Capital One Credit Cards vs. Discover Credit Cards: Which is best for you?
December 23, 2019
Discover has a history of disrupting the credit card market. It offered some of the country’s first no-fee credit cards and is now expanding its lineup to include secured, travel rewards and cash back options. Capital One, meanwhile, is a well-known and trusted credit provider across the United States with its own stable of credit-building, miles-earning and cash rewards cards.
But which company’s credit offerings best meet your needs? Let’s break it down.
At a glance comparison
Before we dive into the details of features and benefits, here are the basics of each card.
Credit building table
|Capital One® Secured Mastercard®||Discover it® Secured|
|Security Deposit||$49, $99 or $200 refundable deposit required for an initial credit line of $200. Cardholders can deposit more initially for a higher starting credit line.||Choose your deposit amount. The initial deposit must be at least $200. Your initial credit line matches the deposit.|
|Increased Credit||After making your first five monthly payments on time, you can access a higher credit line.||After eight months, your account will be automatically reviewed for transition to a standard credit card account.|
|Standard APR||Standard APR for purchases is 26.99%, variable with the prime rate.||Standard APR is 24.49%, variable with the prime rate.|
Cash back table
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Discover it® Cash Back|
|Annual Fee||$0 for the first year, $95 for each following year||$0|
|Rewards Rates||Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.||5% cash back up to $1,500 quarterly in specific categories, and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.|
|Sign Up Bonus||One-time $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.||Automatic, unlimited Cashback Match at the end of your first year.|
|Standard APR||15.99% – 24.99% variable APR.||Introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months, then 13.49% to 24.49% variable APR.|
Travel rewards table
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||Discover it® Miles|
|Rewards Rates||Unlimited 1.25x Venture Rewards miles for all purchases.||Unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases.|
|Sign Up Bonus||Earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.||At the end of your first year, Discover will match all Miles earned.|
|Miles Redemption||After making a travel purchase, redeem your miles as a statement credit, and your miles never expire.||Redeem Miles for statement credit on travel purchases, or convert them to cash.|
Now, let’s dig into some of the Capital One benefits.
The top features of Discovery’s credit card options include:
The case for Capital One credit cards
Capital One credit cards make it easy to start rebuilding your credit, earning cash back or generating travel miles with everyday purchases. While these cards typically come with higher APR than their Discover counterparts, you can access increased credit in just five months with Capital One’s Secured Mastercard, earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment with Savor Rewards and quickly transfer miles to the travel partner of your choice with the company’s VentureOne card.
The case for the Discover credit cards
While Discover’s cards offer no annual fee, the Discover it Cash Back card requires more work to maximize earnings and there’s no option to transfer reward miles. But there are advantages: The company’s secure credit card offers unlimited 1% cash back, the cash back card offers unlimited cash back matching in the first year and the travel card offers 1.5x miles on every purchase compared to Capital One’s travel card 1.25x.
In a nutshell
Both Capital One and Discover offer secure credit, cash back and travel rewards options for cardholders. If no fees and unlimited cash back or miles earning is your priority, Discover is the best decision. If you prefer greater miles flexibility, no-hassle cash back categories and a quicker path to increased credit, choose Capital One.