Capital One Is Exiting the Mortgage Business: Here’s What it Means for Borrowers

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Capital One announced Tuesday that it would shutter its profit-losing mortgage and home equity origination businesses.  

As a result, the banking and financial services company will cut about 900 mortgage-related jobs in three states, a Capital One spokesperson told MagnifyMoney via email.  

In addition to its mortgage loan business, the banking and financial services company offers a variety of products that includes credit cards, checking and savings accounts and auto loans.  

But the company has struggled to make its mortgage business as profitable as the competition. Capital One originated $901 million in home loans in the third quarter of 2017, but that wasn’t enough for the bank to make the list of top 40 mortgage providers, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication. 

“Given the challenging rate environment in this space, we are structurally disadvantaged and we are not in a position to be both competitive and profitable,” the company’s spokesperson said. 

Ted Tozer, senior fellow at the Milken Institute (a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on global prosperity) and former president of Ginnie Mae, told MagnifyMoney that Capital One’s exit should not have a negative impact on the home lending business because it has not been an effective player since it entered the space some eight years ago.  

“It’s come to light that they don’t have a cost-effective operation because they really haven’t invested in technology,” Tozer said. 

In fact, he said, this will be good news for the industry because other financial institutions will then absorb Capital One’s customers in an increasingly competitive business. 

The competition in the home lending business has grown fiercer as interest rates rise, driving fewer homeowners to refinance, Tozer noted. The country is also still experiencing historically low homeownership rates.  

Nonbank financial institutions that have sprung up since the Great Recession are taking an increasingly big slice of the business. Legacy banks such as Capital One are losing customers to industry disruptors, like Quicken Loans, that have invested heavily in technology to streamline the lending process, experts say. 

“Everyone’s trying to compete for the fewer borrowers out there and you have to really have a cost-effective infrastructure to be able to compete in this kind of cut-throat environment we are going through right now,” Tozer said.  
“Capital One is hamstrung by old technology, whereas the new nonbanks are doing this 21st-century technology, and they are able to get the consumer a better experience for a cheaper price.” 

So how will the end of Capital One’s mortgage business actually affect consumers?

If you were hoping to get a Capital One mortgage …

You’re out of luck. Capital One is not going to take additional home loan applications effective immediately.  

If you have a Capital One mortgage or home equity loan already …

Not much will change for you. The bank will continue to service the loans in its portfolio. The company’s spokesperson told MagnifyMoney that consumers who have a loan in process or whose loan is being serviced by Capital One can continue to access their accounts the same way they’ve done so far – through digital means, by phone or by visiting a bank branch. 

If you are the middle of processing a Capital One mortgage application … 

The spokesperson said Capital One would close all open mortgage applications soon. If a loan cannot be closed promptly, the financial institution will refund any fees would-be borrowers have paid so that they can find another lender. 

Capital One will continue to provide specialized multifamily financing to the real estate development and investment community through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), according to to the company. 

Capital One will also continue lending activities for affordable housing supporting the low- and moderate-income markets. 

Experts suggest consumers reach out to their loan officer or customer service to receive an update on their loan if they have questions.   

The post Capital One Is Exiting the Mortgage Business: Here’s What it Means for Borrowers appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

The Capital One Savor Card: Rewards for Dining

Here's a solid rewards card made for people who love food.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Do you consider yourself a foodie? Do you like eating out or buying ingredients at the grocery store to make delicious home-cooked meals? With its recent launch of the Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One has made a card catered to (pun intended) all food-lovers.

Most credit cards aren’t specifically geared toward rewards for dining, but the Capital One Savor Card is. With Savor, you won’t have to keep track of revolving spending categories that may include restaurants for a brief period, and you get more than the standard 1% or 2% cash back rate on dining out. If food is your thing, the Savor Card offers 3% on dining out at your favorite restaurants—and the total cash back you earn is unlimited.

What makes this card even better for foodies is that stay-at-home chefs can earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, there’s no annual fee, making your earnings even more delicious.

What’s the Current Sign-Up Bonus?

