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Unfortunately for active duty military servicemember, as of 2019 Capital One DOES NOT waive annual fees if you open your account after starting active duty service. Capital One will only waive credit card annual fees if the account was opened BEFORE active duty service started.
If you opened your Capital One credit cards before entering active duty, for instance when you were on Reserve status or in the Guard, you can apply for SCRA benefits during your active duty service.
Even without easy SCRA annual fee waivers, Capital One offers some pretty awesome credit cards that stand on their own.
Top 3 Capital One Credit Cards
The best 3 Capital One Credit Cards for military servicemembers are:
|Capital One Card||Link||Welcome Bonus||Best Benefits||1st Year Annual Fee|
|Venture Rewards||Learn How to Apply||50,000 points||10x miles on hotels.com||$0|
|Quicksilver Cash Rewards||Learn How to Apply||$150||1.5% cash back all purchases||$0|
|Savor Cash Rewards||Learn How to Apply||$300||4% cash back on dining||$0|
- Capital One Venture Rewards (learn how to apply here)
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards (learn how to apply here)
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards (learn how to apply here)
Capital One Venture Rewards Card
- Learn how to apply for this card here
- 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening (at least $500 of value)
- 10x miles on purchases at hotels.com until Jan 2020
- 2x miles on all purchases
- $0 annual fee first year, $95 after that
- $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit (military SMs get automatic TSA PreCheck with their DOD ID number, so get Global Entry)
- No foreign transaction fees
Rather, the proper comparison is Capital One Venture vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One Venture (learn how to apply)|
|Airfare||2x points||2x points|
|Hotels.com||2x||10x until Jan 2020|
|Rewards Program||Ultimate Rewards, very flexible||Not as flexible|
|Transfer to airline partners||2 UR points = 2 miles||2 Venture miles = 1.5 airline miles|
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a 60,000 point welcome bonus and can be upgraded to the Chase Sapphire Reserve after 1 year.
Chase waives the CSP's $95 annual fee under their MLA policy.
Personally I would get a Chase Sapphire Preferred and then upgrade to a Reserve first before I got a Capital One Venture card.
However, if you have a big hotels.com purchase coming up, it definitely makes sense to get the Capital One Venture card now.
10x Miles on Hotels.com with Capital One Venture
One of the unique benefits of the Capital One Venture at the moment is the 10x miles on hotels.com purchases until Jan 31 2020.
If you have a vacation coming up with a large group of people, offer to make the reservation and have everyone pay you back. This could yield a large bonus with the current 10x points on hotels.com purchases.
Make sure you follow all the rules and make the booking with your Venture card only at hotels.com/venture.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
- Learn how to apply for this card HERE
- $150 Cash Back after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- 1.5% cash back on all purchases including gas, BX, PX, NEX, AAFES, and Shoppette
- No limit to how much you can earn, points never expire, no rotating categories
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees (rare for no annual fee cards)
The Capital One Quicksilver is an easy comparison to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Both cards offer 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
However, the Quicksilver has no foreign transaction fees. This is rare on no annual fee cash back cards. The Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited DO have a foreign transaction fee.
If you're stationed OCONUS or travel overseas often, I highly recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve and the AMEX Platinum for the travel benefits. For every day spending, a 1.5% cash back card can make a lot of sense, especially with no foreign transaction fees.
You could use your Platinum card for airfare purchases (5x AMEX points), your Sapphire Reserve for restaurants (3x Chase points) and your Quicksilver for everything else (1.5x cash back).
If your credit cards reward strategy involves transferring your Chase Freedom Unlimited Ultimate Reward points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve (full CSR military review here), then the CFU might make more sense, but only if you're using it stateside.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards
- Learn how to apply for this cash back card HERE
- $300 cash back after spending $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening (10% cash back!)
- Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
- 2% cash back at grocery stores
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95 after that
One of the great benefits of this card is the $0 intro annual fee. This allows you to get the early spend bonus of $300 cash back after $3000 of spend in the first 3 months while seeing if the card is right for your lifestyle.
For instance, if you spend at least $2500 on dining annually ($48 per week), the 4% cash back would be worth $100, easily covering the annual fee of $95.
If you are a US military Reservist or National Guard servicemember, you could open this account before a period of active duty orders and then get the annual fee waived under Capital Ones SCRA policy.
Capital One SCRA Policy
Capital One is not nearly as generous with their SCRA policy as American Express or Chase. AMEX waives all annual fees for their personal and business credit and charge cards under SCRA. Chase waives all personal credit card annual fees under their Military Lending Act or MLA policy.
If you want to learn how to maximize your MLA and SCRA benefits, sign up for my free, 5 day Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. All it takes is your email address and I will send you everything I know about flying first class for free, free hotel upgrades, and free stays at five star hotels.
I've been doing this for over 7 years and never paid an annual fee on an MLA or SCRA covered credit card. Sign up today and join over 600 of your fellow military servicemembers who are maximizing their no annual fee credit cards. It goes way beyond just the AMEX Platinum!
Capital One will run your information against the DOD DMDC SCRA database. If you are on short active duty orders, usually less than 60 days, you might not be in the database. In that case Capital One will ask for a copy of your orders to apply the SCRA benefits.