Best Capital One Credit Cards For Rewards (2019)

Filed Under: Capital One, Credit Cards
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

Those of us who are points obsessed have historically been focused on American Express, Chase, and Citi cards. That’s because they’ve generally offered the best welcome bonuses, and also have offered transferable points currencies, which is my favorite way to maximize points through credit card spend.

In the past Capital One had excellent cards offering cash back rewards, though they haven’t offered a transferable points currency. That finally changed in late 2018, when Capital One introduced a transferable points currency for their Spark and Venture products.

The 5 Best Capital One Credit Cards

Since many people into points may not have considered Capital One cards in the past, in this post I wanted to provide a rundown of what I consider to be the best Capital One credit cards for earning rewards. I’ll include three personal and two business credit cards.

These Capital One cards offer a variety of perks and rewards structures, ranging from cards with annual fees to no annual fee cards, from cards earning cash rewards to cards earning travel rewards, etc.

So let’s take a look at each of these cards:

The Capital One® Spark® Cash For Business — Best Business Cash Back Credit Card (Review)

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is ideal for any business looking for a straightforward cash back rewards card.

$95 Annual Fee (Waived The First Year)

The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.

$500 Welcome Bonus

The card offers a welcome bonus of $500 cash back after spending $4,500 within three months.

2% Cash Back Rewards

Earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, with no foreign transaction fees.

Why You Should Get This Card

A lot of businesses just like to get cash back rewards that they can invest back into their business, so getting unlimited 2% cash back with a big welcome bonus and a reasonable annual fee that’s even waived the first year is excellent.

While there are a good number of personal cards offering 2% cash back, this is much rarer with business cards, making this a great option.


Earning 2% cash back on a business card is an excellent return

Alternatives To Consider

The closest alternative to the card is the Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express, which has no annual fee (Rates & Fees) and offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year. However, the card doesn’t have a welcome bonus, and also has foreign transaction fees.

The Capital One® Spark® Miles For Business — Best Business Rewards Credit Card (Review)

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a well rounded travel rewards business card, that gives you the option of earning transferable miles, or miles that can be redeemed as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase.

$95 Annual Fee (Waived The First Year)

The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.

50,000 Mile Welcome Bonus

The card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Spark miles back after spending $4,500 within three months.

2x Spark Miles Rewards

Earn unlimited 2x Spark miles on all purchases, with no foreign transaction fees.

Why You Should Get This Card

The card earns 2x Spark miles per dollar spent, and you can redeem them in one of two ways:

  • You can redeem them for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase, meaning that each dollar spent on the card gets you two cents towards travel
  • You can transfer them to airline partners at a ratio of up to 2:1.5, meaning that you’re earning up to 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent

The transfer partners are as follows:

Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
Aeromexico (Club Premier)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Air Canada (Aeroplan)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Air France KLM (Flying Blue)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Alitalia (MilleMiglia Program)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Avianca (LifeMiles)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Emirates (Emirates Skywards)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500
Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Finnair (Finnair Plus)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
JetBlue (JetBlue TrueBlue)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500
Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500

That flexibility makes this one of the best business credit cards for travel rewards, especially if you spend a lot in non-bonused categories.

On top of that, the card offers a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry credit once every four years.


Transfer Capital One miles to Emirates for redemptions in first class

Alternatives To Consider

I’d say the best alternative to this would be to get the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.

The Preferred offers 3x points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

Meanwhile the Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases.

If you have the Ink Preferred and Ink Unlimited, then points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards a travel purchase, or can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.

I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that means the Ink Unlimited offers ~2.55% back, while the Ink Preferred offers ~5.1% back in bonused categories.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card — Best Personal Rewards Credit Card (Review)

The Capital One Venture Card is probably Capital One’s most popular card, and for good reason. It’s a great option for anyone looking for straightforward travel rewards.

$95 Annual Fee (Waived The First Year)

The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.

50,000 Mile Welcome Bonus

The card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Venture miles back after spending $3,000 within three months.

2x Venture Miles Structure

Earn unlimited 2x Venture miles on all purchases, with no foreign transaction fees. You also earn 10x miles per dollar spent at hotels.com/venture.

Why You Should Get This Card

Much like the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, the card offers 2x miles per dollar spent, and you can redeem those in one of two ways:

  • You can redeem them for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase, meaning that each dollar spent on the card gets you two cents towards travel
  • You can transfer them to airline partners at a ratio of up to 2:1.5, meaning that you’re earning up to 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent

Note that while the miles on the Spark and Venture cards are branded differently, in reality they’re very similar, and you can actually combine them easily between accounts.

I’d also note that the hotels.com benefit is potentially really valuable, especially if you’re not usually loyal to a single hotel brand. You can earn 10x miles on the card for booking with hotels.com, and you can combine that with earning rewards through hotels.com’s loyalty program.

The Venture Card also offers a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry credit once every four years.


