Review: Capital One Premier Dining Rewards card

Our rating

4 stars 4/5

See explanation of our ratings system

See breakdown of this card’s rating

It’s been a while since Capital One has shaken up its card offerings and has primarily positioned itself as a leader in the flat-rate rewards card space (with cards like the Quicksilver and Venture, which give you the same rewards rate on all purchases).

But it’s made an interesting move with a new category cash-back card. The Premier Dining Rewards card (released March 24, 2017), offers:

  • 3 percent cash back on dining
  • 2 percent on groceries
  • 1 percent on all other purchases

The card has no annual fee.

Our review will help you decide if you should jump on this new product and the one-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

The rewards

You’ll earn cash back in the categories listed above with no cap and no category limits.

You can redeem your cash back in the form of a statement credit or a check, and you can set up automatic redemptions whenever you reach a certain threshold of cash back, or for a certain number of times per calendar year.

As with Capital One’s other cards, you can redeem as often as you like and there is no redemption minimum.

Other card features

This card is offered at the World Elite MasterCard level and comes with the following additional benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel protection
  • Price protection: If the price drops on an eligible item you bought with the card within 60 days, you can get refunded the difference.
  • Extended warranty
  • Concierge service
  • Travel accident coverage
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • And more (check your benefits package)

How it compares to other cards

There are plenty of other cash-back-category cards out there, so what makes the Premiere Dining Rewards card stand out? Based on the name of the card, it’s leading with its dining category, which, at 3 percent cash back is very competitive in the industry. Several other no-annual-fee cards offer 3 percent cash back on dining, including the Fifth Third Bank Trio card (which caps your earnings), AARP’s Everyday Rewards card and the Costco Anywhere Visa. Yet this is perhaps the only mainstream no-annual-fee card from a major issuer to offer an uncapped, permanent 3 percent back on dining, which might give it a more wide-spread appeal.

As for the grocery category, the Premier Dining Rewards card doesn’t compete quite as well there. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards card (no annual fee) offers 2 percent back at grocery stores as well (although those earnings are capped). The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card (no annual fee) offers 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6k in spending each year, then 1 percent). (American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner).

Finally, the American Express Everyday card offers 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets. And, due to the breadth and flexibility of the MR program, you could end up getting more than 2 percent cash back out of those points (by, for example, redeeming for plane tickets with one of American Express’s travel partners).

Even so, the competitors in the grocery category don’t really compete in the dining category. So, if 2 percent on groceries and 3 percent on dining (with no limits) makes a good catch-all for you, Capital One’s Premier Dining Rewards card could be a good fit. It’s also a MasterCard with no foreign transaction fees from a major issuer, which is important to consider when weighing ease of application and ease of use.

Why we gave it 4 out of 5 stars

We rated this card based on our standards for cash-back credit cards.

We docked it just one star for its lack of stand-out perks (compared to other cash-back cards). However, this card is designed to be a utilitarian, no-annual-fee, simple card for people who frequently dine out, so lack of perks probably isn’t a deal-breaker for its target audience.

Rewards-earning rate: This card meets our standards for no-annual-fee cards by offering at least 3 percent in a bonus category (dining, in this case).
Cash-back redemption value: The redemption value is at least 1 percent (meeting our standards).
Rewards simplicity and transparency: This card’s rewards are simple and transparent, with no caps or category enrollment required.
Bonus-earning opportunities: This card has an advertised sign-up bonus.
Unique perks: This card doesn’t have any notable unique perks (like free FICO-score access or a discount program).

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