General credit card questions
Applying for a credit card
- What information does Capital One® require when I apply for a credit card?
You'll need to provide personal information, including your:
- Full name
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Physical address (No P.O. Boxes)
- Estimated gross annual income
- Why do you need my personal information for my credit card application?
We need your personal information for two reasons:
- Federal law requires us to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. As a result, your personal information is required and used for identification purposes.
- We use your personal information, like Social Security number, to pull your credit bureau data, which in turn is used with other information like annual income in processing your application.
- Can I use my private mailbox to apply (P.O. Box/CMRA - Commercial Mail Receiving Agency)?
Unfortunately, under federal law a physical address is required to process your application. You can always change your address to a private mailbox such as a P.O. Box or Commercial Mail Receiving Agency once your account is opened. We'll also keep your physical address on file.
- Will my application be declined if I don't use a physical address?
You can continue your application using a private mailbox like a P.O. Box or Commercial Mail Receiving Agency, but we'll have to contact you for a physical address before processing your application. This could mean waiting an additional 2 weeks to get your card.
However, once the account is opened, you can always change your mailing address to that of your choice. We'll also keep your physical address on file.
- Do I need to complete all the information on my credit card application?
We will try to process your application without all of the requested information, but you may experience delays or even be adversely affected by the omission of information.
- Can I apply for a credit card with a co-applicant?
- No, we do not offer the option for co-applicants at this time, but you may add an authorized user after your account is opened.
- Will I get an instant decision when I apply online for a credit card?
Capital One will attempt to provide a decision in 60 seconds or less. However, in some cases we need to collect additional information to make a decision.
- I received a session expired message. What does this mean?
This means there has been no activity on your application page for 20 minutes, and, for security reasons, your application session has been terminated. If you receive the session expired message, please start another application.
- Do you share the contact information on my credit card application with other companies?
Capital One takes our commitment to protecting your privacy seriously. Please see our Customer Privacy and Opt-Out Notice for more information.
Note: This notice applies only to consumers and not business or commercial customers.
- What level of credit do I need to apply for a Capital One credit card?
Capital One offers credit cards for people with different credit levels, including a Secured Card for those who are rebuilding credit. Check the details of individual cards to see what level of credit is required.
- How can I find out the status of my credit card application?
If you apply by phone or online, you will often get a response in 60 seconds. However, in some cases we need to collect additional information to make a decision.
You can check the status of your application anytime by calling 1-800-903-9177. We will notify you in writing of our decision within 7-10 days of your application.
- When will I receive my new credit card?
- If you're approved, you'll receive your Capital One card, credit limit information, and welcome materials by mail within 7-10 business days.
- What will my credit limit be?
Upon approval, we will further evaluate your application and determine what your credit limit is. We'll send written notification of your credit limit amount within 7-10 business days from the day you apply.
- How can I report a lost or stolen credit card?
Report a lost or stolen card by calling 1-800-955-7070.
- What will my rate be?
Please see the Rates & Disclosures for term information. If the card you've applied for has a range of rates listed, you'll receive the lowest rate for which you qualify based on your creditworthiness.
- When will I find out my rate?
If you are approved, your rate will be provided to you in writing within 7-10 days.
- Can I allow someone else to charge to my credit card account?
Yes. You can add authorized users online after you sign in, or you can call the number on the back of your card. Please note that to add an authorized user to your account, you must be the primary cardholder, secondary cardholder, power of attorney, or small business account manager.
- Can I manage my credit card account online?
Yes. You will be able to enroll in our Online Banking service to do all of the following and more:
- Pay your credit card bill
- Stop paper clutter by enrolling in online statements
- Link multiple Capital One credit cards
- Redeem your rewards
- View recent transactions
- Check your balance
- Send a secure message
- Dispute a charge
- How do you apply my payments?
We apply your minimum payment to lower rate balances before higher rate ones. We apply any portion of your payment in excess of your minimum payment to higher rate balances before lower rate ones. If your payment exceeds the minimum payment by an amount sufficient to pay a higher rate balance shown on your statement, you still may have a balance at that higher rate on your next statement as a result of transactions, interest, or fees charged to your account before your payment was credited. For example, if your monthly statement shows a $1,000 balance for cash advances, sending in a check for $1,000 plus your minimum payment amount may not bring your cash advance balance to $0. This is because interest continues to accrue on the $1,000 balance between the last day of the statement and the date we receive your payment, but the interest does not post to your account until the next statement.
- How do I access my secure letter if I’ve been declined?
If you’ve been notified via email that you were declined for a credit card from Capital One, we want to make sure we help you understand why. If you are unable to access your secure letter containing further details, please call us at 1-800-903-9177.
- How do I transfer a balance?
You can request a balance transfer after you've been approved and have received your card. You can then call our customer service department or sign in to your account.
- What types of balances can I transfer?
You can transfer balances from other credit cards, personal loans, student loans, and auto loans. You will not be able to transfer a balance from another account issued or acquired by Capital One or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries.
- What information will I need to transfer a balance?
You will need the name of the other creditor, account number, and amount you want to transfer.
- How long does it take for a transferred balance to post to the account I have with the other creditor?
If your balance transfer request is approved, payment will be sent to your creditors within 10 business days. Please allow 10 days for mailing time. Continue to make payments to creditors until you confirm that they have received the transferred payment.
- Will my transferred account close automatically?
