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

I will show you how to get your 1st $550 annual fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards course
The Amex Gold card is annual fee waived for military. It's even better than the Amex Platinum for everyday spending on dining and groceries.

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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.

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 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:

Best Credit CardsLinkWelcome BonusBest Benefits1st Year Annual Fee
Capital One Venture RewardsLearn How to Apply50,000 pointsTransfer to airline partners$0
Capital One Quicksilver Cash RewardsLearn How to Apply$2001.5% 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
  • 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening (at least $500 of value)
  • 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

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
  • Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Best Ever Offer: Earn 80,000 (!) Chase Ultimate after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • Plus, earn up to a $50 credit towards grocery store purchases
  • 2x points on travel and dining (includes takeout, delivery, and dine-in)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Primary rental car insurance coverage
  • 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
  • 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months of account opening (at least $500 of value)
  • 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
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 60,000 point welcome bonus after you spend $4000 in the first 3 months after opening the card. 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.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

best cash back credit cards for military
  • 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 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.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

capital one savor card for us military scra
  • 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

You can compare the Capital One Savor to the Chase Freedom Flex card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited on my best cash back credit cards for US military page.

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!

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum
  • American Express Platinum Card – learn how to apply
  • Annual fee of $550 waived for US military personnel and spouses
  • 75,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $1500) when you spend $5000 in the first 6 months
  • 10x points at US Gas Stations and US Supermarkets (OCONUS Commissaries are US supermarkets) up to $15,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 150,000 points potentially!)
  • 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels at
  • $200 annual Uber or UberEats credit (free taxi or food) + VIP Uber Status
  • $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards
  • Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounge access for free + guest
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military

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.

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