Many of the cash back rewards cards on the market today couch their benefits in flowery language that makes it difficult to understand the true nature of the rewards. The Capital One Cash Rewards card is a more straight-forward option. Here are a few of the benefits and negative aspects of this credit card.

Benefits

  • Cash back reward is simple…one percent on everything you purchase with the card.
  • You earn a $100 cash bonus after spending $500 with the card during the first three months.
  • As an added bonus, you earn an additional 50 percent at the end of each year. At the end of each year you earn 50 percent of the cash back rewards you acquired during the previous year. So, effectively, you get 1.5 percent cash back, just not all at once.
  • Capital One dropped the traditional annual fee for this card. This card is offered sans foreign transaction fees as well.
  • The introductory rate for this card is zero percent on purchases and balance transfers through 2013.
  • The card features Visa Signature Benefits. These benefits include 24/7 concierge service, travel upgrades, $0 fraud liability, auto rental insurance, and travel accident insurance among others.

Down Side

  • Many of the most popular cash back rewards cards offer various levels of rewards on certain purchases; one percent on gas, two percent on groceries, etc. This card only offers a flat one percent.
  • This card requires excellent credit. That means everyone with a credit score under 750 need not apply. If your credit score is that good, there are cards offering better cash back rewards than this one.
  • Most cash back cards are offering free balance transfers. This one hits you with a three percent transfer fee.

The bottom line seems to be that this is a poorly conceived card that doesn’t make sense for, well, anybody.