Best “Capital One” Card for Beginners (3 Expert Picks)

Best Capital One Card for Beginners (3 Expert Picks)

credit card advice

Linsey Knerl
By: Linsey Knerl
Posted: July 7, 2016
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Establishing a healthy credit history is one of the best first steps a consumer can take to building a secure financial future. Choosing the best card, however, is not always easy, especially when not all cards are created to be friendly to first-time cardholders.

We’ve broken down some of the top choices for beginners available from Capital One, along with advice for getting the best bang for your borrowed buck.

1. Best Card for Students

Marketed as a solution for students and young adults, the Journey Student Rewards card not only provides a standard cash-back rate even for those with a limited credit reputation, but it also rewards on-time payments with an additional .25 percent back for the month the payment is made.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don't expire
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.24% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited Credit

After making five monthly payments on time, you may request a higher credit limit, and there is never an annual fee for this card. Like most Capital One cards, it has fraud protection that covers unauthorized purchases and access to your credit score via the Capital One Credit Tracker service.

2. Best All-Around Card for Everyday Use

The Capital One Platinum is similar to the student card, but is designed to be an everyday use card for non-students. With no annual fee and the same access to higher credit limits after five months of on-time payments, it’s designed to encourage responsible spending and propel your credit score upward over time.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited Credit

The flexible payment options allow you to access your account online, at a bank branch, or via the intuitive mobile smartphone app. Capital One’s signature Tracker service and fraud protection are standard for this card, as well.

3. Best Card for Those Who Love Perks

Boasting some unique benefits, such as a 20-percent statement credit on Uber rides purchased with this card, the Capital One Quicksilver lives up to its reputation as a seamless way to get rewarded for your purchases. This card also totes extra-special perks like 0-percent intro APRs and no annual fee.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of approval
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back doesn’t expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
0% for 9 months
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good Credit

You won’t have to remember to “sign up” for your reward categories, either; cardholders earn cash-back rewards on every purchase without special action required. Rewards never expire and can be redeemed for cash back at any time.

Final Thoughts

Getting your new card is just the beginning of a lifetime of new but exciting responsibility. We recommend that you always do the following when using your credit cards:

  1. Pay special attention to purchase and balance transfer offers that may come your way when opening a card. While some offers may promise low or no interest, the fees for such transfers may be too high to justify the offer.
  2. Pay your card in full each month to avoid finance charges and possible late fees. If you do find yourself missing a payment, contact your creditor immediately to arrange for payment. Many cards will give you a day or two grace period before the default rate or late charges are incurred.
  3. Always pay more than the minimum. If you are unable to pay in full, try to pay as much as you can. Interest accumulates quickly!

All of the cards featured in this list are easy to manage and make a great first step into the world of responsible consumer credit use.