Capital One is a unique credit card issuer offering a large collection of cards that includes an option appropriate for every credit level and situation. Perhaps you’d like to get started on the path towards securing a rewards-earning credit card, for example, but your credit history is not quite there yet. There’s a Capital One card right for you.
If you’ve worked hard to improve your credit history, you’ll find several additional card options that will allow you to earn rewards on every purchase you make.
In an effort to illustrate an example of a path one can take towards securing a rewards-earning card, we’ve selected 3 Capital One cards today, each of which is designed for a consumer with a specific level of credit history.
We’ll cover what it takes to qualify for each card, compare the features and benefits, and if applicable, how you can earn and redeem rewards.
Join us as we discuss the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Minimum Qualification Requirements
As we mentioned in the introduction, each of our featured cards has its own specific requirements in order to qualify and subsequently be approved for a card. Let’s look at the level of recommended credit you would need to qualify for each card.
CapOne Platinum Card
The CapOne Platinum card encourages at least a fair credit score. The definition of a fair credit score, according to leading credit score creator FICO, is a score between 580 and 669. Additionally, Capital One describes the ideal applicant as “having defaulted on a loan in the past 5 years” or “having a limited credit history, owned a credit card or other credit for less than 3 years.”
CapOne VentureOne Card
If your credit score is considered good to excellent range, you might want to apply for the CapOne VentureOne card. According to Capital One, in order to qualify for the card, you “have not declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan in the past 5 years” and “have a credit card or loan that has not been more than 30 days late on any payment in the last year.”
CapOne Venture Card
The CapOne Venture card recommends a good to excellent credit score which is generally defined as between 670 and 850. Capital One states that the ideal applicant “has never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan, not been more than 60 days late on any credit card, loan, or medical bill, in the last year, and has had a loan or credit card for 3 years or more with a credit limit above $5,000.”
Prior to applying for any card, you’ll want to know your credit history and credit score. You can obtain a credit report from each of the major credit bureaus via AnnualCreditReport.com and there is no cost for the service. Reviewing your credit report for accuracy is always a good first step.
Should you find any errors on your credit report, you’ll want to submit a dispute to the credit bureau and resolve the issue prior to applying for a card.
Once you’re determined where you stand currently and have corrected any errors, you can access any available card offers risk-free with the CardMatch tool. There is no inquiry on your credit report and very little information is required to utilize the tool. Capital One also has a risk-free pre-qualification tool but it does require you to provide more information.
These tools provide a list of card offers you may qualify for but do not guarantee that you will be approved for the cards.
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
While the CapOne Platinum card does not offer a welcome bonus, the CapOne VentureOne card and CapOne Venture card each offer a welcome bonus in the form of Capital One miles, earned when you complete minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.
Keep in mind that welcome bonuses can change, but we’ve shown a snapshot above of the current applicable welcome bonuses and spending requirements.
Miles can generally be redeemed for 1 cent each, so a 60,000-mile welcome bonus would equal $600 in travel value. However, you could receive potentially greater value when utilizing the option to transfer miles to travel partners and use for flights or hotel nights. We’ll cover more on redemption options shortly.
If you’d like to learn more about how the 2 rewards-earning cards compare, we’ve put together a detailed comparison of the CapOne VentureOne card vs. the CapOne Venture card.
Although Capital One refers to its rewards as miles, the miles are not actually airline frequent flyer miles but more like redeemable points. Fortunately, Capital One is known for its simplistic earning structures, so you’ll always know how many “miles” you’ll be earning on every purchase you make.
Let’s look at how our 3 featured cards compare when it comes to earning rewards:
|CapOne Platinum card||$0||N/A|
|CapOne VentureOne card||$0||1.25 miles per dollar spent on every purchase|
|CapOne Venture card||$95||2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase|
Bottom Line: The no-annual-fee CapOne Platinum card is designed primarily for building credit and does not earn rewards. The CapOne VentureOne card earns 1.25 miles per dollar spent on every purchase and also does not charge an annual fee. The CapOne Venture card charges a $95 annual fee but has the highest earning level of 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
While the CapOne Platinum card doesn’t earn rewards, miles earned on the CapOne VentureOne card and CapOne Venture card offer several redemption options from which to select.
Here are your options for redeeming your Capital One miles:
- Transfer to Travel Partners — Receive the highest potential value for your miles by transferring to airline and hotel loyalty programs and purchasing award travel or free hotel nights.
- Purchase Travel via Capital One Travel — Receive 1 cent per mile in value when purchasing travel via the Capital One Travel portal.
- Additional Redemption Options — Redeem miles for gift cards, shopping at Amazon, statement credits, and more. Not all options provide good value, however. Strive for no less than 1 cent per mile in value.
CapOne Platinum Card vs. CapOne VentureOne Card & CapOne Venture Card — Summary
Now it’s time to take a side-by-side look at our 3 featured cards. You’ll notice that each level of card comes with additional reward-earning potential and greater features/benefits.
|Feature or Benefit||CapOne Platinum Card||CapOne VentureOne Card||CapOne Venture Card|
|Earning||N/A||1.25 miles per dollar spent on every purchase||2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase|
- Transfer points to airline and hotel partners
- Purchase travel via Capital One Travel
- Redeem for gift cards, shop with Amazon, redeem via PayPal, statement credits
|Additional Benefits||Available to those with fair credit||TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement, up to $100|
Capital One is a good place to start building or rebuilding your credit. The variety of cards offered can serve as stepping stones to elevate your creditworthiness to a point where you may have an endless choice of rewards-earning card options.
If your credit is fair, starting with the CapOne Platinum card could help you improve your credit and ultimately qualify you for a next-step card such as the CapOne VentureOne card and then the CapOne Venture card. For information on additional Capital One miles- and rewards-earning cards, you’ll want to check out this list of some of the best cards from this issuer.
If you have bad credit or absolutely no credit, you still have options for cards to help you build good credit.
Once you’ve achieved a good to excellent credit score, you’ll have your choice of some of the best travel rewards cards.
Featured Image Credit:
Mikhail Nilov via Pexels