New cardmembers earn $150 cash back if they spend $500 within the first three months of opening their account.

What Are the Benefits of the Capital One Savor Card?

If you frequently eat out, this card will give you a high return rate on your purchases. If you spend a lot on groceries, the amount of cash back you earn will also be quite high, especially if you like to go to different grocery stores. The Savor Card does not limit where you can shop, unlike co-branded credit cards that offer rewards for shopping only at certain places. Additionally, there’s no cap on the amount you can earn, which sets the Savor Card apart from other rewards cards that have tiered cash back categories.

Since the card has no revolving categories to keep track of, you know you’ll always get the same cash back rate by eating at the places you love. The Savor Card has an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first nine months that the account is open, then a variable APR of 15.49%, 20.49%, or 24.49%, based on creditworthiness. The Savor Card also comes with travel assistance services, travel accident insurance, and baggage delay insurance.

What Are the Drawbacks of the Capital One Savor Card?

Even though 3% on dining out and 2% back on groceries is pretty sweet, some rewards cards do offer more cash back—such as the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, which offers 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases made at US supermarkets. That 6% is especially impressive, but keep in mind that the card doesn’t offer extra cash back for purchases made at restaurants.

If you don’t frequently eat out or do much grocery shopping, your cash back earnings won’t be as high—Savor offers only 1% cash back on other types of purchases. Other cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, have broader rewards programs that may be a better option if dining out isn’t a priority for you.

You can only redeem your points for cash back with the Savor Card, while most other credit cards allow you more redemption options, such as on travel, hotels, and gift cards. Savor also has a 3% balance transfer fee, so if you’re planning on paying off some debt, you’ll have to consider whether the balance transfer fee is worth paying. Other cards like Citi Simplicity offer a longer interest-free period on balance transfers.

How Do I Qualify for the Capital One Savor Card?

In order to qualify for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, you need excellent credit. You’ll want to make sure your credit is in tip-top shape before you apply. Remember, you can check your credit score for free here.

Image: gilaxia

At publishing time, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and the Citi Simplicity Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post The Capital One Savor Card: Rewards for Dining appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase

Credit cards are a super convenient financial tool, but they can often be confusing.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Cash back credit cards often reward certain forms of spending more than others. But if your spending habits don’t heavily favor a specific purchase type, a card with the same cash back rate for all purchases could be the better choice.

Here are five credit cards that provide consistent cash back no matter what you’re buying.

1. Citi Double Cash Card

Rewards: 1% cash back on purchases with an additional 1% cash back upon payment.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR; variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases.

Why We Picked It: For each paid purchase, you get 2% cash back.

For Every Purchase: All purchases automatically earn 1% cash back, and an additional 1% is awarded once you pay. In other words, you have the potential to earn double cash back on everything.

Drawbacks: If you don’t pay your minimum due each month, you won’t earn your full cash back.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.

Why We Picked It: You get a solid cash back rate on every purchase.

For Every Purchase: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every purchase you make. There’s also a $150 sign-up bonus with a low spending requirement.

Drawbacks: The balance transfer fee is 5% of the transfer amount with a minimum of $5, which many other cards can beat.

3. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card offers cash back on all purchases and a big sign-up bonus.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. There is a 1.8% cash back incentive for mobile wallet purchases, but that rate reverts to 1.5% after one year. And if you can spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get a nice $200 sign-up bonus.

Drawbacks: For some, the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus may be out of reach.

4. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $39

APR: Variable 24.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Good cash back rates aren’t limited to those with excellent credit.

For Every Purchase: Those with average credit can earn a competitive 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase.

Drawbacks: The starting APR is quite high, which is normal considering the lower credit requirements. There’s also a $39 annual fee.

5. Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card has a decent cash back rate and offers extra value as you redeem.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. When you redeem, 5% of the redemption amount is credited back into your account, giving your earnings a little boost every time you cash in your rewards.

Drawbacks: You must have at least $50 in cash back earnings before you can redeem.

