Best Capital One credit cards of February 2024

Written by
Jennifer Doss

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Capital One holds one of the most expansive lineup of credit cards in the industry. Whether you have poor or excellent credit, are searching for a travel card or for cash-back rewards, a no-annual-fee option or a premium one, Capital One offer something for everyone. See our top picks for the best Capital One credit cards.

Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards.

Best credit cards of 2024

Top credit cards from Capital One

Capital One is one of the most prolific credit card issuers in the United States offering numerous credit card options to people who have all different types of credit ratings and card requirements. Some cards are designed for students, others for business owners, and still more are for everyday consumers. Many are rewards credit cards, which means you can earn cash back or miles as you charge. With so many choices, how do you know which Capital One card is the best? It all depends on your credit rating and your lifestyle. The great news is that you have plenty of options. Let’s explore our top picks for the best Capital One cards.

Best for travel

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Best for cash-back rewards

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Best for dining, groceries, and entertainment

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Best no-annual-fee card for travel

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Best for luxury travel perks

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Best for business travel

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Best for students

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Best for fair credit

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Best for poor credit

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What credit do you need for a Capital One credit card?

The credit requirements for Capital One credit cards differ widely by account. The bank offers cards to people with bad and limited credit, as well as to people with fair, good, and excellent credit. Which level is required for any given card is made clear on a card's application page.

How to apply for a Capital One credit card

To identify the best Capital One credit card for you, start with the preapproval process. By answering a few questions on the company’s website, you can find out which cards you may qualify for, and can complete the application if the card suits your needs.

Most people use the online credit card application process, but you may also apply on a paper form and submit the application by mail, over the phone, or at a Capital One branch. If you use the online or phone application process you will find out if you qualify almost immediately. Otherwise, you will have to wait until your application is processed, which can take a week or longer.

What is the easiest Capital One credit card to get?

This depends on your credit score. If you have good or excellent credit, you'll have more options available to you. However, if you're working on building your credit, the easiest Capital One credit card to get is likely the CardName because it has the most forgiving qualification standards. To be eligible, you can have bad to limited credit. For a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 the account will have an initial $200 initial credit line. When you use the card responsibly, you can earn your deposit back and upgrade your card once your credit has improved.

What is the best Capital One credit card?

There isn't one specific credit card that is right for every person. The best capital One card for you will match not only your credit profile but your lifestyle and reward preference.

For example, maybe you have excellent credit and are looking for a cash-back card. In that case, the CardName can be a great choice as it earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make.

Or maybe you prefer to earn rewards to redeem towards travel. For that, the CardName might be the best Capital One credit card for you. It earns unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, which can then be redeemed torward travel purchases.

What are the benefits of Capital One credit cards?

There are many. Here's a rundown of some of the benefits offered with eligible Capital One credit cards:

TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry for international travel. TSA PreCheck® is a program that helps passengers get through security faster and easier in domestic travel in the U.S.; Global Entry refers to returning to the U.S. from international travel. If you apply for either program, for the next five years, you can sail through security checks without having to take off your shoes and unpack every little thing. Meanwhile, if your Capital One credit card has this feature, you can earn a $100 statement credit every four years, which pays for your application.

Travel accident insurance. Worried that something will go wrong on your domestic or international trip? Your card may cover whatever goes amiss – provided you used your credit card to purchase your airfare.

Lost luggage reimbursement. You’re in St. Moritz, and your luggage is in St. Louis? Your card may pay for new clothes while you wait for your baggage to catch up with you, and your card’s locator services may be able to help you with the claims procedures of tracking down that luggage.

Extended warranty. You may be able to extend your warranty on that new washing machine you bought – or any other merchandise – provided you made the purchase with an eligible Capital One card.

How does the Capital One rewards program work?

Capital One has several cash-back credit cards. Some are flat-rate cards where you will earn the same percentage back no matter what you buy, such as the CardName card that offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase made with the card. You may also choose a card with tiered cash-back rewards, such as the CardName, which offers 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target); unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply); 8% back on Capital One entertainment purchases; and 1% back on all other purchases.

You can also choose one of Capital One’s travel cards, which rewards your charges with miles. The CardName enables you to earn 2X miles for every dollar you spend, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Capital One rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and travel expenses. If you have accumulated miles, you can also transfer them to airline and hotel partners. See our Guide to Capital One Miles to learn more.

How many Capital One credit cards can you have?

Capital One allows consumers to have two consumer credit cards at a time. Secured, business and co-branded credit cards from Capital One do not count towards this total. So you could have, say, two Capital One consumer credit cards and one Capital One business credit card, and be within Capital One's limitations.

How do you increase your credit limit with Capital One?

To request a credit limit increase with Capital One, you can log into your account and complete an online request form. Be prepared to supply your total annual income, employment status and monthly mortgage or rent payment. If approved, your new limit may be granted immediately but in some cases there will be a few days lag time. Whatever the decision, Capital One will send you a letter by mail with details about your application for a credit limit increase.

You can also reach out to Capital One directly and ask if you're eligible for a credit limit increase.

How do you upgrade a Capital One credit card?

Started with a card that no longer suits you? Or perhaps you want to earn more rewards on your purchases? Capital One offers a way to upgrade or swap your current card with a “product change.” Contact Capital One and ask if you are eligible for an upgrade or swap. If so, the representative will help you with your request, suggesting alternatives that are a better match.


For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

author
Jennifer Doss
CardRatings Executive Editor

Jennifer Doss is a credit card analyst and the executive editor of CardRatings.com. She has worked as both a print and online journalist and has over a decade of experience in the media industry. Her published work has covered a broad range of topics, from...Read more

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