Is Capital One good or bad? Here’s what you need to know about the company and their credit cards…
A reader recently emailed me this question and before answering, I first asked her “What is it that you have heard about Capital One?” Her response? She remembers hearing they are for people with bad credit and questioned their customer service.
Is there any truth to that?
The Capital One of today is a totally different company than you may have been familiar with in the past. Today they are among the highest-rated card issuers in America.
Years ago (think 90’s and early 00’s) Capital One experienced good growth, by heavily catering to the subprime customers – those with less than stellar credit scores.
Because many of their customer’s were in the sub-prime crowd, as you can guess there were rampant complaints about late fees, interest charges, etc. and this tarnished the company’s reputation.
There’s no denying that in the past, their customer service left much to be desired. But in all fairness, the company took the beating extra-hard – probably unwarranted – simply because their customers who were using their cards irresponsibly chose to blame Capital One rather than themselves.
Where does the company stand today?
Over the past few years, Capital One has worked hard to improve their reputation and their customer base. Rather than focusing on subprime customers, these days their emphasis seems to be the prime crowd – those with good credit.
Let’s objectively review the pros and cons for Capital One:
- No Foreign transaction fees – Capital One is the only bank to completely waive these fees across their entire product line and they should be commended for such a customer-friendly pricing policy.
- Caters to different credit scores – Whether you have a good or bad score, chances are that Capital One has a credit card to fit. They offer secured cards, for rebuilding credit. For good credit, there are various choices for cash back and travel rewards.
- Different reward programs – Is Capital One good for rewards? Well for those with good credit, there is diverse selection of reward programs available. Not all of them are the best, but some like the Venture card (for excellent credit) offer good rebates.
- Improved customer service – A number of forum members have reported that on the higher up prime-level cards, they get American based customer service.
- Fees for some cards – Some of their credit cards do carry a fee. For example, those which are secured and for lower credit scores, there might be a fee involved. Also, their best reward cards have an annual fee.
- Benefits might be limited – Is Capital One a good for benefits? Well, that depends on the card. Their basic ones tend to just have the standard benefits. However with the fee-based cards for great credit, there are some extra bells and whistles thrown in. But they currently don’t have anything on par with say, an AmEx Gold or Platinum.
- Credit limits might not be high – If you have bad credit, you may end up with a lower limit and trying to get increases on it in the future may not yield results. Or at least, that’s according to what forum members have shared.
- Foreign customer service on some cards – In a perfect world, all products would come with American-based customer service. But unfortunately that’s not the world we live in. For the lower level cards especially, foreign customer service reps are common (but in all fairness, that’s how it is with every credit card company).
List of Capital One credit cards
|Venture||Quicksilver||Capital One Secured MasterCard||Journey Student Rewards|
So, is Capital One a quality credit card issuer or not? Well, I would say they have achieved that status in recent years. The difference between the Capital One of the past and the company of today represents a vast improvement. They still aren’t perfect, but they have came along ways and are continuing to improve their products, policies and customer service.
As mentioned, the Venture card is a big improvement and you can check out my Capital One Venture card review to learn more. However make sure you check out our rankings of the best credit cards available to compare side by side.
Last updated on June 10, 2016