How to Choose a Card with a Consistent Cash Back Value

If you’re choosing a credit card for its consistent cash back value, you’ll probably want the card that offers the best rewards rate on all purchases. Cards with 1.5% cash back for all purchases are commonplace, so don’t settle below that threshold. Some cards offer more, but they may require you to jump through extra hoops.

You should also review any available sign-up bonuses, as they can boost the initial value of the card. If you’re looking to avoid interest on purchases or balance transfers, look for 0% intro APR offers.

Remember that cash back cards should be paid off in full each month before interest is applied. Otherwise, interest can reduce the value of your rewards.

What Credit Is Required for a Card with Consistent Cash Back?

Cash back cards are available to consumers with a wide range of credit scores. While the best cards are usually reserved for those with excellent credit, those with bad credit aren’t necessarily locked out of rewards. No matter your credit standing, you should check your credit score before you apply. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Double Cash Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Peopleimages

The post 5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase

Credit cards are a super convenient financial tool, but they can often be confusing.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Cash back credit cards often reward certain forms of spending more than others. But if your spending habits don’t heavily favor a specific purchase type, a card with the same cash back rate for all purchases could be the better choice.

Here are five credit cards that provide consistent cash back no matter what you’re buying.

1. Citi Double Cash Card

Rewards: 1% cash back on purchases with an additional 1% cash back upon payment.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR; variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases.

Why We Picked It: For each paid purchase, you get 2% cash back.

For Every Purchase: All purchases automatically earn 1% cash back, and an additional 1% is awarded once you pay. In other words, you have the potential to earn double cash back on everything.

Drawbacks: If you don’t pay your minimum due each month, you won’t earn your full cash back.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.

Why We Picked It: You get a solid cash back rate on every purchase.

For Every Purchase: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every purchase you make. There’s also a $150 sign-up bonus with a low spending requirement.

Drawbacks: The balance transfer fee is 5% of the transfer amount with a minimum of $5, which many other cards can beat.

3. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card offers cash back on all purchases and a big sign-up bonus.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. There is a 1.8% cash back incentive for mobile wallet purchases, but that rate reverts to 1.5% after one year. And if you can spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get a nice $200 sign-up bonus.

Drawbacks: For some, the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus may be out of reach.

4. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $39

APR: Variable 24.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Good cash back rates aren’t limited to those with excellent credit.

For Every Purchase: Those with average credit can earn a competitive 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase.

Drawbacks: The starting APR is quite high, which is normal considering the lower credit requirements. There’s also a $39 annual fee.

5. Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card has a decent cash back rate and offers extra value as you redeem.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. When you redeem, 5% of the redemption amount is credited back into your account, giving your earnings a little boost every time you cash in your rewards.

Drawbacks: You must have at least $50 in cash back earnings before you can redeem.

How to Choose a Card with a Consistent Cash Back Value

If you’re choosing a credit card for its consistent cash back value, you’ll probably want the card that offers the best rewards rate on all purchases. Cards with 1.5% cash back for all purchases are commonplace, so don’t settle below that threshold. Some cards offer more, but they may require you to jump through extra hoops.

You should also review any available sign-up bonuses, as they can boost the initial value of the card. If you’re looking to avoid interest on purchases or balance transfers, look for 0% intro APR offers.

Remember that cash back cards should be paid off in full each month before interest is applied. Otherwise, interest can reduce the value of your rewards.

What Credit Is Required for a Card with Consistent Cash Back?

Cash back cards are available to consumers with a wide range of credit scores. While the best cards are usually reserved for those with excellent credit, those with bad credit aren’t necessarily locked out of rewards. No matter your credit standing, you should check your credit score before you apply. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Double Cash Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Peopleimages

The post 5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase appeared first on Credit.com.

Capital One Venture or Chase Freedom: Which Card Is Right for You?

The Capital One Venture Rewards card and Chase Freedom card have plenty of perks. Here's how they compare.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Both the Capital One Venture Rewards card and the Chase Freedom card are major players in the rewards credit card space. They both offer cardholders value, but are also considerably different. The Capital One Venture card offers flexible rewards that can be used on travel, while the Chase Freedom card is primarily a cash-back card.

