Capital One credit cards

How to choose the right Capital One credit card

Capital One has several credit card options, focused on balance transfers and building credit

Capital One is an American financial corporation which helped pioneer mass-market credit cards in the 1990s. It conducts business in the US, Canada and the UK – where it is mostly known for its range of credit cards.

How do Capital One credit cards compare?

Capital One offers several credit cards, and specialise in helping people rebuild bad credit histories. Their cards tend to have higher-than-average APRs, making them less useful for people who already maintain a more solid credit score. Consider the features of each option carefully to work out which one is the best for your needs:

  • Capital One Balance Transfer: This is a balance transfer card with a healthy maximum credit limit of £3,000. It offers 0% interest on money transfers for 12 months with a 2.9% fee. There’s also 0% on purchases made in your first three months, but the representative APR is relatively high at 24.9%
  • Capital One Classic Platinum: This credit builder card is a great way to build up your credit score. Provided you stay below your credit limit – up to £1,500 – and make your minimum monthly payments, your score should rise. The representative APR is 29.8%, and there are 56 days of interest-free purchases
  • Capital One Classic: This is Capital One’s most popular card, another credit builder. It works the same as the Platinum card, albeit with an APR of 34.9%. You may be offered this one if your credit history isn’t sufficient to be eligible for the Platinum

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Capital One credit card features

Capital One manages to pack lots of features into each of its credit cards, in order to suit all sorts of needs and circumstances:

  • Free credit checks: In keeping with its role as a credit builder, Capital One offers customers access to a tool called CreditWise, which lets you check your Equifax credit score in minutes without harming it
  • Quick eligibility checking: Capital One’s QuickCheck service will let you know if you’re eligible for a particular card in as little as 60 seconds
  • No card fees: Capital one has no monthly fees on any of its credit cards
  • Security: Capital One offers anti-fraud protection, monitoring and ID theft support
  • Mobile banking: The Capital One app offers secure account management, so you can view your transactions and your credit
  • Customer service: Capital One puts a lot of stock into its customer service, with 24/7 call centres which welcome any kind of query
  • Regulation: Capital One is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and its credit cards are protected by the Consumer Credit Act, meaning you’ll get a full refund if anything goes wrong on purchases worth between £100 and £30,000

Here’s how to pick the right Capital One credit card:

  • For balance transfers: While the Balance Transfer card doesn’t have the best deal on the market in terms of how long you can borrow for at 0%, it is available to people with lower credit scores
  • For building up your credit score: The two Classic cards are great ways to build your credit in a structured manner

Am I eligible for a Capital One credit card?

Capital One has clear eligibility criteria for each of its cards, though the offer you get will depend on your particular circumstances. You need to be a UK resident aged 18 or over and listed on the electoral roll to apply.

Your chances of being accepted for a Capital One credit card will depend on a range of factors – most of which come together to make up your credit score. That said, you don’t need a perfect financial history – these cards are designed for people trying to make themselves more attractive to lenders. However you may not be accepted if you’ve been declared bankrupt in the last year.

The best way to take control of your credit score is with MoneySuperMarket’s free Credit Monitor tool. You can use it to find out what your credit score is, and to work out simple ways to improve it. Once you have a better handle on your score, you should find it easier to get better deals on credit cards.

How long does it take to get a Capital One credit card?

It only takes a few minutes to provide us with the information we need to access your credit score, and for us to find the correct deals – and it won’t affect your credit score. After that we’ll direct you to the provider, who will test your eligibility and ask you to make a full application – which shouldn’t take long.

Approval is usually quite quick, and your Capital One credit card and PIN should arrive in the post within seven working days.

Sometimes an application is flagged for a manual evaluation, which can take a few days extra.

How do I apply for a Capital One credit card?

MoneySuperMarket’s comparison tool is a great way to apply for a Capital One credit card is through. It’s simple: you give us a few details about yourself and your circumstances, and we scour our providers for the best deals available to you, including APR and credit limit. You then pick the one you like best.

We are free and independent, and offer exclusive deals you can't get anywhere else. Click here to get started with our comparison tool.

MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.