What is Capital One?

what is Capital One

The Capital One cards are distinguished by their wide range of uses. If you don’t have credit, there are good options for building your credit in the USA and if you have good credit, they have rewards cards that are easy to redeem. Capital One is a brand you have surely heard of or seen in advertisement. To learn more about Capital One, below you will find information on what this financial institution does and what its main products are. 

What is  Capital one?

It operates a number of financial institutions including credit cards, auto loans, banking, and savings accounts. Capital One is based in McLean, Virginia. It operates mostly in the United States. 

Thanks to its reputation as a technologically advanced bank, Capital One is among the largest banks in the United States. Capital One operates more than 2,000 ATMs nationwide. On the Fortune 500 list, it is ranked 97th and on the Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, it is ranked 17th.  

The United States, Canada, and the UK are all serviced by the company. An interesting fact about this company is that it was a pioneer in mass-commercializing credit cards in the 1990s. After American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, it was the fifth largest issuer of credit cards by purchase volume in 2016.

Capital One has a 5% market share and is the second largest auto finance company in the United States, after Ally Financial.

Keep Reading: How to build your Business Credit

A Brief History of Capital one

Capital One has acquired other financial services companies throughout the years to expand its presence in the US market and rank among the top 15 banks.

In 2007, Netspend was acquired, and in 2009 Chevy Chase Bank was acquired. The Hudson’s Bay Company’s private credit card portfolio was acquired from Synchrony Financial in 2011. In the same year, it acquired ING Direct for 9 billion dollars, one of its most important acquisitions.

A price tracking service, Paribus, was acquired by Capital One in October 2016 for an amount that is unknown. With the purchase of Wikibuy in November 2018 and the agreement with Walmart in July 2019, Capital One will manage Walmart’s private label and co-branded credit card programs, previously managed by Synchrony Financial.

Several innovative strategies were used by Capital One to maintain growth and gain market share. Although at the time they seemed strange, these market capture mechanisms marked an important turnaround.

The cards could be designed by cardholders themselves, for instance. They were motivated to spend more when their football team or university logo appeared on their cards. MasterCard (MA) or Visa (V) logos couldn’t accomplish that.

Keep reading: What types of bank accounts exists in the United states?

Financial status of Capital One

Fiscal 2019 net income for Capital One came to $ 28.6 billion. The company has made a slight increase over last year, when it made $ 28.1 billion. Despite the fact that credit cards are incredibly profitable, non-interest expenses were under $ 15.5 billion in 2019.

Compared to the income Capital One generates from its modest but powerful credit cards, everything it invests in promotion, advertising, and marketing is nothing. 

Consumers Banking situation

Capital One’s credit card business continues to benefit greatly from consumer banking. Last year, $ 7.4 billion was generated from this segment, an impressive amount in terms of absolute revenue. 

It appears that Capital One has reached its limits, like many other large companies and financial institutions. But why? A number of financial firms have grown, perhaps. 

PayPal (PYPL) is an example of a non-banking company. They are located online or through their mobile applications and do not have a physical location, which gives them an advantage over banks like Capital One. As they don’t have the same costs as traditional financial institutions, they can offer more incentives and rates. Customers will find them more profitable.

What types of services offers Capital One?

Having a wide network of free ATMs and physical branches makes this bank ideal for people looking for a complete online banking service. 

People who want a complete online banking service and access to physical branches will find this bank ideal. There are ATMs available free of charge and a wide network of ATMs.

If you want the highest interest rates, this is not the best bank for you.

Capital One’s business is divided into three segments. They are, in descending order of size:

  • Credit Cards: Capital One is one of the largest credit card companies in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Most of the company’s cards are reward cards, including Visa and Mastercard.
  • Banking for Consumers : Providing day-to-day banking services to individuals and small and midsize businesses, including checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, and money market accounts. Capital One 360 also features this service.
  • Business banking: Commercial clients are served by this segment with banking, lending, and real estate and investment services.

Keep Reading: What is a high yield savings accounts in the United States?

Support for customers

You’ll have fewer branches with Capital One, but you’ll get something more relevant: a bank with state-of-the-art digital banking. Amazon’s Alexa was first introduced to the United States by Capital One. With this service, you can perform voice searches to find information, for example, your bank account balance.

In the Android and iOS app stores, the bank’s web interface and mobile application receive high ratings. Those who need assistance can also contact the bank or visit a branch.

Some states have physical Capital One branches. Besides opening accounts, clients can also deposit money, have coffee, and socialize at Capital One Cafes. The bank also offers free financial training and events for account holders.


Besides being one of the most popular online banks, Capital One Bank offers access to its branches in some regions.


  • You will have access to Capital One branches if you live in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Louisiana or Texas. Capital One is a hybrid financial institution that provides online banking services. It also has cafes in certain locations.
  • With a checking account, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and with a savings account, there are no minimum balance requirements.
  • Over 39,000 ATMs are available for free.
  • There is a very functional mobile banking application.


  • Compared with the best APYs available nationwide, the rates paid by a large bank are not as competitive.
  • In the case of customers who do not replace overdrawn amounts within a reasonable time period and enrol in their overdraft protection program, an overdraft fee of $35 per transaction is charged.
  • You won’t have access to bank branches if you live outside the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, Louisiana, or Texas.

What do Capital one cards exceptionally good at?

Capital One’s rewards program offers one of the easiest ways to earn and redeem points.

With the cashback program, you can easily redeem points or you can set up your account to automatically redeem points. Paying your credit card, writing checks, buying gift cards, or making donations are all possible ways to use your cashback.

With a travel card, you’ll be able to pay for flights, hotel stays, even Airbnb and Uber – plus you can transfer your rewards between cards.

Additionally, there are the following advantages:

  • 24/7 security alerts
  • Upon making 5 monthly payments, your credit line will increase
  • Customize the payment date and method for your accounts
  • Set up autopay to pay your cards automatically
  • Added authorized users
  • Transferring debt from other credit cards
  • 24-hour customer service

Capital one card best value at a glance:

  •   The investment does not have an annuity
  •   No over-limit fee
  •   Price protection for 90 days after purchase, up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year

Capital One is the 11th largest bank in the US. The bank is best known for its credit cards, but they also offer current and savings accounts, personal and business loans, and investment management. Hope the above information helps you to know about what is capital one? Benefits and drawbacks of the  Capital One. We welcome your comments about Capital One!!