Comparing the Rewards Programs

When you sign up for the Chase Freedom card, you receive a $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. You can also earn an additional $25 if you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the same three-month period. Each quarter you can earn 5% cash back, on up to $1,500 within different rotating categories. One quarter the category could be gas stations and department stores while the next quarter it could be grocery stores and public transportation. All other purchases earn 1% back.

In contrast, you earn 40,000 miles after signing up and spending $3,000 in the first three months with the Capital One Venture Rewards card. You also receive an unlimited two miles per dollar on every purchase you make. There are no bonus categories to remember because you receive the same value on each purchase.

Redeeming Your Rewards

Redemptions can be done in a couple of ways when you have the Chase Freedom card. You can receive a statement credit or direct deposit into a checking or savings account. You can also use your rewards to shop on Amazon.com or to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also redeem rewards for gift cards. Another popular option is to transfer rewards into Chase Ultimate Reward points. This can only be done if you also have another card that earns Ultimate Reward points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or a business card like the Ink Preferred. Once you have Ultimate Reward points, these can be transferred to different loyalty partners like Hyatt, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and more. (You can read more about redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points here.)

Redeeming your miles from the Capital One Venture Rewards card is simple. Each mile you earn is worth one cent. That means the signup bonus would have a value of $400. The miles you earn can be cashed out as a statement credit toward any travel expense making this a really simple, straight-forward system.

Additional Perks

Chase offers price protection, which will reimburse you if the price on an item you purchase decrease within 120 days. You also receive an extended warranty on your purchases from both cards.

Because the Capital One Venture Rewards card is a Visa Signature card, you also receive other benefits like car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and 24/7 concierge service both at home and when you are traveling. When you use your card to book hotel rooms, you can receive complimentary room upgrades and other hotel savings.

How the Fees Stack Up

One of the best parts of the Chase Freedom card is that you receive these rewards and benefits without paying an annual fee. The card also has an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period ends the rate changes to a variable 15.74% to 24.74%. If you plan on traveling outside of the United States, there will be a 3% foreign transaction fee.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you will not pay an annual fee the first year. However, each subsequent year there will be a fee of $59. You also will not receive an introductory 0% APR period. The standard rate on purchases is a variable 13.74%, 18.74 or 23.74%, depending on creditworthiness. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Why You Might Choose the Chase Freedom Card

The Chase Freedom card has been one of the best cash-back cards for a long time. Earning up to 5% back is an attractive feature. Because there is some work involved, this card is perfect for anyone that doesn’t mind keeping track of bonus categories. Chase also requires cardholders to opt into the bonus categories each quarter, which means you need be proactive. However, if you are looking for a card that offers generous cash back and no annual fee, you can’t go wrong with the Chase Freedom card.

Why You Might Choose the Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Anyone looking for a travel rewards credit card, but doesn’t have the time or desire to keep track of spending within categories, will love the Capital One Venture Reward card. Not only will you earn a generous signup bonus, but you also earn flat rate rewards on every purchase. It can’t get much simpler. Though you will have an annual fee of $59 after the first year, the card is perfect for anyone who travels internationally because there are no foreign transaction fees.

Before You Apply …

Regardless of the card you choose, be sure to check your credit before applying. You may be rejected if your credit scores aren’t good enough for you to qualify. You can get two free credit scores and a credit snapshot at Credit.com to keep track of how you’re doing.

At publishing time, the Chase Freedom card and Capital One Venture Rewards card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: andresr

The post Capital One Venture or Chase Freedom: Which Card Is Right for You? appeared first on Credit.com.

7 Hacks for Using the Capital One Venture Miles Program

The Capital One Ventures Miles program has some of the most flexible rewards out there. Here's how to take advantage.

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One VentureOne Rewards. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Over the past decade, the Capital One Venture Miles program with the Capital One Venture cards has become quite popular. Not only has the company brought on several A-list celebrities to become the face of the program, but Capital One Venture rewards are also some of the most flexible travel rewards available. Even though the Capital One Venture program might have become a household name, not everyone understands exactly how to use the rewards they earn.

