So this is pretty cool.

Capital One has a new website -- www.capitalonecardlab.com -- that allows you to design your own card in three easy steps: "Tell us your credit level, choose features and rewards, pick your favorite design, review and apply online".

According to Capital One's press release announcing the new site:

The Capital One Card Lab offers a whole new level of transparency for consumers, who will be able to see in real-time the trade-offs that are necessary to create the card that works for them. As choices are made, the tool narrows the options in the remaining categories, eliminating options that don't work together. For example, consumers who are willing to pay an annual fee can earn rewards faster. The Capital One Card Lab also provides an education in key account terms. Customers will see the definitions of key terms as they go, helping them fully understand the choices they make. As a final step, customers can choose their plastic design, and later this year, will be able to upload their own image onto the card.


It's entirely possible that you'll be able to find a better deal with another company but, for helping a young person get their first credit card, I think this site is hard to beat as a teaching tool. As they select features and watch other features disappear from the list of options (e.g. click "No annual fee" and watch the low-interest rate options disappear), they'll learn about how credit works. For instance, if they make a commitment to paying off their entire balance every month, they can go with a high-interest rate that they'll never end up paying, and load up on rewards. But if they are irresponsible and carry a balance, they'll need a lower interest rate and may have to pay an annual fee.

Check out the site today -- it's a whole new way to get a credit card, and it will probably be the future of the industry.

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