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The best Capital One credit cards of 2021 — whether you want travel rewards, cash back, or an intro APR offer

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Capital One offers variety of rewards cards with reasonable (or waived) annual fees.
Crystal Cox/Business Insider

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The best Capital One credit cards of 2021:

Capital One offers a wide variety of credit cards, from options that can help you build your credit to picks that earn valuable travel rewards. The Capital One Venture Rewards card is especially popular thanks to its robust marketing budget and commercials featuring Jennifer Garner, but it's not necessarily the best Capital One card for you. At the end of the day, the best option is the one that fits with your spending style and your goals.

If you're in the market for a new credit card and haven't tried out a card from Capital One just yet, the issuer's offerings may be worth considering in 2021 and beyond. This is especially true if you've been on the fence about Capital One cards that earn miles, as the issuer continues to improve its rewards program, adding new options for using your rewards such as hotel transfer partners.

We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
17.24% to 24.49% variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent
A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Editor's Rating
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
17.24% to 24.49% variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent
A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Editor's Rating
Featured Reward
Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Intro APR
N/A
Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Annual Fee: $95
    • Welcome Bonus: 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    Pros
    • Annual fee waived the first year
    • No bonus categories to keep track of
    • Includes up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
    Cons
    • Other credit cards offer higher rewards in certain categories of spending
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Best for travel rewards: Capital One Venture card

    Annual fee: $95 

    Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. 

    Earning structure: 2 miles for each dollar you spend, making it easy to rack up points without worrying about earning caps or rotating categories.

    The Capital One Venture Rewards card earns rewards you can redeem for any type of travel at a rate of 1 cent per mile.  You can also transfer miles to Capital One's airline and hotel partners, including Accor, Air Canada, Emirates, JetBlue, and Wyndham. The transfer ratio for airlines is less than optimal, however, so this is only a good option if you have your heart set on a specific redemption with one of their partners. 

    As a cardholder, you'll also receive free travel accident insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and a credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership.

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    15.49% - 25.49% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.15 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    15.49% - 25.49% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.15 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    One-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months
    Intro APR
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
    • One-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    • 0% intro APR for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    • Travel Accident Insurance
    • Push notification each time a new purchase is approved on your account
    Pros
    • Earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase
    • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
    • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
    Cons
    • Other cards earn more cash back
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Best for cash back: Capital One Quicksilver Rewards card

    Annual fee: $0

    Sign-up bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months

    Earning structure: 1.5% cash back on every purchase

    The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards card is for you if you want to earn cash back without paying an annual fee. This card lets you earn a flat rate of unlimited rewards, 1.5% back, so you'll never have to wonder about bonus categories or whether you've hit your rewards cap. Its sign-up bonus is also relatively generous and easy to earn.

    On the redemption side of the equation, you can redeem your rewards for cash back at any time and in any amount. You can also cash in your points for gift cards. The Quicksilver Rewards card also comes with no foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.

    Annual Fee
    $95
    Regular APR
    15.99% - 24.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.25 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $95
    Regular APR
    15.99% - 24.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.25 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) and 1% on all other purchases
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    • One-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    Pros
    • High cash-back rate for dining and entertainment
    • No foreign transaction fees
    Cons
    • Many other cash-back cards don't charge an annual fee (but at least this one's waived for the first year)
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Best for dining and entertainment: Capital One Savor card

    Annual fee: $95

    Sign-up bonus:Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months

    Earning structure: 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on everything else you buy

    The Capital One Savor card is an enticing option thanks to its initial bonus and ongoing rewards, and that's especially true if you spend a lot on dining and entertainment each year. Even if you just spend a lot at the grocery store, earning 2% back is excellent as well.

    You can redeem your rewards for cash back in any amount, and this card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the US.

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    15.49% - 25.49% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.1 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    15.49% - 25.49% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.1 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months
    Intro APR
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
    • One-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    • 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
    • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Bonus cash back on dining, entertainment, and grocery store purchases
    • Long intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers
    Cons
    • Other cards earn more cash back in certain bonus categories
    • Not the highest sign-up bonus among cash-back cards

    Best for 0% APR: Capital One SavorOne card

    Annual fee: $0

    Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months

    Earning structure: Earn 3% back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on everything else you buy

    The Capital One SavorOne Rewards card lets you rack up exceptional rewards on dining and entertainment as well as grocery purchases. This card also comes without an annual fee, which is a net positive if you want to keep your costs down.