Let’s take a deeper look into the ways you can hack as much value as possible out of your Capital One Venture rewards.

1. Sign Up When You Are about to Make a Big Purchase

If you’re thinking about signing up for a Venture card, do so when you plan to make a big purchase or two—like booking a trip or investing in some new furniture. When you sign up for the VentureOne Rewards card, you could earn 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 within three months of opening your account. Similarly, the Venture Rewards card offers 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 within three months of opening your account. That’s the equivalent of $200 to $400 in travel rewards.

The $59 annual fee for the Venture Rewards card is waived for the first year, so near the end of your year term, be sure to assess the benefits of the card to ensure that the annual fee you’ll be paying is worth it.

2. Pay Your Bills Right Away

The APR for the Venture cards range from 12.99% to 23.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. No matter the APR you qualify for, commit to paying off the card every month. Otherwise, the benefits of the card could be quickly negated by the interest you’re paying each month. If you carry a balance, you can use our credit card payoff calculator to determine how long it will take you to pay off the balance.

Paying your bills early can also help you improve your credit score. When your credit card statement is issued, that balance is reported to credit reporting agencies as debt. If your balance is high, the reported debt can lower your credit score—even if you end up paying the balance in full by the due date! Paying off your balance before the statement cycle closes can reduce your debt-to-credit ratio and improve your credit score.

3. Use Your Venture Card to Shop Around and Abroad

Unless you’re fiercely loyal to one airline, the Capital One Venture cards are a great choice for booking travel because you are not limited to one airline. The benefits are decent too, earning you 1.25 to 2 miles for every dollar you spend. The miles never expire and there’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn.

The cards are also great for international travel: both cards have no foreign transaction fees.

4. Book Flights through the Capital One Site

To get the most out of your Capital One Venture card, book your travel through the Capital One website, which is extremely easy to use. Each mile converts to one cent in value. You can also use your miles to book airline reservations, hotels, car rentals, or vacation packages. Keep in mind, however, that you are required to have the full amount of miles needed for your reservation if you book this way. You are not allowed to partially pay with miles and cover the rest with cash.

5. Use the Capital One Purchase Eraser

You can book your travel elsewhere, but you should use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser, which allows you to use the rewards miles you have earned to offset travel expenses and by receiving a statement credit. Simply log in to your online account; if a purchase is coded as travel, you can apply your miles and receive a value of one cent per mile. As an extra perk, partial rewards are allowed with Purchase Eraser. You  can redeem as little as $25 worth of rewards and pay the rest with cash. 

6. Don’t Redeem Your Miles for Cash Back

Opting for cash back sounds like a great deal, but it actually offers the worst value. There is no minimum for the number of miles needed to redeem, but you will receive value of only half a cent per mile. If you still prefer to get cash back, you will be able to receive either a check or a statement credit. 

7. Cash Your Rewards in for Gift Cards

If you’re not interested in redeeming miles for travel or cash back, you can also cash them in for gift cards. Gift cards are available for a large selection of retailers including Bath and Body Works, AMC Theaters, and Best Buy. Most of these come with redemption amounts of $25, $50, or $100; however, a few are as low as $10. There will be a value of one cent per mile, which means there is a minimum of 1,000 miles needed.

Review: Capital One Venture Miles Cards

There are two cards that allow you to earn Capital One Venture Miles: the Capital One Venture Rewards Card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card. Though their offerings are similar, we’ve reviewed the two below to compare their basic perks and disadvantages.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Advantages

  • When you sign up for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, you can receive 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months, equal to $400 in travel.
  • You can then earn two miles per dollar on every purchase you make with the card.
  • There is no need to remember different bonus or rotating categories.
  • This card comes with no foreign transaction fees.

