The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

How Many Capital One® Cards Can You Have?

How Many Capital One® Cards Can You Have?

credit card advice

Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Updated: October 24, 2019

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Capital One is among the most popular and diverse credit card companies in the world — but how many Capital One cards can one consumer have at once? The company issues cards with both the Visa and MasterCard labels, aimed at business owners, consumers, frequent flyers, students and even people trying to rebuild their credit. Of course with all of this popularity come a few questions about the rules and restrictions Capital One may set for their credit cards.

Two Card Limit | Choose a New Card

Two Capital One Credit Cards Per Cardholder

Capital One limits the number of directly issued cards available for any cardholder to two. While this is a fairly straightforward policy, it has caused some confusion among consumers, as some Capital One cardholders claim to have three, four or even more valid cards in their wallets. There are a few explanations for this apparent discrepancy in Capital One’s rules.

  • When the rule limiting cardholders to two Capital One cards was implemented around 2011, members who held more than two cards at that time were allowed to keep them.
  • Some cardholders had credit cards issued by banks that were acquired by Capital One (Chevy Chase Bank and HSBC to name just a couple). Cardholders were allowed to keep these cards even as they were reissued with the Capital One logo.
  • Some co-branded store cards for retailers, like Saks and others, are issued by Capital One but don’t count in the two-card limit. The same is true for secured credit cards issued by Capital One.

When we talk about co-branded credit cards these are usually partnerships between a retailer, airline, or other business and the issuing credit card company. The purpose of these cards is for retailers to take advantage of brand loyalty and, in return, to give cardholders rewards in the form of perks at that retailer.

These are just some of the ways in which someone might end up with more than the limit of two Capital One cards in their wallet. However, try to get more than two Capital One direct-issued credit cards today, and you’ll be told no.

There are Many Capital One Cards to Choose From

If you’re looking for a second Capital One credit card to complement one you already have, there are quite a few to choose from. Whether you’re looking for unlimited reward points, a 0% introductory APR, or a cash-back bonus on all purchases, there’s a Capital One card that’s made just for you.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
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 $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $150 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
  • 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 for 15 months; 15.74%-25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74%-25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

+See more Capital One cards

Responsible Use of a Credit Card Trumps Quantity

According to a survey by Gallup, the average American carries two credit cards in their wallet. This includes cards from the major networks like Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express, as well as closed-loop store credit cards. So, what’s the “sweet spot” for how many cards we should carry?

Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer. The number of credit cards you should carry depends on your personal spending habits — and your personal financial habits. If you’re someone who can responsibly use multiple credit cards, including paying them on time each month and keeping balances low, then there’s no real limit on how many credit cards you can have.

On the other hand, if credit cards entice you to spend more than you normally would, you have problems paying multiple cards on time, or you tend to carry a balance on your cards, then you may want to limit the number of credit cards in your wallet.

Final Thoughts

We Americans love our plastic. We love the convenience of making quick purchases anywhere, we love the benefits of all the rewards programs, and we love the flexibility of using different cards for different buying situations. And even if you can only carry two Capital One credit cards, there are other reward cards and co-branded cards you can get that have the same great benefits from the same great credit card issuer. We Americans also love having choices, and thankfully when it comes to credit cards, we have plenty of options.