Capital One Credit Cards
Capital One is also a relatively new player on the credit card market. Like Discover, it started operations in mid 1980s but unlike Discover, it does not have its own credit card payment system but issues Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Unlike Chase, which is another major issuer of Visa and MasterCard credit cards, Capital One does not offer so many types and varieties of credit cards but it still manages to cover all the segments on the credit card market.
Capital One is not such a big Visa and MasterCard issuer as Chase but nevertheless the credit cards of Capital One are among the most popular credit cards in the United States. Capital One is targeted to individual customers mainly but it also has offers for the small business. Capital One does not offer all types of credit cards – for instance it does not have a special student credit card.
What is original about the approach of Capital One towards the diversification of its offers is the separation of credit cards according to the credit status of the applicant. There are four categories of credit status – excellent, above average, credit that needs some improvement and limited credited history. All the four credit status categories offer several credit cards and the main differences between the cards within a given category are related to interest rates and rewards. The best credit cards don't have annual membership fees, some of them don't even have balance transfer fees.
Almost all types and varieties of Capital One credit cards employ some form of rewards – cashbacks or earned points. Some of the cards offer a fixed interest rate for up to three years, which is especially good for people with bad credit who need to know in advance how much they will have to pay. There are cards with zero introductory rate and higher interest rates after that, as well as credit cards with no zero introductory rate but lower interest rate for the whole period.
Though interest rates vary among the four types of categories, bargains are possible. For instance, the Capital One Platinum: Prestige offers extremely low interest rates (as low as 6.81%) but excellent credit is mandatory, if you want to get this card. It is a different story with credit cards for bad credit history or no credit history at all (or as Capital One calls them “limited credit history”). Their interest rates are high, though still 20% and the requirements are also somehow restrictive.
The second group of Capital One credit card offers is targeted to small business owners. There aren't many offers in this group and there are no dramatic differences between the offers at present, so it is not likely that the only credit card a business owner will have will be a Capital One's but still there are some reasonable choices that include low interest (9.9%), zero introductory rate and no annual fees. Still, it does not hurt to have one Capital One credit card in your collection – just in case you need some more additional credit.