Disadvantages

  • The card has a $59 annual fee (which is waived the first year).
  • The APR is a variable 99% to 23.99%, depending on your credit standing. This interest rate is higher than many other credit cards that do not offer rewards.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

Advantages

  • The Capital One VentureOne Rewards card has no annual fee.
  • When you sign up, you can receive 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months—the equivalent of $200 in travel.
  • You can then earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • If you travel outside the United States, this card charges no foreign transaction fees.
  • The Capital One VentureOne card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases.

Disadvantages

  • The VentureOne card has a lower earning potential than the Venture card.
  • After the introductory period, the APR rises to a variable 12.99% to 22.99% APR, based on creditworthiness. This rate is higher than many other non-rewards credit cards.

Not sure which card is the right choice for you? Review how they compare.

Qualifying for either card will require excellent credit. To see where you stand, you can check your credit report for free on Credit.com.

Image: wundervisuals 

At publishing time, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

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Capital One’s New Dining Credit Card: Should You Apply?

Here's a solid rewards card made for people who love food.

Capital One just launched a brand new cash-back credit card with a big focus on food. The Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One card offers cash back rewards for all transactions, with extra incentives for dining and grocery purchases. If you’re frequently spending at restaurants, bars and grocery stores to get your grub on, this card might be right for you.

What Perks Does the New Capital One Card Provide?

The new Premier Dining card is a cash back card with competitive rewards rates. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on all dining purchases, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back rewards are unlimited and have no expiration date, and they’re redeemed in the form of statement credits or checks.

Right now, Capital One is offering a $100 cash-back bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months of becoming a cardmember, which should be pretty easy to do if you’re frequently dining out.

The card comes with a number of other benefits. There are 24/7 concierge services to assist with travel bookings, reservations and shopping. Capital One even provides travel perks that can include free room upgrades and early check-in or late check-out times at eligible hotels.

Plus, they cover up to $1,500 in travel reimbursements if your trip is cancelled or cut short, and they provide price protection for eligible items if you find a lower price within 60 days of the date of purchase.

What Will the Card Cost Me?

The Premier Dining card has no annual fee. The annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases and balance transfers is a variable 15.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% based on creditworthiness. There’s also no balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fee.

It should be noted that this card is intended for people with excellent credit, so if you don’t know where your credit stands, you’ll want to check before applying. You can get your two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, here on Credit.com.

Consumers who can qualify for the lowest available APR will be getting a decent interest rate.

Why Should You Apply for This Card?

If the majority of your credit card spending occurs at bars, restaurants and grocery stores, this card is a great option. While we’ve seen higher cash back rates on dining, they often apply to rotating spending categories that don’t last forever. The 3% cash back is a great permanent cash back rate for dining, and the 2% cash back for groceries is a decent supplement.

If you pay your balance off in full each month, this card will deliver its best value. There’s no annual fee, so if you can successfully avoid interest charges, you’re essentially earning money back on your purchases.

It’s also a good card for balance transfers and foreign transactions, as both will incur no additional fees.

Why Shouldn’t You Apply for This Card?

If you spend more on other purchase types than you do on dining and groceries, you may be leaving cash on the table by choosing this card. Many other cash-back rewards cards offer greater rewards for all purchases, and if your spending is more diverse, you’ll likely earn more by choosing a card with a better overall rewards rate.

You’ll also want to avoid this card if you’re looking for a great signup bonus. The $100 cash back bonus isn’t very exciting, and a consumer with excellent credit should be able to qualify for cards with far better signup offers.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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BankAmericard Travel Rewards vs. Capital One Venture Rewards: Which Card Has the Most Value?

We compare the costs and rewards two of the top travel credit cards available.

If you are looking to add a new general travel card to your wallet, then two of the best options are the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card and the Capital One Venture Rewards card. Both of these cards offer their cardholders a simple approach to earning travel rewards. Each has a flat reward rate on purchases, and neither requires you to remember a bunch of different bonus categories.

Let’s take a look at everything these cards have to offer and how they differ from each other. That way you will be able to make a decision on which card would be the best fit for you.

