The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, June 27, 2022

Capital One Pre-Approval — 5 Secrets to Prequalifying

Capital One Pre Approval Pre Qualify

credit card advice

Ashley Dull

Written by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

If you’ve received a Capital One pre approval letter in the mail, it simply means you meet the bank’s requirements for approval, and your chances of being approved for the credit card offer you have received are high.

Card issuers find this information by working with credit bureaus to look at your credit reports, or by setting a specific requirement, such as a minimum credit score, and requesting a list of consumers from the bureaus who meet the requirement.

If you’re interested in applying for one of the bank’s cards and would like to see whether you’re pre approved, let’s take a look at everything you should know about Capital One pre approval.

Apply | 60-Second Form | Getting Denied | Opt Out of Mail | Auto Loans

1. Apply for the Card You Want for an Instant Approval Decision

If you prefer a solid yes or no answer from the card issuer straight away, choose the credit card offer you want and apply for it directly. Below are the top-rated Capital One offers as reviewed by our expert staff.

These cards will all provide an instant approval decision — simply click the “Apply Now” button to go to a card’s official credit application.

Good Credit | Fair or Limited Credit | Small Business

Best Capital One Cards for “Good Credit” (700+ Credit Score)

Having a good or excellent credit score means that you qualify for the very best rewards and interest rates — that’s how banks choose to reward borrowers who’ve exemplified they know how to manage credit well. Here are the top cards Capital One offers to applicants with good credit, our favorite being the Venture card:

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good
EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 15.24%-25.24% variable APR after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
$395
Excellent

+ See more offers for good/excellent credit

Best Capital One Cards for “Fair or Limited Credit” (Credit Score

Even without a solid credit history, you can earn rewards similar to those offered by cards for good credit applicants, but you’ll pay more for them in the form of interest. This means you should pay your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest altogether.

Of course, that holds true for all cards, and doing so will help build your credit score up faster than if you keep a balance and only make the minimum payment each month. Here are the top cards for those who lack a lengthy, positive credit history:

FAIR CREDIT RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or limits to how much you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account. It's that simple
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
FAIR CREDIT RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.0/5.0
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
FAIR CREDIT RATING
★★★★★
4.6
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
FAIR CREDIT RATING
★★★★★
4.6
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
FAIR CREDIT RATING
★★★★★
4.5
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
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

+ See more offers for fair credit

Best Capital One Cards for “Business”

In addition to offering a wide variety of consumer cards, Capital One also serves the financing needs of small businesses with its selection of business credit cards. These cards offer rewards that include cash back and air miles, as well as several valuable perks for business owners.

Business credit cards usually give the most rewards in popular spending categories such as office supply stores and internet service providers. Be sure to find a card with a credit limit that can accommodate your monthly business expenses.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere — with no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.49% - 19.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent
BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for the first 12 months; 16.24% - 24.24% variable APR after that
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere — with no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
16.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
$0
Good
BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Transfer your miles to 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA PreCheck® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
21.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good
BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.6
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions
  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile
  • Earn an annual $200 cash bonus every year you spend $200,000 or more
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$150
Excellent, Good

+ See more offers for businesses

2. Capital One Has a 60-Second Prequalify Form

Capital One makes finding out if you’re pre approved easy. The bank will let you know if you’re prequalified in as soon as 60 seconds via the Capital One prequalification form.

You must complete the form by entering your name, address, date of birth, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and selecting your credit level and the credit card benefit most important to you.

Screenshot of Capital One Pre-Qualify Questionnaire

You’ll know whether you’re prequalified in less than a minute.

Finding out whether you’re prequalified will not affect your credit score. You’ll be presented with a list of pre approved credit card offers based on the information you entered.

See if you prequalify with Capital One here

However, being prequalified does not guarantee approval. The only way you’ll know whether you’re approved is to apply for a specific card.

Other factors, such as your income and how much debt you have, can still make or break a credit card company’s lending decision. These factors will also determine the interest rate and credit limit you receive.

3. Getting Denied Doesn’t Mean You’re Denied (Huh?)

Just as prequalifying doesn’t guarantee approval, not prequalifying doesn’t guarantee a denial. Being approved comes down to a few key factors, including your credit score, income, debt, and, of course, your history with credit cards.

The prequalification process does not, nor can it, look at all of these factors without your consent, which is why most credit card applications require you to agree to a credit check, which will appear as an inquiry on your credit report. A few secured card options for bad credit applicants may not require a credit check for approval.

But if you know your poor credit history and perhaps the previous misuse of a credit card (maxing it out, missing payments, defaulting altogether) is what’s holding you back from being approved for a Capital One card, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be approved for any credit card at all. Plenty of highly-rated credit cards for bad credit are available, some of which even offer cash back rewards.

One of our favorite Capital One cards for less-than-perfect credit is the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card. This secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit for approval, but it can help you add positive data to your credit report when you use it responsibly.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

Making on-time payments and maintaining a low credit utilization ratio can help you work your way to a better credit score and perhaps even your favorite Capital One card. On-time payments and maintaining a low credit-to-debt ratio are two of the most important factors considered when calculating your FICO score.

If you opt for a secured card, remember that your security deposit does not cover your monthly payment. It is the collateral the bank holds onto if you stop making payments. But you can expect to receive your deposit back in the form of a statement credit when you close your secured credit card account or upgrade to an unsecured card.

 4. You Can Opt Out of Credit Card Prequalification Offers

Once you select the card you want, fill out the credit application, and are approved, that doesn’t mean the prequalification offers will end. I used to receive so many offers in the mail from so-and-so credit card company each week to the point where I eventually Googled a way to figure out how to make it stop.

Granted, it’s not exactly the worst problem to have, clearly there was something within my credit profile that banks liked.

But, if you’re like me and considered these offers junk mail and threw them in the trash, you can opt-out online here. Or, you can call:

1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688).

Just think of all the trees you may be saving, let alone your own peace of mind.

5. You Can Also Obtain Preapproval for an Auto Loan

Capital One Auto Finance is one of the largest lenders of auto loans in the U.S. You can get prequalified for an auto loan in a matter of minutes.

To qualify, you must be looking to finance at least $4,000 for a vehicle that is a 2010 model or newer with fewer than 120,000 miles on it. The vehicle must also come from a participating dealer. Capital One Auto Finance does not provide financing for lease buyouts.

Your loan offer, interest rate, and the monthly payment will be based on several factors, including your credit score, income, the loan amount, and the loan term you choose. Your application and credit report will help the lender determine your financing terms.

Other things to know about obtaining a car loan through Capital One include:

  • a minimum credit score of 500 is required
  • the purchase must be made through a participating dealership
  • you can apply with a cosigner
  • you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid street address and Social Security number
  • A monthly income of between $1,500 and $1,800 is required, depending on your credit qualifications

Having a pre approved offer from Capital One does not guarantee loan approval, but it will allow the dealership to access your prequalified terms and preferences, including cars you saved online with that specific dealership. The amount you finance may include the dealer advertised price, sales tax, title, licensing fees, dealer fees, and any optional products, including a service contract and/or an extended warranty that you choose to purchase from the dealer, according to Capital One.

But while Capital One is a popular auto financing option, applicants with good credit scores can likely find better interest rates through a credit union. This applies to credit cards too — a credit union can almost always beat out the interest rate you’ll receive from a big bank.

Capital One Pre Approval is Easy

Hopefully, this guide will help you better navigate the road to pre approved credit card offers and auto financing options from Capital One. Unlike other banks, Capital One offers a fairly straightforward prequalification process, making it that much easier to apply for and receive the rewarding credit card or auto loan you’ve been looking for.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.