Capital One offers a few of the best cashback credit cards on the market. It’s particularly strong in flat-rate cash back, as well as bonus rewards in dining and entertainment. And with straightforward redemption options — such as statement credit and gift cards — you won’t have to worry about complicated reward calculations.
We compared cashback credit cards by Capital One by looking at a variety of perks that might suit someone based on their particular spending habits. For example, we found a card that offers the best cash back rewards for a person who spends most on dining and entertainment.
Capital One made no changes to their cashback credit cards in 2020.
Best credit cards for Capital One cash back
Quick look at cashback credit cards from Capital One
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a solid choice for those with fair credit. You get to earn unlimited cash back on all of your purchases, and there's also the potential for upgrading your card with timely payments.
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you buy.
You can apply with a fair credit score of 580 or higher.
Pay your balance on time for five consecutive months and you'll be eligible for a higher credit line.
Balance transfer APR
1.5% cash back on all purchases
Best cashback card for dining and entertainment with no annual fee
The best feature of the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is its flat-rate rewards. No matter what you spend on, you can be sure you're earning solid cash back.
Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase.
Earn a signup bonus of $500 when you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months of your account opening.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Balance transfer APR
$500 after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months
2% cash back on all purchases
How to choose the best Capital One cashback card
While rewards might be your top priority for your Capital One card, these considerations might help steer you toward the best card for your needs:
Do you have fair credit? If you have fair credit, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card might be the right choice. If you’re a business owner with fair credit, consider the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business.
What annual fee do you want to pay? Capital One doesn’t have any premium cards that cost hundreds of dollars a year. Rather, your choice is whether you want to pay a $0 or $39 annual fee, or a $95 annual fee starting the second year.If you’ll pay an annual fee, consider whether you’ll get enough value from the card to justify the cost. For example, you might want the card for its rewards, or simply because it’s one of the few cards available to someone with your credit profile.
Do you want a signup bonus? Capital One’s personal cards have signup bonuses of $150 to $300, while its business cards have signup bonuses of $200 to $500. Keep in mind some cards have annual fees that will eat into these rewards.
Capital One cash back: A brief overview
Capital One designates eight of its cards as cashback products. These include:
Five personal credit cards, including one student card.
Flat-rate cash back. This means you’ll earn the same rewards rate on every purchase. Capital One flat-rate cash back ranges from 1.5% to 2%.
Tiered cash back. This means you’ll earn different rewards rates for certain categories. Capital One’s highest cashback rate is 4% on dining and entertainment.
Capital One cashback credit cards at a glance
Best if you want …
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Flat-rate cash back
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Flat-rate cash back, but you have fair credit
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rewards on dining, entertainment and at grocery stores
$0 for the first year, then $95
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rewards on dining, entertainment and at grocery stores with no annual fee
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
A student credit card with rewards
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Flat-rate cash back for business
$0 for the first year, then $95
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
Flat-rate cash back for business with no annual fee
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
Flat-rate cash back for business, but you have fair credit
How to earn the most Capital One cash back
One of the first things to do when looking for a cashback card is to evaluate your spending. This will help you find the product that offers ideal rewards.
Do you have high spending in dining and entertainment? If so, you’ll earn great cash back with one of the Savor® cards. These products also offer solid rewards at grocery stores, but consider other grocery credit cards if this category consumes most of your spending.
Do you spend relatively evenly across many categories? If so, you might get more out of Capital One’s flat-rate cashback cards — that is, the cards that offer the same rewards rate on every purchase. Instead of having to modify your spending to earn bonus rewards in certain categories, you can spend normally and earn solid cash back.
The Savor® cards offer tiered rewards, which means you’ll earn different cashback rates in various categories.
Hands-down the best way to use the cards is for dining and entertainment. However, other cards offer better cash back at grocery stores. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. You could use this card to complement your Capital One cash back.
