Tips for choosing a credit card from Capital One
October 17, 2023 7 min read
Looking for a new credit card? With so many options to choose from, it might help to ask a few questions during the process to refine your search. For instance, what benefits matter most to you in a credit card?
Use this guide to learn more about what to look for in a credit card—and how to choose the Capital One credit card that works best for you.
- There are a lot of different credit cards to choose from, so it can be helpful to know what to look for before applying.
- You can narrow down your credit card options by reviewing your credit scores, researching credit card interest rates and fees, and seeing if you’re pre-approved.
- Comparing Capital One’s credit cards online can help you find the card that works best for you.
How to choose a credit card: 4 tips
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, these tips for picking a credit card that’s right for you can help:
1. Review your credit
Understanding your credit scores can give you a better idea of which credit cards you might be eligible for. For example, some cards are geared toward those with excellent credit. Other cards might be better suited for those with less-than-perfect credit.
You can check your credit with CreditWise from Capital One. By giving you access to your TransUnion® credit report and VantageScore® 3.0 credit score, CreditWise can help you better understand your credit score and keep up with changes to your credit report. Using CreditWise won’t hurt your credit scores, and it’s free for everyone, whether or not you’re a Capital One cardholder.
2. Understand your reasons for getting a new credit card
Thinking about why you want a new card in the first place can help you narrow down your options:
- To build or rebuild your credit: Using a credit card responsibly can help you improve your credit scores. You might consider a secured credit card to help you do that.
- To pay off high-interest debt: You could use a balance transfer credit card to move money from a high-interest credit account to a low or 0% annual percentage rate (APR) credit card. View important rates and disclosures.
- To earn rewards on purchases: Depending on your spending habits, you may opt for a card with cash back rewards. Or you might choose a card that rewards you with travel miles.
- To finance a large purchase: A new credit card might offer an introductory APR, which could help you save on interest while paying off the balance. Just be sure you understand when the promotional period ends and how it might affect your finances if you haven’t paid off your balance.
3. Research interest rates and fees
Looking at the specific terms and conditions of a potential credit card can help you be aware of any charges once you become a cardholder. Plus, learning more about the card’s interest rates and fees could help you narrow down your choices.
- Credit card interest: The cost you pay to borrow money depends on the credit card. And if you carry a balance or make a late payment, the interest rate can make a difference.
- Credit card fees: Depending on the card, you may be charged balance transfer fees, annual fees, late payment fees and more. View important rates and disclosures. So it’s a good idea to be aware of any when you’re shopping for a card.
4. See if you’re pre-approved
Getting pre-approved can give you a better understanding of the credit cards you might be eligible for. Pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved for a credit card. But it could help you narrow down your options.
Capital One offers a pre-approval tool to help you see which credit card offers might match your financial profile. It’s easy and straightforward—and it won’t affect your credit scores.
Comparing Capital One credit cards
Capital One offers a variety of credit cards. You can use the Capital One online card comparison tool to learn about the different options and filter cards based on what you’re looking for. Here are some different ways to compare credit cards:
Credit cards based on credit level
Credit cards based on personal needs
There are different types of credit cards, depending on the cardholder, their preferences and their current financial goals.
Personal credit cards from Capital One range from the Platinum Mastercard and Venture Rewards to co-branded store cards. Among Capital One’s personal cards, you might find these categories intended for specific groups:
- Student credit cards, like Capital One’s SavorOne Rewards for Students, which are designed with students in mind to help them build credit and earn rewards—when used responsibly—while in school.
- Secured credit cards, like Capital One’s Quicksilver Secured Rewards, which can help improve or build credit with responsible use. All of Capital One’s secured cards are backed by a security deposit.
- No annual fee credit cards, like Capital One’s SavorOne Rewards, which can be used without an annual fee. View important rates and disclosures.
Business credit cards, like Capital One’s Spark 2% Cash Plus and Venture X Business, offer benefits and are designed for business-related spending. Beyond credit cards, you can also find other business resources from Capital One.
Credit cards based on rewards offered
Capital One offers credit cards to help you earn rewards. Here are some of the options:
- Cash back credit cards, like Capital One’s Quicksilver Rewards, which offer cash back on various purchases or everyday spending.
- Travel rewards credit cards, like Capital One’s Venture Rewards, which are designed with travel in mind, offering additional rewards on things like hotels, flights and rental cars.
- Dining rewards credit cards, like Capital One’s Savor Rewards, which can provide additional rewards on dining, grocery and entertainment spending.
Choosing a credit card FAQ
Keep reading to learn more about choosing a credit card.
What are some things to avoid when choosing a credit card?
Credit cards can be a helpful tool, but a card that works for one person might not be the best credit card for everyone. Here are some things you may want to avoid when making your decision:
How many credit cards should you have?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how many credit cards you should have, so the right amount can vary from person to person. If credit cards are used responsibly, they can have a positive effect on credit. This means paying statements on time each month. But if having multiple cards makes it a struggle to keep up with payments or avoid high balances, it can lead to negative marks on your credit reports.
What is considered good credit to get a credit card?
According to FICO®, one of the major credit-scoring companies, a good credit score falls between 670 and 739. The better your credit scores, the more credit card options and favorable terms might be available to you.
But even if your credit score isn’t considered good, that doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for a credit card. Options like secured credit cards can help people who are building or rebuilding their credit.
How to choose a credit card in a nutshell
There are a variety of credit cards available. Taking time to research different options, compare credit cards and get pre-approved are steps you can take to narrow down your choices.