Comparing the Rewards

When you compare credit cards, one of the first things people consider is whether or not the cards have a signup bonus. While both the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card and the Capital One Venture card offer an attractive signup bonus, Capital One has the advantage.

With the Capital One Venture card, you will receive 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months of being a cardmember. This is good for a $400 statement credit on a travel expense. In addition to the signup bonus, cardholders will also receive two miles per $1 spent on all purchases.

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card offers new cardholders 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. This has a value of $200 toward travel expenses. While this is half of what you can earn from the Capital One Venture card, it also requires only half the initial spend. For some, this might be easier to accomplish. To go along with the signup bonus, you will earn 1.5 points per $1 spent.

Take note, Bank of America banking customers: You have the potential to earn much richer rewards with the BankAmericard. Just for having a checking or savings account you will receive a 10% bonus on the points earned. If you are a Preferred Rewards client, with $20,000 or more in a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch investment account, then you can earn up to a 75% bonus, or 2.6 points per dollar spent.

Redemptions Made Easy

One of the reasons why both of these cards are so popular with travelers is because redemptions are so easy. The rewards you earn don’t need to be transferred to different loyalty programs, and there are no blackout dates on travel. You can simply use the rewards you have as a statement credit toward travel expenses, or you can book travel directly through the issuers’ online travel portals. No matter which way you go, the process is painless. Plus, as long as your account stays open and active, your rewards will never expire.

If for some reason you decide not to use your rewards for travel, there are other options available as well. Just keep in mind that each of these will give you a value less than the normal one-cent-per-point. You will be able to redeem rewards from the Capital One Venture Rewards card for either gift cards or cash back. The rewards you earn from the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card can be used to fund a mortgage, IRA or 529 plan with Bank of America or Merril Lynch. You can also redeem them for gift cards, cash back, or to make a charitable contribution.

How The Fees Stack Up

The Capital One Venture Rewards card might have the higher signup bonus, but it also includes a $59 annual fee (waived the first year). You would never pay an annual fee on the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, and neither card carries foreign transaction fees.

It’s a good idea to pay off your purchases at the end of the month to avoid paying interest, but if you do need to carry a balance, then the Capital One Venture card may be a little less expensive. It’s standard purchase APR is a variable 13.49% to 23.49%, whereas the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card is 15.49% to 23.49%. The APR you receive depends on your creditworthiness. (Pro tip: Check your credit before you apply for a credit card, to get an idea how likely you are to get approved and qualify for a lower APR. You can see two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com, and they’re updated every 14 days. If your credit could use some help, check out these tips on how to quickly improve your credit score.)

Why You Might Pick the Capital One Venture Rewards Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards card is a great option for anyone wanting a general travel credit card with a simple reward system. The card has a high signup bonus, double what you would receive from the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. Plus, you earn double points on every purchase you make.

However, even though it waives the annual fee the first year, you would need to be able to justify the $59 fee each subsequent year. At a redemption rate of 100 miles per $1 and an earnings rate of 2 miles per $1 spent, you would need to spend $2,950 on the card per year to break even. If you spend more than that each year, then this is a solid credit card to put in your wallet.

Why You Might Pick the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card

If you are a Bank of America banking customer, then you’ll want to give serious consideration to the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. Standard banking customer will earn a 10% bonus on the base reward rate of 1.5 miles per dollar spent. However, if you have $20,000 or more in your qualifying account, you can become a Preferred Rewards client, which allows you to earn 25% to 75% bonus, depending on your qualifying account balance. This would also be a great card to have if you’re not a big spender and can’t justify the annual fee on the Capital One Venture card.

At publishing time, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards and Capital One Venture cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards: Which Card’s Right for You?

Here's how to choose between some of the best cash back credit cards — Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards.

If you are looking to pick up a new cash back credit card, you have two choices. You can either get a card that offers different reward values depending on the type of purchases you are making, or you can choose a card that offers a flat rate, no matter what you might be buying. The latter are hassle free and take very little effort on the part of the consumer.

