Capital One is one of the most widely known credit card brands with its celebrity pitch people asking "What's in Your Wallet?"
It's also one of the nation's top 10 banks in terms of deposits and offers a portfolio of products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients.
Capital One has many credit cards that sound so similar that it might be difficult to know which one to choose. Here's a head-to-head comparison of several Capital One credit cards that boils down the differences.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
But which card is best depends on how much you travel.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the top travel rewards cards. It offers:
- 40,000 miles (that's $400 in travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Unlimited 2x miles on every purchase; that's two miles for every dollar spent
- A $59 annual fee, but that's waived for the first year
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers:
- One-time bonus of 20,000 miles ($200 in travel) once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase; that's 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend
- No annual fee
You can use the points on either card for travel expenses, including plane tickets, hotel accommodations and auto rentals. There are no restrictions so you don't have to purchase through a specific airline or hotel unlike other cards.
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees (typical foreign transaction fees on other cards are 3 percent), and both offer fraud coverage and security alerts as well as 24/7 emergency travel assistance. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card does comes with some additional benefits as part of the Visa Signature® family.
Which one is best for you? Well, that really comes down to whether you spend enough on your credit card to earn enough miles to offset the annual fee of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. If you do the math and find that earning two-times the miles on all your purchases means that you earn enough rewards to cover $59-plus of your annual travel expenses, the card is probably right for you.
If, on the other hand, you are just an occasional credit card user who wants to know you're earning SOMETHING for the times you do swipe your card, then the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is likely a better choice.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Rewards Credit Card
Whether the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is better for you depends largely on your credit history.
Both cards offer 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, no foreign transaction fees, fraud protection and security alerts and neither has restrictions on eligible purchases. In other words, you're not limited to spend in specific product or service areas or companies, and you don't have to worry about a cap that affects your rewards earning.
Here's the main difference - the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is for people with excellent/good credit; the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is for those with average/fair/limited credit.
The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has:
- No annual fee.
- $100 bonus after spending $500 within your first three months.
- Nine months of 0 interest on purchases and balance transfers for new cardholders.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers:
- A $39 annual fee.
- A higher APR.
- Credit Steps program allows you to graduate to a higher credit line after making your first several payments on time.
- No 0-interest period on purchases or balance transfers.
Both cards are great options for those who want to gain cash back, but which card to choose depends on your credit history. If your history is solid enough to avoid the annual fee, then do it! If you need to build up some credit first, the $39 annual fee of the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card could very well be worth it as there aren't many cash-back rewards cards out there available to folks with average/fair/limited credit.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card vs. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
Choosing between the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card and Capital One® Secured Mastercard® could once again come down to credit history as well as whether you have the funds to put forward up front for a secured credit card.
The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is geared for people with an average credit history; this could be someone who has defaulted on a loan in the past five years or who has limited credit history, but who otherwise has been consistent with payments and it seeing their credit score on the upward trend.
The Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, on the other hand, is designed for those looking to build or rebuild their credit.
Both offer fraud coverage; Credit Steps, which allows you to get a higher credit limit if you make your first five monthly payments on time; and CreditWise, which lets members access their credit score and monitor their credit. They both offer all of the Platinum Mastercard benefits as well. Additionally, neither card has an annual fee and neither is a rewards card.
Basically, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is good for people with a limited credit history or who are looking to get back on track, but certainly haven't crashed their credit. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, though, is an option for someone who does need a bigger credit boost or who may not have yet built a credit history.
The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has a credit line that ranges between $200 to $3,000, which is based on a person's credit history and security deposit amount of $49, $99 or $200. Assuming your account is in good standing, the security deposit is fully refundable when you close the card (hopefully to graduate to an unsecured card after your credit history has improved).
The secured card offers financial education through its website that helps you understand the ins and outs of building or rebuilding credit. It also has a Credit Simulator that shows you how specific actions can affect your credit score.
Ultimately, the secured card is good for someone who has had issues with their credit and is now looking to rebuilding it. It could be an option for someone who is currently using a prepaid debit card or no card at all. The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, on the other hand, is meant for people who may have had a misstep, but who aren't at a point at which they need to completely start over with building credit.
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business vs. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Capital One offers a number of business credit cards in addition to its consumer cards. Let's take a look at two popular business card options: Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business and Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business are both, as the names imply, cash-back rewards cards, but their differences will matter depending on the nature of your business.
- No annual fee.
- 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases with no cap on earning.
- A $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business features:
- A $59 annual fee (the fee is waived the first year).
- 2 percent cash back on all purchases with no cap on earning.
- A $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months.
Both cards offer free employee cards fraud coverage and alerts, quarterly and year-end summaries to help with budgeting and tax time, no foreign transaction fees and Visa Business Benefits.
Each credit card requires excellent credit, which means you've never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan, and haven't been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill or loan in the last year.
Whether to choose Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business or Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business really depends on whether you want to pay an annual fee and how much cash back you want. In this case, an annual fee likely only makes sense if your business spends enough each year to earn the rewards that would more than offset that fee. Otherwise, you're better off with the no-annual-fee version even though it has slightly lower rewards.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Like the Spark® cash-rewards cards mentioned above, Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business are similar except for the annual fee, rewards-earning rate and intro bonus potential. In fact, these cards are almost identical to the cash-rewards cards above except that they are focused on travel rewards and geared toward businesses that find themselves on the road or taking to the skies on a regular basis.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Businessoffers:
- No annual fee.
- 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases.
- One-time bonus of 20,000 miles ($200 in travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Businessoffers:
- $59 annual fee (waived the first year).
- Two miles per dollar on all purchases.
- One-time bonus of 50,000 miles ($500 in travel) once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months.
Both cards require applicants with excellent credit. They also offer free employee cards, fraud coverage and alerts, quarterly and year-end summaries for budgeting and tax time, no foreign transaction fees and Visa Business Benefits.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is better for frequent travelers, while Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is geared more for occasional travelers. Once again, you'll need to determine whether your business spends enough to offset the annual fee with rewards earning; if so, go for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. The 2 miles per $1 will add up, and a $59 annual fee is really quite reasonable.
Which card for you?
Capital One offers so many credit cards that it might be difficult to choose the right one for you. When making that decision, think about:
- Do you want points for travel or cash back?
- Is your credit excellent, average or do you need to work on it?
- Do you want a card with no annual fee or are you OK paying a fee if it means added benefits and the chance to rack up rewards at a higher rate?
By asking yourself three questions, you can make an educated decision as to which Capital One card is right for you.