-annual-fee credit card that offers cash back and a generous welcome bonus. Cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on everything you buy, which can be conveniently redeemed at any time and for any amount.

Plus if you spend $500 within the first three months your account is open, you'll earn a $200 cash bonus. That's like earning 40% back.

Beyond rewards, you can finance new purchases or transfer debt with a 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening (then 15.49% to 25.49% variable APR). This provides you with over a year to repay large purchases or get rid of debt once and for all. Just keep in mind that there's a 3% balance transfer fee for promotional APR offers (such as the 15-month intro period) and no fee for balances transferred at the regular APR.

The Quicksilver card also has no foreign transaction fees and provides travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance, extended warranty protection and access to premier culinary, entertainment and sports event experiences.

Best cash-back Capital One card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Information about the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 4% on eligible streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months on purchases; N/A on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 24.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Unlimited 4% cash back on entertainment purchases
  • 8% cash back on all Vivid Seats ticket purchases through January 2022
  • Ability to redeem rewards at any amount, unlike some other cards with $25 minimums
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Cable, digital streaming and membership services are excluded from the 4% cash-back rate
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for purchases or balance transfers
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $588
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,741

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? If your ideal night is ordering takeout and streaming a movie, you should consider the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.

Plus Savor card holders earn 4% cash back on eligible streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, through September 30, 2020. And Vivid Seats ticket purchases earn double the amount of cash back (8%) through January 2022.

In addition to rewards, you can use this card to finance new purchases with no interest for the first year your account is open (after 15.99% to 24.99% variable APR).

While this card does have a $95 annual fee, you can recoup it if you spend a combined $2,375 a year on dining and entertainment.

Best travel Capital One card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Information about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn up to 100,000 miles: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening; plus an additional 50,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within 12 months of account opening.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every 4 years

Cons

  • No introductory APR
  • There’s a $95 annual fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,466
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,931

Rewards totals incorporate the miles earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a great choice for travelers that aren't loyal to a particular hotel chain. This card offers one of the best rewards programs for travel, especially hotel bookings. Cardholders earn 2X miles on all purchases, plus 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠.

Typically you could only redeem rewards as a statement for past travel purchases, but Capital One recently added the option to redeem miles for restaurant delivery, takeout and streaming services through April 30, 2021.

A noteworthy perk of this card is a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years worth up to $100. If you travel through airports often, this benefit can save you time and money.

While Venture does come with a $95 annual fee, it's low compared to some other travel cards with annual fees over $500. This card has no foreign transaction fees and comes with a variety of travel perks, such as travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services and an auto rental collision damage waiver.

Best student Capital One card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Information about the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    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.

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Average

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Access a higher credit limit in as little as 6 months

Cons

  • 26.99% variable APR
  • No special financing offers

Who's this for? If you want to learn how to use credit responsibly while in college, the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® can help teach you good habits without charging an annual fee. This card encourages you to pay on time with the benefit of earning extra cash back.

Cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases, which increases to 1.25% for every billing cycle that you make at least your minimum payment on time. While paying the minimum keeps your account current and prevents late fees, we encourage you to pay in full to avoid interest charges from this card's steep 26.99% APR. By using this card during college to make purchases and bill payments, you can achieve a good credit score upon graduation.

Take note that this college student credit card doesn't require you to be a student to qualify, but you will need to show that you meet income requirements by providing your employment status and total annual income during the application process.

Beyond rewards and the ability to build credit, you can use this card abroad with no foreign transaction fees and benefit from travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and more.

Best Capital One card for bad credit card

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Information about the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    This card doesn't offer cash back, points or miles

  • Welcome bonus

    No current offer

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    26.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    No credit history

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $49, $99 or $200 refundable deposit
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Flexibility to change your payment due date

Cons

  • High 26.99% variable APR
  • No rewards program
  • After you apply and submit your deposit, it takes 2-3 weeks to get your card
  • Capital One periodically reviews your account to see if you can be transitioned to an unsecured card, but unlike the Discover it® Secured Card there’s no clear timeline for when this will occur

Who's this for? Prospective cardholders with bad credit may find it difficult to open a traditional, unsecured credit card. However, there's often the opportunity to qualify for a secured card, such as the Capital One® Secured Capital One®, which can be used to make purchases just like an unsecured card.

The main difference is that you'll be required to make a $49, $99 or $200 security deposit, based on your creditworthiness, to receive a $200 credit limit. This card stands out for offering the chance to qualify for a lower deposit and still receive the same $200 credit limit.

And if you don't qualify for the $49 or $99 deposits, you can receive access to a higher credit limit in as little as six months with no additional deposit needed. Capital One automatically considers you for a credit limit increase based on your payment history and creditworthiness.

Best business Capital One card

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Information about the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    2% cash back on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of your account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95, waived the first year

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    20.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Annual fee waived the first year
  • Free employee cards
  • 2% cash back on every purchase
  • Redeem cash back for any amount at any time
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee after year one
  • No intro 0% APR offers for purchases or balance transfers

Who's this for? Small business owners who want to earn simple cash back on all purchases should consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. This card offers 2% cash back on every purchase — whether it's shipping costs, office furniture or meals for your employees.

The Spark® Cash for Business also comes with helpful business benefits, including account management tools (such as the ability to view recurring transactions and download purchase records to Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel), extended warranty and price protection, auto rental damage waiver and more.

This card does have a $95 annual fee, but it can be offset by spending at least $4,750 each year and earning 2% back. Employee cards are free so there's no added cost there.

Best Capital One credit cards

Category No annual fee Cash back Travel Bad credit Student Business
Credit card
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Rewards1.5% cash back on every purchase4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchaseNone1% cash back on all purchases; pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month2% cash back on every purchase
See below for our methodologyLearn MoreInformation about the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.Learn MoreInformation about the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.Learn MoreInformation about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.Learn MoreInformation about the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.Learn MoreInformation about the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.Learn MoreInformation about the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed Capital One credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

Information about the Capital One cards has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.