If you are looking to go down the easier path, then two of the best cards available are Chase Freedom Unlimited (which we’ve reviewed in detail here) and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards. Both of these cards will offer the same flat rate on purchases, and both have no annual fee. Where these cards differ slightly is in how you redeem your rewards. In this article, we’ll walk you through the benefits each card has to offer. We’ll also talk a little about the costs and help you determine which card’s right for you.

Comparing the Rewards

The earnings potential is where these cards are very similar. With Chase Freedom Unlimited, you have the ability to earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. You also receive a generous signup bonus of $150 after spending $500 in the first three months. And you receive an additional $25 bonus when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the same three-month period.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card also offers 1.5% back on every purchase. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. Plus, when you sign up for this card, you will receive a $100 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.

Redeeming Your Rewards

If your sole purpose in having either of these cards is to earn cash back, both will do the job. However, if you would prefer having additional redemption options, then you will enjoy the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. While this is technically a cash back card, you will also have the opportunity to convert your earnings into Ultimate Reward points, with some restrictions. You will then be able to use these points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. If you go this route, your points will be worth 25% more. Alternatively, you can transfer points to one of the many airline or hotel transfer partners.

Now that you’ve heard the good stuff, let’s discuss why to choose either card.

Reasons to Pick the Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you are trying to decide between these two cards, then you are likely to choose the Chase Freedom Unlimited for two reasons. First, you will receive a higher signup bonus, including the ability to earn even more when you add an authorized user. The second reason is that you’ll have the option to convert your cash back into Ultimate Rewards. While earning cash back is nice, knowing you can also use your rewards for travel might be something you’d like.

If you are planning to make a large upcoming purchase, then you might find the introductory APR from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to be a little more useful. You will receive a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, there’s a variable 15.49% to 24.24% APR. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card only offers 0% for the first nine months (and a variable 13.49% to 23.49% APR after).

Reasons to Pick the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card

The Capital One Quicksilver is great if you are looking for a plain-and-simple cash back card. This card is perfect for someone who doesn’t want the hassle of transferring points and figuring out whether they’re getting a good value. Plus, it has no foreign transaction fees (Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% fee), so this card is ideal for anyone who enjoys traveling outside the U.S.

Remember, before you apply for any credit card, it’s a good idea to know where your finances stand first. You can view two of your credit scores, with updates every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Are Merging: What Their Credit Cardholders Need to Know

Bass-Pro-Shops-&-Cabela's

Whether your choice of outdoor activities involves a fishing pole and waders or sporting clays and shotgun shells, you may want to take note of this outdoor retailer news — Bass Pro Shops is set to acquire Cabela’s, according to a press release issued Monday.

This approximately $5.5 billion deal will merge Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and White River Marine Group, a boating company that is part of Bass Pro Shops.

But don’t rush out to use your rewards or certificates just yet. For the most part, this buyout isn’t expected to affect how you shop or the rewards you get for doing so.

According to the merger announcement, “All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction.” The press release also noted that the loyalty programs at both stores will remain the same, but said there is “potential over time to expand the program in the combined company.”

Part of the announcement included news that Bass Pro Shops is launching a credit card partnership with Capital One. An email from a Capital One spokesperson said “the Capital One transaction isn’t expected to close until the first half of 2017 and is subject to the concurrent closing of Bass Pro Shops’ acquisition of Cabela’s,” however.

The spokesperson also noted that “it’s business as usual for Cabela’s customers.” So, whether you’re looking to add some lures to your tackle box or get a new camo duck blind, you should have the experiences at both Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops that you’re accustomed to.

Getting a Store Credit Card

No matter what gear you need for your next outdoor adventure, it’s important to remember that applying for a store credit card is an important financial decision and shouldn’t be made lightly. If you are a frequent shopper at either (or both) of these stores, it’s a good idea to look at their reward offerings that accompany the card and see if it’s worth signing up for one, or if you could get better perks with a standard rewards credit card.

Either way, it’s a good idea to review your credit before applying for new plastic (you can see a free snapshot of your credit report, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com) so you have an idea of the terms and conditions you’re eligible for.

At publishing time, Capital One products are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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