Before Capital One unveiled its new transferable rewards program called Capital One Miles, its cash-back rewards offerings were off the charts.
It wasn’t unusual to be able to earn 4% cash-back or more on everyday purchase categories like dining, groceries, and entertainment.
A bit of attention has been drawn away from cash-back since the explosion in popularity of Capital One Miles, but in this article, we’ll cover which Capital One credit cards earn cash-back and how to earn lots of cash-back with Capital One’s cash-back cards.
The Value of Capital One Cash-back
It’s hard to deny there’s a more flexible rewards currency than cash-back!
With Capital One, cash-back is accumulated in your account so you can save for a large statement credit or significant purchase.
Additional redemption options include gift cards, making a charitable donation, or receiving a check (at a reduced value).
Ease of Earning Cash-back
Capital One also makes it easy to earn cash-back. With multiple bonus spending categories on Capital One personal cards, your cash-back earnings will add up fast.
On the business side, you won’t have to keep track of special earning categories at all with flat rate earnings across the board.
Earn Lots of Cash-back on Personal Capital One Credit Cards
Capital One Personal Cards That Earn Cash-back
1. Earn Big With Welcome Offers
Meet your minimum spending requirement within the first 90 days after card approval and earn a welcome offer.
2. Purchase Travel
The best Capital One cash-back cards for travel purchases are the Quicksilver card or the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which both earn 1.5% cash-back per dollar spent on all purchases.
3. Dine Out
You won’t hesitate to pick up the tab at that next group dinner with these Capital One credit cards. Earning 3% to 4% cash-back makes figuring out who owes how much worth it!
Here are the best Capital One credit cards for earning cash-back at restaurants:
4. Buy Groceries
With 3% cash-back, the CapOne Savor card and CapOne SavorOne card both earn rewards on every purchase you make at the grocery store.
Hot Tip: Grocery stores sell more than just groceries! It’s possible to utilize your CapOne Savor card or CapOne SavorOne card to purchase no-fee gift cards (earning 3% cash-back) to use for non-bonus category purchases, such as gas and department stores.
5. Get Entertained
In addition to earning rewards on dining, your entertainment purchases can earn cash-back.
Capital One defines entertainment quite broadly:
- Bowling/billiard establishments
- Concerts and sports
- Movies and live theater
- Record stores
- Ticketed events
- Tourist attractions
- Video rental/digital streaming services
- Zoos, amusement parks, aquariums
Here’s how Capital One cash-back credit cards reward entertainment purchases:
6. Pay Household Expenses
Rewards earned on everyday household purchases add up quickly when every purchase you make earns cash-back. The Quicksilver card and QuicksilverOne card both earn 1.5% cash-back per dollar spent on these purchases.
Bottom Line: Welcome bonuses are the fastest way to earn a cash bonus.
Earn Lots of Cash-back on Business Capital One Credit Cards
We think we’ve established the fact that Capital One has a simple rewards earnings structure — but nothing gets quite as simple as earning rewards on Capital One’s cash-back business credit cards.
First, there are no bonus categories whatsoever.
Additionally, you’ll earn 1.5% to 2% cash-back per dollar spent, depending on the card. That’s it.
With this easy formula as a foundation, we’ll take a look at how Capital One credit cards fare when it comes to earning cash-back.
Capital One Business Cards That Earn Cash-back
7. Earn With Welcome Offers
Capital One business credit cards earn generous welcome offers after completing initial spending requirements in the first 90 days after card approval.
8. Earn Bigger With Tiered Spending Bonuses
In addition to the initial welcome offer, there are sometimes tiered spending bonuses that allow you to earn more. Check the current offers for tiered spending bonuses.
9. Pay for Business Expenses
Because of the simple earning structure, all purchases receive the same level of rewards: the CapOne Spark Cash Plus card earns 2% cash-back and the CapOne Spark Cash Select card earns 1.5% cash-back.
Whether you purchase travel, office supplies, or shipping, you’ll earn the same level of cash-back rewards on every purchase with your Capital One business credit card.
Bottom Line: Capital One business cash-back credit cards offer simple earnings of either 1.5% or 2% cash-back (depending on the card), with no bonus spending categories.
Everything Else You Need To Know
Cash-back rewards that you earn on your Capital One card never expire as long as you have a Capital One account open and in good standing. If you close your account, unused cash-back will be forfeited.
Capital One credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees.
Occasionally, Capital One runs Refer a Friend promotions that reward you with statement credits for referring a friend who is subsequently approved for the credit card. These promotions are usually targeted to specific cardholders who receive an invitation email with the terms of the referral program, but cardholders of the Quicksilver card, CapOne Savor card, or CapOne SavorOne card in good standing may qualify for the referral program. To find your referral link, sign in to your account or look in the app for the Refer a Friend tile on the account details page.
There’s no need to feel left out if you have bad credit or no credit — Capital One issues several credit cards for building or rebuilding credit. The issuer also offers the opportunity to find out if you’re pre-qualified or pre-approved for one of their credit cards.
Hot Tip: While earning cash-back is nice, we recommend accumulating Capital One miles over cash-back because of the valuable transfer partnerships that help you book luxury travel for maximum value.
Capital One’s cash-back cards have a lot going for them, especially if you focus on a handful of unique credit cards offering outsized cash-back. For example, the CapOne Savor card earns an awesome 4% cash-back on dining and entertainment.
But because these cash-back rewards are always fixed in value, earning 1% to 4% cash-back via Capital One’s cash-back credit cards might not be the best you can get. It’s probably better to use a card that earns Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points.
The American Express® Gold Card, for instance, earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining — and Membership Rewards have the potential to deliver value far greater than 1 cent per point.
The information regarding the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card, and Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.