Best Capital One credit cards of 2021

Capital One has been on an upward trend ever since it added the ability to transfer miles earned on the Spark and Venture card families to airline partners. We’ve seen Capital One launch several limited-time transfer bonuses and expand its travel partner options. Now is a great time to take a closer look at Capital One’s best cards. Here are the best Capital One credit cards from our partners.

TPG Editor's Rating
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4.5/5
Apply now
at Capital One's secure site
at Capital One's secure site

Rewards

2X points
more info

Intro Bonus

100,000 miles
details

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
more info
Why we chose it

When it comes to simplicity and strong rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. You’ll earn earns 2x miles on every purchase with no bonus categories to memorize, making it an ideal card for those with busy lives.

Pros

  • This flexible rewards card delivers a solid sign-up bonus of 100,000 miles, worth $1,400 based on TPG valuations and not provided by the issuer.
  • You'll earn 2x on every purchase, which means you won't have to worry about memorizing bonus categories.
  • Rewards earned are versatile as they can be redeemed for any hotel or airline purchase for a statement credit or transferred to 10+ travel partners.

Cons

  • Transfer ratios to most partners are mediocre at less than 1:1 ratio.
  • Capital One airline partners do not include any large U.S. airlines.
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Best for travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

TPG Editor's Rating

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4.5/5

Rewards Rate

  • 2X Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

Intro Bonus
tooltip

100,000 miles

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent, Good
Why we chose it

When it comes to simplicity and strong rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. You’ll earn earns 2x miles on every purchase with no bonus categories to memorize, making it an ideal card for those with busy lives.

Pros

  • This flexible rewards card delivers a solid sign-up bonus of 100,000 miles, worth $1,400 based on TPG valuations and not provided by the issuer.
  • You'll earn 2x on every purchase, which means you won't have to worry about memorizing bonus categories.
  • Rewards earned are versatile as they can be redeemed for any hotel or airline purchase for a statement credit or transferred to 10+ travel partners.

Cons

  • Transfer ratios to most partners are mediocre at less than 1:1 ratio.
  • Capital One airline partners do not include any large U.S. airlines.
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

TPG Editor's Rating
tooltip

4/5
Apply now
at Capital One's secure site
at Capital One's secure site

Rewards

2miles
more info

Intro Bonus

50,000 miles
details

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
more info
Why we chose it

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers a simple way to earn rewards on every business purchase, no matter the category. Those miles can then be easily redeemed for travel purchases or by transferring to partners.

Pros

  • You’ll earn 2x on every purchase, which means you don’t have to juggle different bonus categories.
  • Employee cards are free and also earn 2x on all spending.
  • It’s an affordable card that only charges $95 in annual fees, and that fee is waived the first year.

Cons

  • The sign-up bonus is only worth $700 according to TPG valuations, which falls short against some of the top business travel cards.
  • The card comes with minimal perks if you’re wanting additional benefits for when you travel.
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Transfer your miles to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA Pre✓® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2X miles from their purchases
Best for business travel

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

TPG Editor's Rating

tooltip
4/5

Rewards Rate

  • 2X Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account.

Intro Bonus
tooltip

50,000 miles

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent, Good
Why we chose it

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers a simple way to earn rewards on every business purchase, no matter the category. Those miles can then be easily redeemed for travel purchases or by transferring to partners.

Pros

  • You’ll earn 2x on every purchase, which means you don’t have to juggle different bonus categories.
  • Employee cards are free and also earn 2x on all spending.
  • It’s an affordable card that only charges $95 in annual fees, and that fee is waived the first year.

Cons

  • The sign-up bonus is only worth $700 according to TPG valuations, which falls short against some of the top business travel cards.
  • The card comes with minimal perks if you’re wanting additional benefits for when you travel.
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Transfer your miles to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA Pre✓® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2X miles from their purchases
Best for flat-rate business spending

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

TPG Editor's Rating
tooltip

3.5/5
Apply now
at Capital One's secure site
at Capital One's secure site

Rewards

2% cash-back
more info

Intro Bonus

$500
details

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
more info
Why we chose it

The Spark Cash for Business offers a simple, unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase and is ideal for business owners who spend across a wide variety of categories.

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees so you can use this card abroad.
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back.
  • Rewards don't expire and you can redeem cash back for any amount.

