Reviews Of The Best Capital One Credit Cards and Offers
Published 12/18/08 (Modified 11/9/11)
Updated List Of The Best Capital One Credit Cards Below
What's In Your Wallet? - So goes the motto and promotional tag line from those zany Capital One credit card ads we're always seeing on TV. When it comes to Capital One, the credit card company's message is clear - it wants you to evaluate your choice of credit cards and make sure you are taking steps to maximize all cash back credit card rewards and low interest opportunities available to you.
Capital One is one of the major credit card issuers in the United States, having distinguished itself over the years with its wide reaching mass marketing efforts, particularly during the 1990's when the company experienced tremendous growth and a phenomenal surge in market share. Through its aggressive marketing and promotional efforts, Capital One has situated itself as a major player in the credit card market with its huge and broad lineup of credit card products. Since its initial start into consumer lending, Capital One has joined the ranks of Citibank Citi Cards, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Discover Card, and American Express as the dominant credit card lenders in the U.S. and Canada. Today, the company is actually one of the largest, if not the largest independent issuer of Mastercard and Visa credit cards. The company has since transformed itself into a giant bank holding company with a diverse brevy of financial services and products that include credit cards, auto loans, home mortgage loans, small business loans, and various interest-bearing high yield savings accounts and certificate of deposits.
Capital One's Quest To Mass Market and Diversify Its Financial Services Beyond Just Credit Cards Offers Customers More Choices
Capital One made its name in the national credit card business by utilizing a mass mailer approach to appeal to a wide spectrum of credit card consumers, from subprime bad credit credit card applicants to high FICO score candidates. Since its decision to re-brand itself into a diversified national banking institution, the company has been steadily buying up regional banks and growing its base of consumer deposits. Most recently, Capital One bought Chevy Chase Bank, a major local regional bank with a huge network of banking branches in my neck of the woods of Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. While Capital One's continued quest to invest in regional banks across the United States has allowed it to stave off some of the devastating negative effects of the subprime mortgage crisis that has eliminated several other major banks like Washington Mutual and IndyMac, the overall economic downturn has not left the company completely unscathed. Due to the deteriorating economic climate, recessionary pressures, and unemployment effects, card consumers as a whole have been getting slower at paying off their credit card bills, contributing to the rise in credit defaults and delinquent loans.
While Capital One has significantly less direct exposure to toxic subprime mortgages than most of its peers, it has significant exposure to the problematic consumer and small business credit card market. However, due to its steady conversion and transition into a major bank holding company through local acquisitions, the company is likely to weather this current economic storm well and remain a financial leader in the credit market by taking key steps to stay competitive. In response to the economic malaise, Capital One has since pulled out its major subprime credit card offerings in favor of credit card reward and 0% balance transfer purchase programs that encourage more responsible credit card usage.
Apply For Capital One's Pre-Established List Of Credit Card Rewards and Low Interest Deals, Or Build Your Own Offer With The Capital One Card Lab
One of the distinguishing factors of Capital One is its staunch focus and emphasis on program customization and providing a large array of choices for consumers and business owners. This strategy and approach is completely different from that promoted by Discover credit card or Advanta credit card, which rely on a small portfolio of highly targeted products. Instead, Capital One offers every credit card reward, 0% balance transfer offer, and airline miles credit card feature possible, all packaged into varying forms for those with differing credit worthiness scores. Currently, you can find a Capital One card offer for just about any interest rate or reward formula, at any credit rating or credit score level. In fact, the company even offers you the ability to build your own personalized Capital One credit card to suit your needs and purposes using the Capital One Card Lab, the centerpiece of its recent television and print advertising efforts.
With the Capital One Card Lab, you have the ability to create a customized credit card package by choosing your own APR interest rate, credit card rebate, airline travel rewards, cashback percentages, introductory deals such as 0% balance transfer or 0% purchases, or annual fee (if any). Of course, it's a give and take as you can't have everything Capital One gives you in one card and all of your choices will be balanced out in some way. For example, if you want to earn the highest cash back rewards, you may have to give in to a slightly higher interest rate or a shorter introductory balance transfer period. However, if you want low interest or 0% balance transfer and purchase offers, you may have to settle with fewer rewards. The choice is up to you when you decide to customize using the Capital One Card Lab instead of going with pre-existing Cap One offers.
The Best Credit Card Offers Are Reserved For Those With Excellent Credit Scores, But Average Credit Seekers Have Options Too
When it comes to its array of credit card products, Capital One card offers are issued based on the applicant's credit score and credit report history. The credit levels of - excellent, good, average, or limited - will determine your card's terms and conditions. Obviously those with higher FICO credit scores will get the best 0% APR teaser rates and enjoy the highest purchase rewards compared to their bad credit credit card counterparts. To determine your Capital One credit level, here is a quick guide to the qualification requirements and specifics. The dollar figures in parenthesis "( )" are approximate credit limit ranges offered depending on your credit level type.
- Excellent Credit ($500-$20,000) - Must have had a loan or credit card for at least 5 years with credit limit above $5,000, and have not been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill, or loan in the last year. Must never have declared bankruptcy.
- Good Credit - ($500-$15,000) - Have had a credit card for 3 years or more with credit limits above $5,000, and have not been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill, or loan in the last year.
- Average Credit - ($300-$3,000) - Have had a loan or credit card before, with credit limits less than $5,000. May have been late on more than one credit card, bill, or payment in the last 6 months.
- Limited Credit - ($300-$3,000) - Have never had a credit card or have limited usage of it. Have a limited credit history, for example due to status as a student, new to country, age, or having been an authorized user on someone else's credit card. Needs to have a valid credit score from one of the major credit reporting companies.
List Of The Best Capital One Credit Cards:
The following are reviews of the best Capital One credit card offers. Instead of applying for existing offers, you are free to mix and match your own preferred card program with the Capital One Card Lab. If you are not inclined to build your own credit card from scratch, feel free to select from the following recommended offers depending on your credit level.
No Hassle Cash Rewards and Point Rewards
- Capital One® Cash Credit Card - (Excellent Credit) - Automatically earn 1% cash back on all purchases. There is no limit to the cash back rewards you can earn, and your cash rewards never expire. You can also save money with an intro 0% APR purchase and balance transfer rate until November 2012. There is no annual fee.
- Capital One® No Hassle Cash(SM) Rewards - (Average Credit) - Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases with this card. There is a 0% APR offer for all purchases until August 2012, with no annual fee.
No Hassle Airline Mileage and Travel Rewards
- Capital One® Orbitz® Visa - Those with excellent credit can earn 3 points per dollar spent on eligible Orbitz.com booking, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. There is no point limit on rewards that are redeemable for travel, cash back, gift cards and more. There is no annual fee.
Low Interest Rate, Balance Transfer Offers, and 0% APR Purchases
- Capital One® Platinum Prestige - Those with excellent credit ratings can save money with this Capital One credit card's 0% APR offer on both balance transfers and purchases until February 2013. Thereafter, you get a low interest rate with no annual fee.
Card Offers For Those New To Credit, Or Those With Limited Or Average Credit History
- Capital One® Standard Platinum - (Average/Limited Credit) - Those with only average credit can qualify. Annual fee is $19; waived for the first year.
- Capital One® Classic Platinum - With either the Classic Visa or Classic Mastercard version of this particular low interest Capital One offer, those with average credit can also enjoy 0% APR on all purchases until August 2012. The annual fee is $39.