*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Oct 09, 2017, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on product links. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure
Whether you’re looking to get a credit card that offers cash back, travel rewards, or a balance transfer offer, Capital One® and Chase offer a variety of cards to choose from, each with their own benefits to consider. No need to spend your time hunting down all the information — we’ve done the work for you. Below you’ll find detailed information on each credit card, along with comparisons between Chase and Capital One® cards. First, let’s take a high-level look at the two credit card providers and what they offer.
At a glance: Chase vs. Capital One®
- Both Chase and Capital One® offer 24/7 customer service access.
- Capital One® is ranked higher in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power.
- Chase offers higher rewards and better deals for people with higher credit scores.
- Capital One® offers more options for people with average credit and people trying to rebuild their credit.
- The Chase Ultimate Rewards® Program offers more options for redeeming points, as well as synergies for people who hold multiple Chase rewards credit cards.
|Cash Back Credit Cards||Chase|
|0% Intro Offers and Balance Transfers||Chase|
|Travel Rewards Credit Cards||Tie|
|Rebuilding Credit||Capital One|
Cash back: Chase for maximizers, Capital One® for starters
Chase offers two options for cash back rewards cards: the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. While the differences between the two cards are small, you can use the Chase Freedom® to Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases., while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Great for making everyday purchases. No annual fee, and redeem points at any amount.
Chase Freedom®. Delivers more cash back within specific categories, but you have to work harder by manually enrolling each quarter for the rotating category in order to earn the 5 percent back. There’s a $0 annual fee, but you need to earn at least 2,500 points to redeem them for rewards or cash back. You also can’t apply for the card in a Chase branch. Applications are only accepted online.
Why not both? Some people pick up both of these Chase cards, as you can combine points with these two. Simply use your Chase Freedom® to make purchases within bonus categories for 5 percent rewards, and your Chase Freedom Unlimited® for unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Redeem points for gift cards, cash back, or a statement credit.
Other card combinations. Either of these cards can be combined with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Sapphire ReserveSM** card to utilize your rewards points to purchase travel rewards because all the cards are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Program.
Capital One® offers two cash back rewards credit cards: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. The choice will depend on your credit score. The first is for people with excellent/good credit, while the latter is for people with average/fair/limited credit. If you’re not sure where you stand, get your free credit score from LendingTree*.
The drawback for having average credit is a $39 annual fee on the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. But it does come with CreditWise, which provides tools to help you understand and improve your credit score. You’ll also get access to a higher credit line once you make your first five payments.
If you’re fortunate to have excellent credit, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card will reward you with a One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. You’ll also have the option to make purchases with an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 9 months or 0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months.
Chase. While both Chase and Capital One® cash back rewards cards offer you similar rewards, Chase comes out ahead with the ability to combine points by using both cards. For those with the ability to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Sapphire ReserveSM, you have even more options for how you spend your points.
|Credit Card||Estimated Rewards after Year 1||Estimated Rewards after Year 3|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$393||#879|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||$343||$839|
|Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card||$204||$612|
*Calculated using Consumer Reports’ Credit Card Adviser Comparison Tool
0% offers: Chase deals are longer
Chase offers three cards with 0% intro offers: the Chase Freedom® with 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months, Chase Freedom Unlimited® with 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers, and Chase Slate®* with 0% Intro APR for 15 months on both balance transfers and purchases. With Chase Slate®, you can do a balance transfer for no fee within 60 days of opening your account. You can still do a balance transfer with the Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, but you’ll be charged a 5 percent fee. So the Chase Slate® is used more frequently for balance transfers.
All three cards have no annual fee, which makes getting one for new purchases enticing. In lieu of rewards, the Slate® provides a monthly FICO Score along with tips on how to improve your credit score and a summary of your credit report.
With the Slate, there’s no penalty APR if you pay late. So your interest rate won’t increase if you’re late on a payment.
Capital One® offers four cards for balance transfers: Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, and Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business. All four cards are for people with excellent credit, but only the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has a 0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months. You’ll pay a 3% transfer fee with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. The other cards have no transfer fee but expect to pay interest right away.
Chase. With the Chase Slate, you’ll get six more months interest-free compared to the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, giving you more time to pay off those new purchases or your balance transfer. Add on top of that the money you’ll save on the transfer fee and Capital One® just can’t beat it.
Chase vs. Capital One Balance Transfer Cards
|Credit Card||Transfer Fee||0% Interest Rate|
|Chase Freedom®||Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater||0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater||0% Intro APR for 15 months|
|Chase Slate®||No fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, then after it's 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5||0% intro APR for 15 months|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 9 months||0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months|
Travel rewards: Capital One® for simplicity, Chase for power
Chase offers two travel rewards cards: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM. The ReserveSM offers the most between the two cards but it may not be for everyone given the higher annual fee.
Sapphire ReserveSM. You get a lot more with the Sapphire ReserveSM, but you pay for it with an annual fee of $450. However, the fee is offset with up to a $300 annual travel credit, along with 3x points on travel and dining worldwide and 50 percent more value when you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Program. For example, if you racked up 500 points, you’d get 750 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Program toward travel.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With an annual fee of $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95, you get fewer points and fewer perks with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. But you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to earn points toward travel, including:
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- 25 percent more points when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® Program
Both Chase travel rewards cards come with lots of perks, including:
- No foreign transaction fees. When you’re traveling abroad, you won’t pay extra when you use your credit card.