Cons

  • Other cards have category bonuses up to 5x - $95 annual fee, although the first year is waived.
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Purchase above your credit limit with no hassle and no over-limit fees
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees
Best for flat-rate business spending

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

TPG Editor's Rating

tooltip
3.5/5

Rewards Rate

  • 2% Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.

Intro Bonus
tooltip

$500

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent, Good
Why we chose it

The Spark Cash for Business offers a simple, unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase and is ideal for business owners who spend across a wide variety of categories.

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees so you can use this card abroad.
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back.
  • Rewards don't expire and you can redeem cash back for any amount.

Cons

  • Other cards have category bonuses up to 5x - $95 annual fee, although the first year is waived.
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Purchase above your credit limit with no hassle and no over-limit fees
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees

TPG Editor's Rating
tooltip

3.5/5
Apply now
at Capital One's secure site
at Capital One's secure site

Rewards

1.5% cash-back
more info

Intro Bonus

$200
details

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
more info
Why we chose it

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a decent option for those in need of a straightforward cash back card. However, there are other options that offer more flexibility to redeem your rewards.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • Cash back doesn't expire .

Cons

  • Limited card perks and benefits.
  • Other cards offer more potential and upside when it comes to redeeming cash back.
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Best for flat-rate cash back

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

TPG Editor's Rating

tooltip
3.5/5

Rewards Rate

  • 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

Intro Bonus
tooltip

$200

Annual Fee

$0

Recommended Credit
tooltip

670-850
Excellent, Good
Why we chose it

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a decent option for those in need of a straightforward cash back card. However, there are other options that offer more flexibility to redeem your rewards.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • Cash back doesn't expire .

Cons

  • Limited card perks and benefits.
  • Other cards offer more potential and upside when it comes to redeeming cash back.
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Best Capital One credit cards of 2021

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Card Best for Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus Earning Rate Annual Fee
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Best for travel rewards 100,000 miles
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
$95
Capital One Spark Miles for Business Best for business travel 50,000 miles
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account.
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Best for flat-rate business spending $200
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • Earn 2% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases
$0
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Best for flat-rate cash back $200
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
$0

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Rewards: 2x miles per dollar spent on all purchases (plus some temporary bonus categories).

Benefits: The Capital One Venture Rewards Card first earned its place by offering a consistent 2x miles on all purchases and a simple fixed-value redemption structure. Its transfer partners and additional bonus categories put it in a league of its own. Miles transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio to the majority of Capital One’s airline partners, effectively giving the card an earning rate of 1.5x partner miles or points per dollar spent on 2x purchases.

Flexibility is one of the most valuable elements of a good points strategy, and the Venture card delivers loads of it by allowing you to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to use it as a fixed-value or transferable-points card. The card offers a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) every four years.

Related: Capital One Venture Rewards Card review

 

Spark Miles from Capital One

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,500 in the first three months.

Rewards: 2x miles on purchases.

Benefits: The Spark Miles from Capital One is a business credit card that gives you access to the same great airline and hotel transfer partners as the Venture family of cards. Businesses can enjoy free employee cards and no foreign transaction fees. You also get up to $100 in credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment fees every four years, along with rental collision coverage and emergency travel assistance.

Like the Venture, the Capital One Spark Miles also added new fixed-rate redemption options that you can utilize through April 30, 2021.

Related:  Capital One Spark Miles for Business card review

 

Spark Cash from Capital One

Sign-up bonus: Earn $500 after you spend $4,500 in the first three months.

Rewards: Earn cash back at a fixed 2% rate.

Benefits: Even if your business prefers cash back over travel rewards, you can still get great value out of your credit card usage. The Spark Cash from Capital One is similar to the Spark Miles card; the main difference is that this business credit card earns cash back instead of transferable miles. That saves you the trouble of having to identify travel purchases made in the last 90 days to redeem your miles for a statement credit. Instead, you’ll easily get cash in your pocket. Just remember you’re unable to transfer rewards to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners with this card.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Related: Spark Cash from Capital One card review

 

Quicksilver from Capital One

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

Rewards: Earn a fixed and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Benefits: The Quicksilver from Capital One is about as simplified as you can get, so for people who don’t want to spend time learning award charts and maxing out transfer bonuses, it can be a decent option. Its rewards are not the best rate on the market, but are passable, especially for a no-annual-fee card. While the sign-up bonus isn’t massive, the spending requirement is low. That said, if you’re in the market for a no-annual-fee cash back card like this, you’d likely be better off picking the Citi® Double Cash Card instead. There’s also the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, but it comes with a $39 annual fee. 

