Capital One Is Buying Discover – Should I Be Concerned?

A serious mid adult woman enters her credit card number while shopping online. Her husband is working in the background.

SDI Productions/ Getty Photos

As a cardholder, I’ve been with Capital One my whole credit score journey. My first bank card was the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit score Card and, after years of reliability and rewards, I added a debit card with them as properly. I’ve by no means had a problem with customer support or the usage of my bank card; on the uncommon events I had smaller points, they had been resolved in a short time. Due to that, I’ve by no means had issues about being a Capital One buyer… till now.

On Feb. 19, 2024, Capital One introduced its acquisition of Uncover Monetary Companies for $35.3 billion in a deal that features Uncover’s line of credit score and debit playing cards, in addition to its fee community. Whereas Capital One CEO Richard Fairbanks is worked up for the enterprise and expects the deal to place the mixed establishment to compete with the nation’s largest banks, I’ve a couple of issues.

Concern #1: Will I lose my debit card if it strikes to Capital One?

To a sure diploma, this query has already been answered, as the corporate has introduced that every one Capital One debit playing cards will finally be switched to Uncover debit playing cards. As a client, I discover this announcement to be considerably off-putting, given my lack of selection in transitioning to a brand new community.

Nevertheless, bank card knowledgeable and Bankrate author Ryan Flanigan, believes this can be an even bigger alternative than non-Uncover clients consider. “Uncover has a greater debit choice, incomes 1 % on purchases,” he says.

The most effective transfer could be to maneuver their debit playing cards to the Uncover community to make the most of this. Nevertheless, the merger may change whether or not these phrases proceed to use, so it bears watching.
— Ryan Flanigan | Bankrate Author

Concern #2: Will I lose my present rewards (or will they alter for the more serious)?

On the subject of bank cards, Uncover has been a standout with its rotating reward setup, wide selection of merchandise and excessive buyer satisfaction, rating towards the highest of J.D. Energy’s U.S. Credit score Card General Buyer Satisfaction Rankings for properly over a decade. However what does this imply for rewards on each Uncover and Capital One? Hopefully, it means enlargement.

“The most effective case situation could be when you may interchangeably mix earnings from each applications,” factors out Flanigan. “Think about the potential of incomes 5 % money again on rotating classes along with your Uncover it® Money Again card after which changing these factors into Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card miles. You may switch these factors to Capital One’s airline companions or use them to erase journey purchases. That’s an amazing worth and offers wonderful symbiosis between the applications.

“The precedent is already in place for a mechanism like this with versatile factors,” he continues. “Chase and Citi already will let you mix factors from one card to a different to maximise your worth. Capital One additionally already helps you to mix money again from a Spark money again card to a Enterprise card, so that will simply must be expanded to incorporate the Uncover playing cards.”

This optimism appears additionally to be shared by Capital One, which highlighted on an investor name the hope that Uncover clients will interact within the Capital One “ecosystem,” together with Capital One Journey, Capital One Procuring and its nationwide financial institution.

Concern #3: Will I lose entry to the advantages of Visa and Mastercard’s networks?

Uncover Community is the smallest of the 4 main networks, falling behind Visa, Mastercard and American Specific. Whereas Capital One states that will probably be working to develop Uncover’s attain with home and worldwide retailers, it is a huge concern as somebody who holds a Capital One journey card.

If my bank card is switched to the Uncover community, it might now not be as dependable because it was when it was related to the Visa community. Not solely may this affect the playing cards’ capacity to work abroad, however it may additionally have an effect on the rewards I’m in a position to earn.

This concern is probably not a significant concern, as Fairbanks proclaims that “Our analysis confirms that clients are very happy with [Discover’s] acceptance. However the notion of acceptance amongst non-customers lags the truth and internationally Uncover nonetheless has room to develop.” He additionally goes on to say that the transition is prone to occur over time, creating hope that the community will develop earlier than the corporate is able to transfer ahead with the change.

The underside line: Is it price being concerned?

Monumental offers like this all the time take time, and this one specifically isn’t trying to shut till late 2024 or early 2025. In keeping with Jonathan Hoddenbagh, an economist at Johns Hopkins College, shoppers like me shouldn’t be involved within the quick time period.

“Uncover and Capital One bank card holders ought to be capable of preserve their playing cards for fairly awhile with none disruptions,” he states. “An acquisition of this measurement and complexity will take many months to get regulatory approval. And if or when the merger goes via, because of its complexity and measurement, it’ll seemingly be a while earlier than any try to consolidate or re-brand the distinct bank card companies of Capital One and Uncover.”

— Jonathan HoddenbaghEconomist at Johns Hopkins Unversity

In fact, there’s additionally the query of whether or not the merger will even be allowed to occur, as federal regulators fear that the transfer may create a monopoly throughout the banking trade. The proposed Credit score Card Competitors Act may additionally have an effect on the end result of the deal, because it goals to cap swipe charges and handle the perceived duopoly of Visa and Mastercard within the card community area.

For me, it is a aid, because it offers me time to guage my funds and take into consideration what I’d like most out of the merger and the way it may have an effect on my monetary targets. With that in thoughts, I’ll be maintaining an in depth eye on the deal’s growth, wanting ahead to its potential advantages — and making a backup plan if there aren’t sufficient.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Table of Contents

Find our article helpful?

Join our newsletter!

Scroll to Top