Transfer Capital One miles to Flying Blue for redemptions in KLM business class

Alternatives To Consider

I’d say the best alternative to this would be to get either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and complement it with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

The Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and the Reserve offers 3x points on dining and travel, while the Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases. For example, if you have the Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited, then points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards a travel purchase, or can be transferred to airline and hotel partners.

I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that means the Freedom Unlimited offers ~2.55% back, while the Sapphire Reserve offers ~5.1% back in bonused categories.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card — Best Credit Card For Dining (Review)

The Savor Rewards Card is ideal for anyone who spends a lot on dining and entertainment.

$95 Annual Fee (Waived The First Year)

The card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.

$300 Welcome Bonus

The card offers a welcome bonus of $300 cash back after spending $3,000 within three months.

Up To 4% Rewards

The card offers unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. The card has no foreign transaction fees, so is great for purchases abroad.

Why You Should Get This Card

While this isn’t a card I’d recommend using for everyday spending, earning 4% cash back on dining and entertainment with no caps is a useful category for someone who eats out a lot and isn’t looking for travel rewards. When you balance the reasonable annual fee (waived the first year) with the welcome bonus, this is a card that could definitely be worth acquiring.

For anyone wondering, dining includes purchases at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries. Then entertainment includes purchases like tickets to a movie, play, concert, sporting event, tourist attraction, theme park, aquarium, zoo, dance club, pool hall or bowling alley, as well as purchases made at record stores and video rental locations.

This card also comes with some other unique benefits, like a Postmates Unlimited membership through December 2019, which usually costs $9.99 per month, plus 8% cash back on Vivid Seats purchases.


Earn 4% cash back on dining

Alternatives To Consider

If you’re looking for a straightforward cash back card that’s good for non-bonused spending, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back on every purchase, and then an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. The card has no annual fee, so is an excellent option.

Otherwise, something like the Uber Visa Card is a great option, as it offers 4% back on dining, 3% back on hotels and airfare, 2% back on online purchases, and 1% back on everything else, and has no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee.

The downside of both of these cards is that they don’t have welcome bonuses that are nearly as good.

 The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card — Best No Annual Fee Card

If you’re interested in the Savor Card but don’t want to pay an annual fee, the SavorOne is your best bet.

No Annual Fee

The card has no annual fee.

$150 Welcome Bonus

The card offers a welcome bonus of $150 cash back after spending $500 within three months.

Up To 3% Rewards

The card offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. The card has no foreign transaction fees, so is great for purchases abroad.

Why You Should Get This Card

Personally I think the Savor Card is worth paying the annual fee for, but otherwise this is a very nice alternative. Getting a no annual fee card with no foreign transaction fees and bonuses on dining and entertainment is great for anyone traveling internationally.


Earn 3% cash back on dining

Alternatives To Consider

Similar, to the Savor Card, I think the best alternatives are the Citi® Double Cash Card, if you want a straightforward no annual fee card that’s good for everyday spending, and the Uber Visa Card if you want a no annual fee card also offering a great return on dining.

Applying For Capital One Credit Cards

If you’re applying for a Capital One credit card, there are a few general things to be aware of:

  • Capital One typically pulls credit from all three bureaus when you apply for a card; this shouldn’t be a huge deal, but is something to be aware of
  • Applying for a Capital One business card counts as a card towards the 5/24 limit (just as most personal cards would), since it shows up on your personal credit report
  • Generally Capital One will approve you for at most one card every six months, so you’ll want to select your card carefully

Best Capital One Credit Cards Summary

In the past, Capital One was known for their straightforward cards that earned either cash back or miles that could be redeemed towards travel purchases.

Capital One is really reinventing themselves, though, as they create a transferable points currency and also increasingly offer valuable partnerships. In addition, almost all of their cards have the benefit of no foreign transaction fees.  Add in the big welcome bonuses that they’re offering on cards at the moment, and there has truly never been a better time to pick up a Capital One card.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (Rates & Fees).

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. Turned down for Venture since I was approved for too many other bank cards in recent months. My Experian score was well below what Experian sent to me after so I wrote to Cap One for an explanation of how the credit score impacted their decision.

  2. I use a combo capital one venture and savor. Yearly fees are $95 for each. I got a little boost of 50,000 points for putting some money in a capital one 365 money market account. I do run a little business and travel quite a bit and have managed to rack up 270,000 points in 15 months.

    A little secret to amassing points: the 10x points on hotels.com earns mega points on both your and your family/friends’ reservations if u put it on your card.

  3. Hi Lucky, first things first I have to say I looove your blog! That being said your love of chase is sometimes blind. Surely there are great citi options here too – citi premier with 60k sign up and Turkish as a partner? I would at least mention that as an alternative. And no Amex gold mention?

  4. It’s worth noting that Capital One reports business CCs to the credit reporting agencies, so they are detrimental to your Chase 5/24 count.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *