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Capital One vs. Credit One: Which Is Better?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It 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.

While the names and logos of Capital One and Credit One may be similar, these two financial services companies are not the same. Unfortunately, this creates confusion for newbie card applicants who are unfamiliar with the differences between these two card issuers:

  • Both Capital One and Credit One offer numerous consumer credit cards, including many options aimed at consumers with lower credit scores.
  • However, Capital One is one of the largest banks in the U.S. Unlike Credit One, Capital One offers many other banking and lending services to consumers and businesses to provide a more complete banking solution.
  • Capital One also offers a broader array of credit cards than Credit One, including card options for consumers with high credit scores. Because of this, Capital One is generally the better option for most customers.

In this article, you’ll learn what they have in common, what sets them apart, and when you should apply for their cards.

Capital One vs. Credit One

Capital OneCredit One
Card options for bad credit  
Prequalify for a credit card  
Better customer service 
Easier payment process 
Automatic credit line increases 
Easier to graduate to a better card 
Good cards to graduate to 
Terms and conditions are straightforward 
Physical bank branches 
Unsecured card options for bad credit 
Cards are easier to qualify for (including with a bankruptcy) 

What do Capital One and Credit One have in common?

Credit card options for bad credit

Both Capital One and Credit One have credit cards for people who have bad credit or are new to credit. These credit cards help consumers get back on their feet by building a positive payment history and tools to help them track their progress. Cardholders who use their cards responsibly may qualify for increases in their credit limits through ongoing reviews of their account. Fair/Limited

Prequalify without hurting your credit score

Both Capital One and Credit One allow you to prequalify for their credit cards. They perform a soft pull on your credit that does not hurt your score. This is a great way to see if you may qualify for a credit card without the hard credit inquiry and damage to your score. Take advantage of this feature to compare offers before applying.

Is Credit One Bank legit?

Yes, Credit One Bank is a legitimate bank, but the terms and conditions of its credit cards aren’t always as transparent as other banks. Additionally, some of its credit cards base their annual fees on a customer’s credit scores, which can be a challenge for those who are trying to build their credit history. Members of online forums also frequently mention customer service and payment issues with Credit One.

Why Capital One is the better option

Capital One is the better option for customers looking to build their credit history. It has credit cards for both consumers and small business owners across all credit scores, not just those with damaged credit. And as you rebuild your credit score, you can qualify for more attractive credit cards with higher rewards, better benefits and lower fees. Additionally, Capital One offers checking and savings accounts, auto loans, business loans and more so it can handle more of your banking needs.

Customer service

Capital One offers live customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week for its personal and small business credit card customers. Even when you’re traveling overseas, customers can make international operator collect calls to speak with customer service. If you are near one of its Capital One Cafés or branches, you may also walk into the branch to connect in person.

Easier payment process

Capital One accepts payments by mail, online or in a branch. Customers can also establish automatic payments of their credit card minimum due, balance or a fixed amount of their choosing. Additionally, Capital One does not charge “express fees” like Credit One does to expedite available credit on payments made.

Clearer terms and conditions

When reviewing credit card options, Capital One terms and conditions are much clearer for its cards compared with Credit One. Although both card issuers comply with federal law that requires a uniform disclosure statement, Capital One provides more details on its individual credit card pages. This makes it easier for an applicant to decide if a card makes sense for their wallet.

More affordable fees

Capital One has more than 20 credit cards with attractive benefits and rewards with no annual fees. Unlike Credit One, Capital One does not charge returned payment fees if your bank rejects your payment. None of the credit cards offered by Capital One charge foreign transaction fees on international purchases.

Easier process for card upgrades and credit limit increases

Consumers who have poor or limited credit often want to increase their credit limit or upgrade their accounts as their credit improves. With its secured credit cards, Capital One may increase your credit limit automatically in as little as six months when you use your card responsibly. Capital One has many credit card options for people of different credit levels, so as your credit score increases, you may be able to apply for a better card.

Better card options down the line

As your credit score improves, Capital One has more credit card options for people with excellent credit. Currently, there are 18 Capital One credit cards for excellent credit that offer rewards, benefits and 0% APR offers, depending on what your needs are. By contrast, Credit One only has 11 total credit cards, and most of its cards cannot match the same level of benefits and earning power.

Capital One credit cards that let you build credit

All of Capital One’s credit cards help consumers build credit by reporting their activity to the credit bureaus. However, if you have fair credit, a limited credit history or are rebuilding your credit after a default, you need a credit card designed for lower credit scores. These Capital One credit cards have the lowest credit score requirements in order to get approved, so they offer a good starting point to rebuilding your credit.

CardRewardsAnnual feeCredit needed*
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit CardNon-rewards Card$0Poor/Limited
Capital One Platinum Credit CardN/A$0Fair/Limited
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)$39Fair/Limited
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases$0Fair/Limited
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)$0Fair/Limited
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One1% Cash Back on all purchases; 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)$0Fair/Limited
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)$0Fair/Limited
Capital One Spark Classic for BusinessUnlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel$0Fair

Why should you choose Credit One?

While most of Capital One’s credit cards are superior to Credit One’s card offerings, there are some reasons why you may want to apply for a Credit One credit card:

Unsecured credit card options

For people with poor credit, coming up with a security deposit for a secured card can be a challenge. The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit does not require a security deposit. This card earns 1% Cash Back on eligible purchases and mobile phone service, internet, cable and satellite TV services. Terms Apply.

Higher credit line

Your balance versus your credit limit affects your utilization ratio and your credit score. So, if your credit limit is too low, even small purchases can lead to a high utilization that reduces your score. Credit One’s credit limits start at $300 for the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, which is higher than the $200 credit limit on the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card.

5X rewards categories

While most of Credit One’s credit cards appeal to poor or fair credit consumers, it does offer credit cards with generous bonus categories. For example, the Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa® lets you Earn 5% cash back rewards on the first $5,000 of eligible gas, grocery, internet, cable, satellite TV, and mobile phone service purchases each year, and then 1% thereafter. Plus 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases, terms apply

How to read the fine print on a Credit One offer

Unlike most issuers, applicants must get prequalified first before they can see the exact terms of a Credit One offer. However, you can view all the terms and conditions before you officially apply for a Credit One offer and cause a hard inquiry to your credit report. You should check for a link labeled “Fees, Terms & Conditions” (or labeled with similar wording) around the apply button on the card’s application page. This link takes you to a page with disclosures for a card’s interest rates, fees and other details.

Take a close look at the following terms:

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): The APR is the amount of interest you will be paying on a yearly basis for carrying a balance on the card. Depending on your credit score, the APR may be high, and you may start accumulating interest right away depending on the offer (more on that below).
  • Annual fee: You should verify whether the card charges an annual fee. On the initial card page, Credit One sometimes lists a range of annual fees (e.g., “$0 to $95). If your credit score is low, you could end up paying the higher part of the range. The method of billing may also vary with an offer — some accounts may bill you in monthly increments, while other accounts may bill you all at once. Furthermore, that annual fee may be billed to your account as soon as you open it, bringing down your overall credit limit. So, if you have a $300 credit limit with a $95 annual fee, that would reduce your credit limit to $205 for the first month.
  • Paying interest: You should verify whether the card includes a grace period for interest. You should avoid applying for an offer with no grace period — a lack of a grace period means that you will immediately accrue interest on any balance you put on the card, which can be costly.

The information related to the Capital One Spark Classic for Business has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

 

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