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

Financial corporations such as Capital One and Credit One offer all sorts of credit cards to meet the preferences and credit score levels of today’s consumers. It’s not always easy to wade through all the information and various credit card offers that bombard us every day. 

Capital One Financial Corporation is what’s referred to as a “bank holding company.” It specializes in credit cards, car loans, savings accounts and other types of banking, and is among the top 10 largest banks in the United States. Credit One is just a bit different because it concentrates on credit cards alone. It’s also a U.S. based bank and is held by the bank holding company Credit One Financial. The two corporation’s names are very similar (and so are their logos), so here’s how they differ.

At a glance comparison

A smart credit card choice for your particular situation hinges on knowing the fundamentals of what their financial corporation offers:

Capital OneCredit One
Annual FeeAnnual fees range from $0 to $95 depending on the card. Some have a $0 intro fee and increase after the first year.Range from $0 to $99; some annual fees are based on your creditworthiness.
Rewards RatesCash-back rewards range from 1% on everyday purchases up to 5% for certain types of purchases. Travel points range from 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase up to 5X the miles for hotel and rental car bookings.Cash-back rewards range from 1% up to as much as 5% for certain eligible purchases. No travel miles rewards are offered.
Sign Up BonusSome cards offer a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 miles or cash back ranging from $150 to $500 once you meet minimum purchase amounts, up to $1,500 for one business card when used for $50,000 purchases in six months.None
CreditsCertain cards offer TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Credit once every four years.None
Authorized User FeeThere is no additional cost to add a user to your account. You will need the user’s Social Security number and date of birth to set this up.There is an authorized user card fee of $19 annually. This fee will reduce the amount of your available credit.
Free Credit ScoreYes, using CreditWise from Capital One and TransUnion VantageScore weekly.Yes, you receive free credit score updates once per month.

Standout features

Capital One cards offer a wide range of benefits and perks:

  • There are a broad variety of specialty cards and rewards tailored to those who travel, fine dining, shopping at specific stores like Walmart or Cabelas and even student rewards cards, as well as many business cards and general cash back cards.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees when making purchases outside of the United States.
  • Travel accident insurance provides automatic insurance for a covered loss at no extra charge when you use your credit card to purchase your fare.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services ensure that if your credit card is lost or stolen, you can get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance.
  • Extended warranty protection is available on eligible items purchased with your credit card.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver allows you to be covered for damage due to collision or theft.
  • You can easily transfer miles with Venture and VentureOne miles rewards cards to one of Capital One’s 10+ travel partners for more flexibility
  • Use Wikibuy and Paribus online shopping tools to find the best price or find potential savings on previous online purchases and get money back.

Like Capital One, Credit One cards have a wide array of benefits:

  • Retail protection provides coverage if an eligible item is accidentally damaged or stolen.
  • Zero fraud liability ensures that you aren’t held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Amex Offers allows you to access special offers and benefits through your americanexpress.com account or Amex® Mobile app and add them directly to your connected card.
  • Credit line increases may be given based on your overall credit performance.
  • A discount of 2% to 10% off will be applied to eligible Delta Air Lines fares for city pairs across the United States and Canada.
  • Receive discounts, special amenities, and benefits at hotels, including up to 20% off the lowest available rates and access to 18,000 participating properties. 
  • Receive special offers and up to 25% off car rental with major car rental companies worldwide. 
  • Enjoy special fares, amenities, and benefits offered from a variety of cruise lines around the world.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance provide coverage against damage to or loss of a rental automobile rented in the United States or Canada with a Credit One card.

The case for using Capital One cards

Capital One gives you a broader range of rewards to choose from. You can select a card that’s perfect for your tastes and buying habits, whether it’s travel, dining out or making purchases at a specific retailer. Bonuses are common with Capital One cards, including both miles rewards and cash bonuses, while Credit One doesn’t offer those.

The travel miles can add up especially quickly with the 5X miles for bookings of hotels and car rentals, and the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Credit that comes with some cards is an added savings tool.

You can add an authorized user to your Capital One card to help earn rewards even faster without the added $19 cost per user that Credit One card owners incur. There are also no foreign transaction fees accompanying Capital One cards, where Credit One applies either $1 or 3% on each purchase, whichever is greater.

The case for using Credit One cards

Credit One cards are geared more toward those who need to rebuild their credit or are first-time credit card owners. You’ll need to “prequalify” to find out the exact fees, rates and rewards structure of the card you’ll be applying for. The benefit of prequalifying is that it doesn’t affect your credit score the way a hard credit inquiry does.

Once you see the terms you prequalify for, you can decide whether to apply. Even if you start out with a minimum credit line, you can request credit increases as you prove you are trustworthy. The standard APR for unpaid balances is slightly lower on most Credit One cards than it is on Capital One cards, but it is variable which means it can fluctuate based on the prime rate. 

The travel discounts and special fares are worth a close look. Check out all the benefits to see which ones might help you to lower your usual vacation expenses. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of a recently purchased item ending up damaged or stolen, you’ll appreciate the added peace of mind the retail protection benefit provides.  

In a nutshell

If your credit score and history are good-to-excellent, the Capital One credit cards will almost certainly earn you better rewards and save you some of the fees involved with Credit One credit cards. Do an honest evaluation of your credit history to decide which of these two fits you better. The main advantage of pursuing a card through Credit One is that you can see exactly what terms you’ll be offered without going through a hard credit inquiry that can affect your credit score.

Both financial corporations offer cash-back rewards on many cards, but those who are on the lookout for travel rewards would have to go with Capital One choices to earn miles. 

Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge is a business and marketing writer from Ashland, Ohio. His writing has been published in Fast Company, Zapier, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a host of other publications. He has a degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before launching his own business, he worked as an auditor at a bank.