When you compare Capital One vs. Wells Fargo, you’ll find that Wells Fargo is the 2nd largest bank in the U.S. by total assets but offers only a few credit cards, while Capital One is the 11th largest bank and offers a wide variety of cards for every credit score. Wells Fargo also has branches in foreign countries that its corporate customers can use, while Capital One doesn’t have any.
When it comes to credit cards, Capital One offers a range of cards with travel rewards, cash back and 0% financing for people of all credit levels. Wells Fargo has a few stand-out cards but lacks a deep bench. Both issuers do offer secured cards for people with bad credit.
Below, you can see how Capital One and Wells Fargo stack up against one another in various categories.
Capital One vs. Wells Fargo by Category:
U.S. Rank by Total Assets: Wells Fargo (2nd) is larger than Capital One (11th).
Number of cardholders: Wells Fargo has over 23 million vs. Capital One’s over 45 million
Foreign locations: Wells Fargo has locations in over 40 countries outside the U.S., but they are only accessible by corporate customers. Capital One has no branches abroad.
Number of Branches: Wells Fargo (5,800 in 42 states + D.C.) has more branches than Capital One (755 in 8 states + D.C.).
Products Offered: Both Capital One and Wells Fargo offer credit cards, deposit accounts, auto loans, mortgages and commercial banking. Wells Fargo also offers student loans, wholesale banking, investment services and equipment lending.
Credit score distribution for credit cards: 34% of Capital One’s cardholders have a credit score of 660 or below. 18% of Wells Fargo’s cardholders have a credit score below 640.
Best Travel Rewards Card: Capital One Venture vs. Wells Fargo Propel – Venture wins because it offers 2 miles per $1 on all purchases and an initial bonus worth $500. Propel offers 3 miles per $1 on select purchases but 1 on everything else, along with a bonus worth $300.
0% APR on purchases: Wells Fargo Platinum Visa vs. Capital One Quicksilver – Platinum Visa wins because it has 0% for 18 months compared to Quicksilver’s 15 months.
0% APR on balance transfers: Wells Fargo Platinum Visa vs. Capital One Quicksilver – Platinum Visa wins because it offers 0% for 18 months (3% fee), while Quicksilver offers 0% for 15 months (3% fee).
No annual fee: Capital One Quicksilver vs. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa – The two cards tie. Quicksilver offers 1.5% cash back, a $150 bonus and 0% for 15 months on purchases and transfers. Cash Wise Visa has 1.5% cash back, a $200 bonus and 0% for 12 months.
Secured card: Capital One Secured vs. Wells Fargo Secured. Capital One Secured wins because it doesn’t charge an annual fee and you may be able to get a credit line bigger than your deposit. Wells Fargo Secured charges $25 per year, but it does allow you to deposit up to $10,000 (compared to $2,000 for Capital One).
Fair credit: The best Capital One card for fair credit, QuicksilverOne, offers unlimited 1.5% on all purchases and costs $39 per year. Wells Fargo doesn’t have a card for fair credit.
- Students: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One offers 1% cash back on all purchases, with 1.25% if you pay on time. It also has no annual fee. Wells Fargo doesn’t have a card for students.
There are a number of other ways you can compare Capital One vs. Wells Fargo. The two differ in a lot of important areas, ranging from customer service to bank accounts.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the key comparisons within the comparison.
Capital One vs. Wells Fargo: Credit Cards
Capital One has a much better variety of credit cards than Wells Fargo does, despite Wells Fargo being the bigger bank. Wells Fargo’s cards are mainly focused on everyday spending and financing. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa and Propel Amex both offer 0% for 12 months, while the Platinum Visa gives 0% for 18 months. You can choose between 1.5% cash back or 1-3 points in rewards.
Capital One offers one of the best travel cards on the market with Venture’s 50,000 bonus miles and 2 miles per $1 on all purchases. For everyday purchases, you can get 1.5% cash back with Quicksilver. There’s even Capital One Savor, which gives bonuses on dining. And Capital One caters to people with fair credit and students with QuicksilverOne and Journey Student Rewards.
Capital One vs. Wells Fargo: Bank Accounts
You can easily get a checking, savings, money market account or commercial bank account with either Capital One or Wells Fargo. Capital One’s interest-earning checking account, 360 Checking, offers a higher interest rate (0.20% - 1.00% APY) than any Wells Fargo checking product (0.01% - 0.05% APY). And Wells Fargo requires a $1,500 minimum balance for no fees on their Value checking account, while Capital One 360 has no fees regardless of balance.
Capital One vs. Wells Fargo: Loans
Capital One offers auto loans and mortgages, along with personal loans. Wells Fargo offers all those products, plus student loans. They also have an equipment lending division which provides loans for things like computers, heavy machinery, manufacturing equipment and aircraft. And there are a lot more Wells Fargo branches you can visit if you want to get a loan in person.
Capital One vs. Wells Fargo: Customer Service
According to a study conducted by JD Power and Associates, Capital One has slightly higher customer satisfaction than Wells Fargo. It received a score of 790 compared to Wells Fargo’s 788. For reference, in first place is Discover with an 827.
That being said, Capital One credit card customers made a lot more complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau between 2012 and 2016 than Wells Fargo’s customers, with 11,000 to 3,000.
So while Wells Fargo certainly has the edge in size and scope, Capital One has a wider range of credit cards available.
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