The information for the Capital One QuicksilverOne card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card review

 

Savor Rewards from Capital One

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: $300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Rewards: The card earns 4% back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% on everything else.

Benefits: The Savor Rewards from Capital One is a pure cash-back card that aims to compete on its earning rates, not on perks and benefits. There are credit cards out there with more valuable individual bonus categories, but if you’re looking for a no-frills, no-nonsense card with multiple solid bonus categories all in one package, the Savor is a great choice to consider. Just make sure you’re getting more than $95 worth of cash back from it year after year — otherwise, you might want to consider the no annual fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card instead. With its solid earning rates for dining and entertainment spending, the Capital One Savor Rewards card earns a spot as one of our picks for the best cash back credit cards.

Related: Savor Rewards from Capital One card review

 

How we chose the best Capital One Credit Cards

While these aren’t the only Capital One credit cards on the market, these are the ones we’ve identified as the most beneficial for our readers. We looked at the rewards rates offered on each card, any additional perks, ease of the redemption process and the sign-up bonuses that came with each to narrow the larger list to these group of five cards.

Of course, Capital One’s other cards each have their own benefits. For example, most of the cards on this list also have a no-annual-fee version. Those cards tend to be better for beginners or those who don’t spend enough annually to justify an annual fee.

As always, head to our Best Cards and Best Rewards Cards pages to see the best credit cards and best rewards credit cards currently available across all banks and issuers.

What are the Main benefits of Capital One credit cards?

Capital One made its Venture and Sparks Miles cards more valuable when it added the ability for cardholders to transfer miles to travel partners at a 2:1.5 – 2:1 ratio.

The flat miles and cash back earned on Capital One Venture, Miles and Quicksilver cards makes things simple for cardholders, since you don’t have to worry about remembering which spending categories offer higher rewards. If you spend regularly on dining and entertainment, the 4% cash back on the Savor card is a good deal. And, if you don’t want to pay an annual fee and prefer a fixed earning rate, the Quicksilver is a reasonable choice.

Plus, none of these cards charge foreign transaction fees.

How many Capital One cards can you have?

There is a limit of two Capital One credit cards per person. However, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One and Capital One’s co-branded cards are not included in the limit.

What are capital One miles rewards?

Capital One miles rewards are earned on every purchase made with either the Venture, VentureOne or Spark Miles credit cards. You can redeem your miles at a fixed value or by transferring rewards to airline and hotel partners. This means your rewards are flexible — they can cover expenses for standard airline and hotel charges but also for non-traditional travel purchases such as helicopter rides or cruises (neither of which are typically easily covered by points/miles).

TPG currently values Capital One miles rewards at 1.4 cents per mile. While we don’t value them quite as high as Amex or Chase points (both of which come in at 2 cents apiece), you’re still getting a solid value from your miles.

How to redeem Capital One rewards

Redemptions on all the cards are pretty simple. You can redeem your Savor, Spark Cash or Quicksilver cash back as a check, set up automatic redemptions at a set time or at specific cash thresholds or redeem it for statement credits or gift cards.

With the Venture or Spark Miles, you can receive a statement credit for the cost of travel booked with either card. You can also book a flight, car rental or hotel through the Capital One Travel Portal (or call if you’d rather book by phone) and use your miles to pay for them. Additionally, you can transfer your miles to airline or hotel partners in increments of 1,000 Capital One miles and then use the partner program to book a hotel stay or flight.

Here is a quick rundown of the airline and hotel loyalty programs you can transfer miles to with Capital One:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MillMiglia
  • ALL – Accor Live Limitless
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Wyndham Rewards.

It’s worth noting that the time for your miles to transfer varies depending on each of the partners.

Bottom line

While premium credit cards are all the rage these days, $400 -$500+ annual fees aren’t right for everyone. Capital One has taken a different approach. None of these cards offer a lengthy, exhausting list of perks that you may or may not remember to use. None of them cost more than $100 a year to carry and some are annual-fee-free for the first year.

Capital One has focused on providing a good value proposition in terms of earning and redeeming, instead of complicating things with flashy and expensive perks. Whether you’re an individual or a business, and whether you are looking for miles or cash back, Capital One has a card that can help you achieve your travel goals.

Madison covers all things credit cards for TPG. A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, her travel bucket list includes swimming with sharks off the coast of South Africa, skydiving in Thailand and cliff jumping in Greece.
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