Capital One Credit Cards vs. Chase Credit Cards: Which is best for you?

Capital One and Chase are well-known financial institutions that offer a variety of credit card options. Both have cards for credit building, cash back earnings and travel rewards, and both include extra features to boost the value of specific cards.

But which lender is right for you? Is a Capital One card your best bet for go-to credit when you’re at the store or on vacation? Or are you better served by Chase offerings for cash back earnings and travel rewards?

Here’s what you need to know to make your decision – starting with an overview of essential details, key features that set Capital One and Chase cards apart and a look at how each of these would look in your wallet.

At a glance comparison

Before we dive into value-added features, here’s a look at three Capital One and Chase card types — credit building, cash back and travel rewards — and what they bring to the table.

Credit building table

Capital One® Platinum Credit CardChase Slate
Annual FeeNoneNone
Credit AccessGet access to a higher credit line after making your five monthly payments on timeUnlimited, free access to your credit score
Standard APR26.99% variable APR on purchases based on creditworthiness and the prime rate16.49% to 25.24% variable APR for purchases based on creditworthiness and the prime rate

Cash back table

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit CardChase Freedom
Annual Fee$39 per yearNone
Rewards RatesUnlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases regardless of spending category (groceries, etc.)Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Sign Up BonusNone$150 cash back when you spend $500 on your card in the first three months after account opening;
0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months
Standard APR26.99% variable APR on purchases16.49% – 25.24% variable APR for purchases based on creditworthiness and the prime rate

Travel rewards table

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$0 for the first year, $95 each year following$95 per year
Rewards Rates2x Venture Miles per dollar on every purchase2x rewards points on travel and dining purchases, plus 1x points on all other purchases
Sign Up Bonus50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on your card in the first three months after account opening60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening
CreditsUp to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application feesNone
Lounge AccessNoneNone

Standout features

So what really sets these two credit providers apart? Let’s look at some of the standout features of Capital One credit cards.

  • CreditWise — Get unlimited access to your credit score and credit monitoring tools with Capital One’s CreditWise. By consistently checking your credit, you can work on improving your score.
  • Autopay — Set up Autopay for your account to ensure monthly payments are always made on time, reducing the need for late fees and penalties.
  • Travel accident insurance — Fares booked with your Capital One credit card get travel accident insurance at no cost, making your trip go that much smoother.
  • Miles transfer — Easily transfer your Venture Miles to any of Capital One’s travel partners. You’ll have access to discounts on hotel stays, airline travel and more.

How do Chase cards stack up? Let’s take a look at some of their top features, including:

  • Purchase protection — New purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, giving you peace of mind when shopping.
  • Online shopping — Link your Chase Freedom card to Amazon.com and spend your cash back directly for online purchases, eliminating the need to wait for point distribution.
  • Access 1:1 points transfer — Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 1:1 points transfer with popular travel programs including Aer Lingus, Iberia Plus and Marriott Bonvoy — helping your points go further.
  • Customer service 24/7 — Sapphire Preferred cardholders enjoy 24/7 access to customer service specialists no matter where you are in the world. Get help with your questions whether you’re on vacation in China or lounging on your couch at home.

The case for Capital One credit cards

Capital One credit cards make it easy to build credit with the CreditWise and Credit Steps program. With unlimited access to your credit report and increased credit access for paying your bills on time, you can quickly improve your credit rating. Cash back and travel reward cards from Capital One, meanwhile, offer value-added benefits for card protection, travel insurance and credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. While Capital One cards come with a slightly higher APR, they’re designed to streamline credit access and provide competitive benefits.

The case for the Chase credit cards

Credit cards from Chase focus more on introductory and bonus offers — from 0% APR for 15 months (regular rates apply thereafter) to bonus cash back or extra rewards miles after you spend enough in the first three months after opening your account. Chase also includes standout features such as online shopping cash back conversions and 1:1 reward points transfers with popular travel programs.

In a nutshell

If you’re looking to build credit, earn steady cash back or get 2x the travel miles on every dollar spent, options from Capital One are your best choice. If you’re looking for introductory APR offers, cash back bonuses or extra travel redemption benefits with lower overall APR, Chase has you covered.

Doug Bonderud

An award-winning finance, technology and security writer, Doug has a knack for distilling complex concepts down into actionable, readable copy that generates interest and drives engagement