    If you have a large purchase you want to pay off over time, you'll be happy to know this card extends 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR. This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees.

    Annual Fee
    $0 intro for the first year, $95 after that
    Regular APR
    20.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    5 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $0 intro for the first year, $95 after that
    Regular APR
    20.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    5 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Unlimited 2% cash back and you could be putting thousands of dollars back into your business. Redeem at any time with no minimums
    • One-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    • Add employee cards for free and earn all the rewards from their purchases
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Download your purchase records quickly and securely to multiple formats including Quicken®, Quickbooks™ and Excel®
    Pros
    • 2% cash back on every purchase with no cap
    • Annual fee waived the first year
    Cons
    • Other cards can get you higher cash-back rates, but only in bonus categories or on a capped amount each year
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Best business card for cash back: Capital One Spark Cash for Business

    Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95

    Sign-up bonus: $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months

    Earning structure: 2% cash back on every purchase with no cap

    The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is a straightforward card that earns you a solid 2% cash-back return on all your business spending. There aren't many bells and whistles, but if putting cash back into your business is your top priority, this is a great option.

    Annual Fee
    $95, waived the first year
    Regular APR
    20.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.4 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $95, waived the first year
    Regular APR
    20.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Excellent
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.4 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase with your business credit card with no blackouts or seat restrictions and no minimum to redeem
    • 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
    • $0 intro for the first year, $95 after that
    • 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠
    • Receive up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre® when you use your Spark Miles card
    • Quickly and securely download your purchase records into multiple formats including Quicken®, QuickBooks® and Excel®
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    Pros
    • No bonus categories to keep track of
    • Annual fee is waived the first year
    • You can redeem miles to erase travel purchases from your statement, or you can transfer to various airline and hotel programs
    Cons
    • Not many extra benefits
    Read Our Review Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Best business card for travel: Capital One Spark Miles for Business

    Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months

    Earning structure: 2x miles on every purchase, and 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

    The Capital One Spark Miles for Business has a reasonable annual fee, and it makes it easy to earn miles on every purchase without having to keep track of bonus spending categories. You have lots of options when it comes time to redeem your miles, and the card comes with an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    26.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Bad or No Credit
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.8 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    26.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Bad or No Credit
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4.8 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • Offers you an opportunity to build or rebuild your credit with responsible use
    • $49, $99 or $200 refundable minimum security deposit
    • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200
    • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
    • Pick your own monthly due date and payment method
    • Add an authorized user to your account, and track spending by user
    Pros
    • Minimum deposit ($49) is lower than with some other secured cards
    • You can access a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
    Cons
    • No rewards

    Best for building credit: Capital One Secured Mastercard

    Annual fee: $0

    If you're trying to repair your credit score, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is an ideal option — it's relatively easy to get approved for since you put down a security deposit when you open your card.

    As a new cardholder, you'll put down a security deposit ($49, $99, or $200), which is refundable and determines your initial credit line. After you make your first five monthly payments on time, you can get access to a higher credit line.

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    26.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Average
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    26.99% variable APR
    Credit Score
    Average
    A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star A five pointed star
    4 out of 5 Stars
    Editor's Rating
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
    • 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise from Capital One®
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    • Access to a higher credit line with Credit Steps after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
    • Add an authorized user to your account, and track spending by user
    Pros
    • When you pay on time, your cash-back rate is boosted to 1.25% for the month
    • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
    • You can access a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
    Cons
    • Other student cards offer more cash back

    Best for students: Journey Student Rewards

    Annual fee: $0

    Sign-up bonus: None

    Earning structure: Earn 1% back on everything you buy, and boost your rewards to 1.25% back when you pay your bill on time

    The Journey Student Rewards is geared to students who want to earn rewards while they build up their credit over time. This card gives you a flat 1.25% back when you pay your bill on time for the month, which isn't the best available today. But since this card is available to consumers with average credit, it's available to a broader selection of consumers who need help getting started.

    The Journey Student Rewards doesn't charge an annual fee, and there are no foreign transaction fees, either.

    Read more: The best credit cards for students

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