The Savor® cards offer just 1% cash back on other spending, which is a standard but low rate. To boost your rewards, you could use a Savor® card for dining, entertainment and at grocery stores and a flat-rate cashback card for everything else.
How to redeem Capital One cash back
Redeeming your Capital One cash back is simple:
Log in to your Capital One account.
From your dashboard, navigate to the Rewards section.
Now, you can choose what you want to redeem your cash back for.
Cash. You can receive a mailed check or statement credit. Also, you can apply your cash back to specific purchases you’ve already made.
Gift cards. These are available from dozens of retailers, online stores, restaurants and more. Redemptions start as low as $10, but many gift cards require a $25 minimum.
Transfer. You can transfer your cash back to one of your other Capital One accounts. If you’d like to transfer rewards to someone else’s Capital One account, call the number on the back of your card and ask to speak with a representative.
How much is Capital One cash back worth?
Capital One cash back is worth face value, whether you redeem it for a check or statement credit or to offset a purchase. If you have $50 in cash back, for example, it’s worth $50 in statement credit.
The same goes if you redeem your cash back for gift cards. A $50 gift card will cost $50 in cash back.
While gift cards deliver decent value for your cash back, you can buy them in a more lucrative way.
For example, if you want to buy a $100 Starbucks gift card with cash back you’ve earned with your Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you can buy one at face value through the Capital One rewards portal. That’s perfectly fine — except you won’t earn rewards from that transaction.
Instead, you could use your card to buy the gift card at a Starbucks store. You’ll earn 4% cash back on that transaction, which is equivalent to $4 in rewards.
Alternatives to Capital One cashback cards
Capital One isn’t the only cashback game in town, and you’ll find great options elsewhere. Here’s a quick breakdown of cards to consider based on what you’re looking for.
Flat-rate cash back
Capital One offers very competitive cards with 1.5% flat-rate cash back — some of the best on the market, in fact. The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is also an uncommonly good option if you have fair credit, as you’ll get an unsecured card with rewards from a reputable provider.
Here are a few great alternatives for flat-rate cash back:
Chase Freedom Unlimited®. A very similar card to the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Also, earn a $200 signup bonus after you make $500 in purchases within the first 3 months after opening your account.
Citi® Double Cash Card. Considered by many to be the best no-annual-fee flat-rate cashback card. Earn 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% as you pay them off.
Consider a cashback card from another brand
Citi® Double Cash Card
Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
The Savor® products are excellent choices for dining and entertainment rewards, especially for cards that cost $0 and $95 a year.
Entertainment rewards, in particular, aren’t very common. The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is a competitor that offers 5% cash back in two categories each quarter on up to $2,000 in spending, then 1% after that. Bonus categories might include movie theaters, fast food and gyms or fitness centers, though these may change.
Capital One does have formidable competition in the dining category. For cash back, one big rival is the Uber Visa Card. It offers a great 3% back in Uber Cash on restaurant and bar spending, as well as accelerated rewards on hotels, airfare, Uber rides and more.
If you’re willing to venture into the world of credit card points, you’ll find excellent options too:
American Express® Gold Card. Accelerated grocery rewards make this card a double threat to the Savor® cards. Earn 4x points at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1x points.
Choose your credit score below and click “Show Cards” to view Capital One cash back cards within your credit range. From here, you can start comparing your options side-by-side.
Capital One offers excellent cashback credit cards, with strong rewards rates and low annual fees. As always, there are many other great options out there. Compare cashback credit cards to eventually find the perfect one for you.
Frequently asked questions
Purchases made at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries.
Tickets to movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums and zoos fall under this category. Purchases at dance clubs, pool halls and bowling alleys also count as entertainment.
Purchases made at supermarkets, meat lockers, freezers, dairy product stores and specialty markets count towards the grocery category. Purchases made at Walmart and Target don’t qualify for accelerated rewards.
Capital One credits your rewards balance within two billing cycles.
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Dallas Morning News, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
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