If one of the goals of credit card marketing is to give customers the illusion of choice and control, then Capital One has just outdone itself with its new Card Lab, where you can construct the card offer you desire from a menu of options. Your available options are determined by which general credit score category you pick: Excellent, Above Average, Needs Improvement, or Limited History. When you select certain options, others go away. At the end, you’ve self-selected the “perfect” offer, and possibly saved yourself from the hundreds of thousands of junk mailings* Capital One would otherwise send to you on a daily basis.
We think there’s a secondary use for the Card Lab—it’s a free teaching tool. Here in one interactive display you can see the relationship between credit categories and interest rates. The credit categories come with their own examples to better help you determine which one you belong to, which is also educational for those new to the world of credit scores. And by watching what offers go away when you select something, you learn which features are considered most valuable by the credit card company.
(*We kid—we know the mailings will continue.)