- Trip cancellation insurance. When something goes wrong and you can’t take that trip you’ve been planning, this insurance will reimburse you for nonrefundable travel expenses.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver. Don’t waste money on the rental car company’s collision insurance. You’re covered with these cards.
- Purchase protection. If a new item you purchase is damaged or stolen, you’re covered when you use one of these cards.
- Extended warranty protection. This extends the manufacturer's warranty by an additional year.
- Complimentary airport lounge access. Relax in style as you wait for takeoff.
- Hotel room upgrades. Who doesn’t like a suite upgrade or to check in early or check out late?
- Lost luggage reimbursement. Don’t worry about lost or damaged luggage. This card’s got you covered, up to $3,000.
- Trip delay reimbursement. Receive lodging and meals up to $500 if your trip is delayed.
- Return protection. If a store won’t take back an item you purchased, you’ll be reimbursed up to $500 per item when you use the Sapphire ReserveSM card.
You can also transfer the points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Sapphire ReserveSM card to any of these participating partners on a 1:1 basis:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®
- World of Hyatt
Capital One® offers the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, with 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. Although it comes with fewer perks, this card makes sense for turning everyday purchases into travel rewards. This card has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card also offers:
- Travel upgrades
- Concierge service
- Shopping discounts
- Extended warranty
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
Chase. The Chase travel rewards cards offer more for the frequent traveler, as well as some really great travel perks, and the ability to transfer points to partner programs. However, for the casual traveler, the 2x rewards points on purchases with the Capital One® can make it particularly valuable for people who don’t spend as much on travel but still want to earn travel rewards.
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||Rewards Multiplier||Multiplier for Travel Purchases|
|Chase Sapphire ReserveSM||$450/year||1x||3x|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95||1x||2x|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||$0 intro for first year; $95 after that||2x||2x|
New to credit/rebuilding credit: Capital One®
Chase currently has no options for credit cards to help you rebuild your credit.
Capital One® offers several options for helping to rebuild your credit, including the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, and Capital One® Platinum Credit Card.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. Great for people rebuilding their credit. You can get this card for a deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. This works the same as a prepaid debit card with the added bonus of being a credit card you can use wherever MasterCard is accepted, and it even helps track your credit score with Capital One® Credit Tracker.
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®. The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is great for students looking to go from no credit to established credit. There’s a $0 annual fee, and you’ll receive 1% Cash Back on all purchases; 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card. Improve your credit score while earning rewards. With $0 annual fee and a higher credit limit after your first five payments, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is great for those with average credit.
Capital One®. There’s simply no competition here.
Applying for Multiple Cards
If you’re thinking about applying for multiple cards, you’re probably curious about what that’ll do to your credit score. It’ll likely drop 5 points in the short term, but sometimes a drop in score just makes sense. Keep in mind that applying for too many cards in a short period of time can also hurt your score. Capital One® has a great explanation on how credit card applications affect your credit score. Lastly, while there are some myths about your credit cards and credit score, the word on the street is that Chase limits your approval on credit cards if you’ve applied for five or more cards in the last two years. This is called the 5/24 rule. So keep this in mind if you’re applying for multiple cards.
Can you prequalify without hurting your score?
Chase. Anytime you apply, you have to do a full application, which affects your credit score. You may receive preapproved offers in the mail or when you bank at Chase, and those will not affect your score unless you act on them.
Capital One®. Applying for a credit card with Capital One® is a hard inquiry on your credit and will affect your score.
Who has the better customer service reputation?
For 10 years, the J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM has surveyed over 20,000 people to determine their satisfaction with their credit cards. In 2016, Capital One came in third overall, while Chase didn’t make any of the rankings for the top three spots.
Does it matter whether you choose Chase or Capital One®?
The short answer is no. Both card providers offer advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing is to find the card that’s right for you. If you’re looking to rebuild your credit or have average credit, Capital One® has more options. If you have excellent credit and you’re excited about maximizing your rewards and want to use multiple cards in synergy to do it, then Chase is your choice.
Can you hold more than one card?
Chase. Chase will allow you to hold more than one card and encourages you to do so with their Ultimate Rewards® Program.
Capital One®. Capital One will allow you to have more than one card. However, their rewards program doesn’t offer nearly as many synergies as Chase.
What online or mobile account options are there?
Chase. The Chase mobile app allows you to manage your card through the app, including making payments. You can turn on mobile phone alerts, including alerts when you make a purchase over a set amount and when your payment is due. The Chase mobile app has close to 250,000 ratings at 4.5 stars on iTunes and was rated the best bank app among the top banks in 2016 by MagnifyMoney.com*.
Capital One®. The Capital One mobile app came in a close second to the Chase mobile app in MagnifyMoney*.com 2016 ratings. It has 59,000 ratings at 4.5 stars on iTunes. From making payments to redeeming rewards points, the Capital One® mobile app makes managing your card easy.
The credit card company you choose should match what you want to get out of the card. If you enjoy traveling and maximizing your rewards, Chase offers some great cash back and travel rewards cards. If you have average credit, but still want to get a rewards card or travel card, Capital One® can help get you there. If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, Capital One® is the clear winner between the two.
*Disclosure: Lendingtree is the parent company of CompareCards.com and MagnifyMoney.
**The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card has been collected by CompareCards.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.