Best Capital One Credit Cards for Military 2021 | Capital One MLA and SCRA

Let me show you how to get your first $695 credit card annual fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards course
The Platinum Card® from American Express card is annual fee waived for military. Terms apply.

Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Thank you for supporting my independent, veteran owned site.

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.

Chase and American Express waive all annual fees on their personal credit cards for US military.

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 good credit cards that stand on their own.

Top 3 Capital One Credit Cards

The best 3 Capital One Credit Cards for military servicemembers are:

Best Credit CardsLinkWelcome BonusBest BenefitsAnnual Fee
Capital One Venture RewardsLearn How to Apply60,000 Miles when you spend $3000 in first 3 monthsTransfer to airline partners$95
Capital One Quicksilver Cash RewardsLearn How to Apply$200 when you spend $500 in first 3 months1.5% cash back all purchases$0
Capital One Savor Cash RewardsLearn How to Apply$3004% cash back on dining$0

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

capital one venture card for us military with scra
  • Learn how to apply for this card here
  • 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening (at least $600 of value)
  • 2x miles on all purchases
  • $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

Since this card only has a $95 annual fee, comparing it to the $550 per year Chase Sapphire Reserve or $550 Amex Platinum isn't fair.

Rather, the proper comparison is Capital One Venture vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Military SCRA MLA
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • 60,000 points = $750 minimum when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • New benefits include $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3x points on dining (includes takeout, delivery, and dine-in)
  • 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • Points can also be redeemed with “Pay Yourself Back” for 1.25 cents each on eligible purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, great for overseas OCONUS assignments, TDY, and PCS
  • Primary rental car insurance coverage & trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Must activate by 12/31/21.
  • Get up to $60 back on eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021
  • Upgrade to a Chase Sapphire Reserve after 1 year (compare Reserve vs Preferred)
  • $95 annual fee waived for military and spouses with Chase Military Lending Act
capital one venture card for us military with scra
  • Learn how to apply for this card here
  • 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening (at least $600 of value)
  • 2x miles on all purchases
  • $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
Chase Sapphire PreferredCapital One Venture (learn how to apply)
Airfare2x points2x points
Everything else1x2x
Rewards ProgramUltimate Rewards, very flexibleNot as flexible
Transfer to airline partners2 UR points = 2 miles2 Venture miles = 1.5 airline miles

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a HUGE welcome bonus. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee is waived for military. The CSP can also be upgraded to the Chase Sapphire Reserve after 1 year.

Chase waives the CSP's $95 annual fee under their Chase Military policy.

Personally I would get a Chase Sapphire Preferred and then upgrade to a Reserve first before I got a Capital One Venture card.

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 Quicksilver Cash Rewards

best cash back credit cards for military
  • Learn how to apply for this card HERE
  • $200 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 Flex and Chase 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 or Freedom Flex 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.

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Annual fee of $695 waived for US military personnel and spouses (rates and fees)
  • Best Ever Public Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $2000+) when you spend $6000 in the first 6 months
  • Earn 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US up to $25,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 250,000 points potentially!)
  • Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com up to $500,000 per calendar year
  • Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
  • $200 annual Hotel Credit: Get $200 statement credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or the Hotel Collection booked on Amex Travel and paid for with your Platinum Card
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credits: Up to $20 in monthly statement credits when you use your Platinum card to pay for: Peacock, Audible, Sirius, and the New York Times. Enrollment Required.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on Uber Eats and rides
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at 1 qualifying airline
  • $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards, enrollment required
  • 40 Centurion Lounges and 1200+ Priority Pass airport lounge access for free
  • $179 CLEAR Credit: Get through airport security faster with CLEAR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply

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 10 years and never paid an annual fee on an MLA or SCRA covered credit card. Sign up today and join over 5000 of your fellow military servicemembers who are maximizing their no annual fee credit cards. It goes way beyond just the Amex Platinum!

For full details on Capital One's SCRA policy, read their Frequently Asked Questions. The fastest way of applying for Capital One SCRA benefits is through their online SCRA benefits request form.

capital one scra request for benefits form

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.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.