If you’re new to the United States, you were probably surprised to find out that your credit history didn’t follow you here. That’s where the Capital One Cash Rewards for Newcomers Credit Card comes in. This credit card was created to help newcomers establish a credit history in America.
Capital One reports your payment history to all three major credit bureaus, which is essential to building credit. So if you use this card responsibly, this is an awesome opportunity to build a good credit history here.
You know what I like about Cap One credit cards? The rewards programs are simple. I don’t need any strong beverages (coffee, tea, tequila shots) to get through the fine print.
You get 2 percent cash back on travel purchases, so when you travel overseas, you get to earn rewards. In addition, you get 1 percent cash back on everything else. You can redeem rewards for a check, a statement credit, or a gift card. There are no limits to the rewards you can earn and they never expire.
Rates and fees
Well, no card is perfect. While I love the purpose of this card and the fact that you get rewards, the interest rate is pretty high. But as I’ve mentioned before, when you have limited (or bad) credit and you’re stuck with a high interest rate, just don’t carry a balance. Use this card to build credit and pay your balance off during the grace period.
APR: You get a variable rate of 24.9 percent.
Balance transfers: The balance transfer APR is a variable 24.9 percent. There’s no transfer fee, which is nice. But this is not a good card for a balance transfer unless you’re already paying an interest rate higher than 24.9 percent.
APR for cash advances: You get a variable 24.9 percent. The transaction fee is 3 percent. Interest on a cash advance starts ticking right away, so don’t get a cash advance. Just don’t.
Credit limit: The minimum credit line is $300.
Annual fee: There’s no annual fee, which is unusual for a card that targets the limited credit market.
Foreign transaction fees: None, which is awesome, especially if you’ll be traveling overseas frequently.
The bottom line
The Capital One Cash Rewards for Newcomers is an excellent credit card for those trying to establish a good credit history. I’m giving this card a “thumbs up” and I hope it helps a lot of you who have decided to make America your new home.
If you want to learn more about managing money and credit cards, check out the free MoneyWi$e guide, which is the result of a partnership between Capital One and Consumer Action. The guide is bilingual, interactive, and very informative.
I’ve asked my contact at Cap One if this card is available to anyone who has bad credit or if it’s only for those who are new to the country. I’ve seen comments from people on the Internet who say they’ve gotten this card even though they aren’t newcomers. I’ll let you know what the verdict is when I get the official word from Cap One.
Update: Just got word from Cap One that anyone can apply for this card. So even if you aren’t new to the country, if you have limited or bad credit, you can apply for it. I was glad to be able to confirm this because there aren’t a lot of great choices for those with less-than-perfect credit.
Note: Credit card agreements change frequently. So my review is based on the information that was in effect today. Be sure you read all the disclosure statements carefully.