Review: Capital One Cash Rewards

This review was written by Logan Abbott. Logan is the editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com. 

(Editor’s Note: On June 14, 2013, Capital One has announced the removal of the Capital One® Cash Rewards – $100 Cash Back Bonus card and the Capital One® Cash Rewards card. To see other cards, visit our credit card search page.)

Credit card companies trumpet the benefits of their rewards programs to sign up new customers. The problem with many of these rewards programs, however, is that it’s often difficult to understand the actual value of the rewards that you can earn. Not so with the Capital One Cash Rewards card.

The Capital One® Cash Rewards – $100 Cash Back Bonus card offers straightforward cash-back rewards to people with excellent credit.

Advantages

  • Earn cash back on every purchase. You earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases made with the Capital One Cash Rewards card.
  • Capitalize on a $100 cash-back bonus. Capital One offers a $100 cash bonus when you use the card to make $500 in purchases within the first three months.
  • Receive an annual 50 percent cash bonus. In addition to 1 percent cash back on purchases, the card also rewards you with a 50 percent bonus on the cash back you earned throughout the year, at the end of each year. This means the effective cash back you earn on purchases is 1.5 percent.
  • No annual fee. Many cash-back credit cards charge an annual fee; the Capital One Cash Rewards card does not.
  • Great introductory terms. The card offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until June 2014.
  • Personalize your card. Capital One allows you to customize the front of your credit card with a photo of your choice.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Capital One does not charge currency conversion or foreign transaction fees on any of their credit cards.
  • Visa Signature Benefits. The Capital One Cash Rewards card grants cardholders Visa Signature benefits including 24/7 concierge service, travel upgrades, $0 Fraud Liability, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and more.

Disadvantages

  • No increased cash-back offers on select categories. Many popular cash-back credit cards like the Discover it card offer up to 5 percent cash back in categories such as gas, restaurants, and travel that rotate every few months throughout the year. This card does not.
  • Excellent credit required. The Capital One Cash Rewards card requires applicants to have excellent credit history. Of course, this is only a disadvantage if you don’t have great credit.
  • 3 percent balance transfer fee. While the card offers a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers until June 2014, you will be charged a 3 percent transfer fee when transferring a balance.

Bottom line

Get it if: You have excellent credit history, and you want to take advantage of a generous and simple-to-understand cash-back rewards program with no annual fee.

Forget it if: You have less than excellent credit, and are looking for rewards other than cash rebates such as travel or shopping rewards.

Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page. Also note that any terms, rates or other features described in this article can change without notice. Always double-check everything with the issuer before applying for any credit card.

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