Which is better? Capital One vs. Bank of America

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Bank of America and Capital One are two of the biggest names in the credit and banking industry. Whether you're looking for rewards, cashback, or standard, everyday credit cards, at some point in your research, you'll likely be pitting these two industry behemoths against each other. Both companies offer a wide variety of cards—from basic lines of credit to cards with travel rewards and cashback benefits, so it stands to reason that you can find a card to suit your needs from one or the other. Let's break down the pros and cons:

Capital One's arsenal of cards include rewards and cashback options that are some of the most appealing on the market. The Capital One Venture card, for instance, doesn't split rewards into confusing categories, instead offering cardholders the same accumulation of miles on every purchase. And the Capital One Quicksilver card treats cashback similarly, with no heavier weight on any one purchase over another. With Capital One, there is also a range of options for people with all sorts of needs, from all sorts of backgrounds—even folks with less than stellar credit histories. For example, Capital One's QuicksilverOne and Platinum cards only require an average credit rating for approval. And the Capital One Secured Mastercard is a solid option for folks with poor credit history—or even none at all.

However, if you don't tend to use your credit card for everyday purchases, you don't travel abroad frequently, or you would look for better interest rates over a more beneficial rewards opportunity, Capital One might not be the best card issuer for you.

Bank of America's card fleet includes padded bonuses for customers who already have checking or savings accounts with the company. Its tiered cashback system—Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors—can really reward cardholders with extra cash back. By meeting the required minimum balance thresholds in banking accounts with Bank of America and/or investment accounts with Merril Edge or Merril Lynch, loyal customers can really take advantage with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card or the Bank of America Preferred Rewards card.

Unfortunately, Bank of America's card options are really only super attractive to loyal BoA customers. And even those folks have to be sure to hit a significant balance threshold before big time bonuses and rewards come into play.

With all of this under consideration, Capital One's blend of enticing rewards packages that appeal to a wider variety of consumers—with no real bearing on existing loyalty to the company—make it the better option for most people looking for a credit card to suit their everyday needs.