Your other account will not close automatically, even if it is paid in full. You will need to call your other creditor to request that they close your account.
Requesting credit line increases
- How can I request a credit line increase?
You can request a credit line increase online by choosing the “Request Credit Line Increase” link from the Services tab. If you haven't enrolled in online account servicing yet, just click the “Enroll Here” link on our homepage near the sign in area.
If you’re a joint account holder and don’t have access to online account servicing, or if you prefer to make your request by phone, call our automated system at 1-800-955-7070 to request a credit line increase. You’ll first need to choose “More Options” to get to the credit line increase request option.
If you have additional questions, please visit our credit line increase FAQ for more information.
- My account recently transitioned to Capital One from another card issuer. Can I apply for a credit line increase?
Over the coming months we’re transitioning our former Orchard Bank®, Household Bank®, Fifth Third Optimum and other HSBC Bank Nevada N.A. general-purpose credit card customers from one system to another. We appreciate your patience while we do this, as we aren’t able to approve credit line increase requests on those accounts during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.
- I requested a credit line increase and received a letter I don’t understand. What should I do?
The letter we sent has details specific to the decision on your account. If you have questions after reading it, please visit our credit line increase FAQ for more information.
View complete credit line increase FAQ for more information about requesting credit line increases.
Security and privacy
- What does Capital One do to protect the personal information sent in my application over the Internet?
Capital One is committed to providing secure Internet service through security and encryption technology. Since all of the information being passed through this secured site is encrypted, only we can decipher the application information. Please see how Security Works at Capital One.
- If my card is lost or stolen, how can I make sure that I don't get stuck with fraudulent purchases on my bill?
- Capital One guarantees $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen and used without your authorization. Read more about our commitment to fraud prevention.
Traveling outside the country
- Will Capital One charge me a fee if I use my credit card overseas?
- Capital One does not charge a fee for using your credit card for foreign currency transactions. Foreign purchases will be converted at the foreign exchange rate in effect at the time of processing the charge.
- Who do I contact about traveling out of the country?
Before you travel, sign in to your account or contact us at 1-800-955-7070. Please have the following information handy:
- Credit card number
- Travel destination
- Travel start and end dates
If you encounter any problems with your account while traveling within the United States, please call the phone number on the back of your card. If you encounter any problems with your account while traveling outside of the United States, please contact us at our international collect telephone number, 1-800-955-7070. Please note, be sure to follow the policies for outbound dialing in the country where you are traveling; you will need to place a collect call through an operator, and Capital One will accept the charges.
Understanding credit reporting
- What’s a credit report?
A credit report shows your credit history, including:
- How often you make payments on time
- How much credit you have
- How much credit you have available
- How much credit you’re using
Credit bureaus compile credit reports from lenders’ updated information. Reviewing credit reports helps lenders decide if they’ll loan money to you and what interest rates they’ll offer.
- What’s on a credit report?
Credit reports contain personal information, public information, credit inquiries, and credit history.
- Personal information may include things like your name, Social Security and driver’s license numbers, date of birth, current and previous addresses, and employers.
- Public information includes information like tax liens, judgments, and bankruptcy filings, which is reported by the courts.
- Credit inquiry section lists parties who have accessed your credit report within the past two years. You can learn more about credit inquiries here.
- Credit history shows the number and types of accounts you have, how much you owe to your lenders, and whether you’ve made payments on time. The credit bureaus get this type of information from banks, creditors, department stores, and other lenders.
- I see terms like joint cardholder and authorized user on my credit report – what’s the difference?
A joint cardholder (sometimes called a secondary cardholder) shares payment responsibility with the primary cardholder, while an authorized user does not. All three can use the account and may see it on their credit report.
- What’s the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry?
There are two types of credit inquiries:
- Soft inquiries don’t affect your credit rating and don’t show up at all on your credit report that a lender pulls when reviewing a credit application. Soft inquiries do show up in a special section of your credit report that the credit bureaus only release to you.
- Hard inquiries do affect your credit rating. They’re visible to lenders who pull your credit report, and they generally stay on your credit report for two years.
- When does Capital One update an account to the credit bureaus?
We typically share credit card account information with credit bureaus once a month. A credit report will show the date we sent the updated information.
- How long does negative information stay on a credit report?
Credit bureaus are required by law to remove negative information after 7 to 10 years. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – consumerfinance.gov – for details.
- What should I do if I find a mistake in my credit report?
You can file a dispute with the credit bureaus or directly with a lender. If you dispute through the credit bureaus, they’ll let you know about anything that’s updated. If you contact us directly to dispute something on your Capital One account, we’ll conduct an investigation and respond to you when we have the facts.
- If you sold my account, why is Capital One still appearing on my credit report?
You’ll see Capital One still listed on a sold account because, even after the sale, it will remain part of your credit history showing you had that Capital One account.
- When my account status changed after Capital One sold it, why does Capital One still show the old status on my credit report?
When we sell an account, the status that will remain on the credit report under Capital One’s name is the status as of the date it was sold. We’re not able to share new information about an account after we sell it. However, we can make changes if any of our previous updates were inaccurate.
- I opened a credit card with a retailer. Why is Capital One showing up on my credit report?
We partner with retailers or other companies to provide credit to their customers. Even though a credit card might have a different brand name on it, Capital One provides credit and manages credit reporting of the account.