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Cookies and online marketing

We don’t mean the edible kind

At Capital One we want our internet services to be reliable, useful, and easy to use. To help us improve our websites and provide you with relevant advertising and useful functionality, we use cookies, web beacons and other similar technologies across our sites. This means we sometimes place or access small bits of information on your device, including computers, smartphones, or tablets.

So you can understand more about how cookies work, this page will tell you:

  • What cookies, web beacons and other similar technologies are
  • How we use cookies
  • How to manage your cookies

What are cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies?

When websites talk about cookies, they’re not talking about the edible kind.

Cookies are small text files (typically made up of letters and numbers) placed in the memory of your browser or device when you visit a website or view an email. Cookies allow a website to recognise a particular device or browser during a visit and on subsequent visits.

There are two main types of cookie

  • Session cookies are only active during the time you’re viewing a particular website. They recognise your device as you move between pages, and are often used to keep you logged in when you move from page to page on a website.
  • Persistent cookies remain active on your device for a set period of time. They can be used for things like remembering you for your next visit and recognising you when you return to a website. They are very useful for remembering your username.

As well as cookies, websites use other similar technology including web beacons. When we talk about cookies in this policy we also mean these technologies that act in the same way. For clarity:

  • Web beacons are small graphic images (also known as "pixel tags" or "clear GIFs") that may be included on sites, services, applications, messaging, and tools, that typically work in conjunction with cookies to identify your behaviour.
  • Other similar technologies can communicate information directly from our server to a third party server, or can store information in your browser or device utilising local shared objects or local storage such as flash cookies, HTML 5 cookies, and other web application software methods. These technologies can operate across all of your browsers, and in some instances may not be fully managed by your browser and may require management directly through your installed applications or device.

Who uses cookies?

The source of each cookie can vary. Some cookies are owned and created by the website you’re viewing at the time - we call these first-party cookies. Others can be supplied by an independent company and are known as third-party cookies.

How we use cookies

We include both Session and Persistent Cookies on our Capital One websites, and use both our own (first party) and partners’ (third party) cookies.

Cookies themselves do not store personally identifiable information.

There are four kinds of cookies:

Strictly Necessary

As their name suggests, Strictly Necessary Cookies are essential for our websites to work properly. For example, our session cookie remembers the journey through the Capital One site so you get the right application form for the card you want.

If you disable these cookies in your browser, certain areas of our site will no longer work. It also means we can’t protect your security during certain processes, like when you apply for a credit card.

Here are some examples of how we use Strictly Necessary Cookies:

  • Enable you to apply for a credit card and use our eligibility checking tool
  • To help keep your information secure
  • To make secure payments to your credit card when you use Online Account Services
  • Enable us to pay our partners for advertising a Capital One product


These cookies are used to help us improve our services and our website. They gather information about how you use our site; including which pages you visit and which areas you click on.

They also allow us to test new pages and evaluate their effectiveness, making sure we deliver the most relevant information to you and helping us design a better experience.

Some examples of what Performance Cookies do:

  • Provide statistics on website usage
  • Help us improve the website by identifying errors
  • Help us test different website designs
  • Personalise our website to meet your individual needs

If you disable Performance Cookies in your browser you may find we are unable to optimise our website or provide as relevant content as we otherwise may have been able to.


These cookies help make our site easier to use by remembering the choices you make. For example we may store a cookie on your device to remember your username each time you login.

If you use Online Account Services, we’ll use a cookie to remember that and we may choose to show you different information when you visit our website that we believe is more relevant to you.

Some examples of what Functionality Cookies do:

  • Remember your username
  • Identify that you are a Capital One customer

You can choose to not to allow these cookies, but you will then find you can’t use some of the helpful features we have available on our websites. You can enable or disable individual cookies through the internet browser on your device, or where we provide a tick box to certain features, e.g. remembering your user name, simply do not tick the box if you do not want cookies to be used.

Targeting & Advertising

We sometimes partner with third parties to deliver more relevant advertisements and to compile web statistics. These third parties may use cookies, web beacons and other tracking technology to monitor your visits to both Capital One and other websites. They monitor your online behaviour and identify website usage, helping advertisers show you advertising and content that is more relevant to you. This is also known as behavioural advertising. We only use trusted behavioural advertising partners who display the adchoices logo which means you are able to opt out of seeing behavioural advertising from them. Just so you know, these third parties will have their own privacy policies and they may be different from ours.

Some examples of what Targeting and Advertising Cookies do:

  • Provide advertisers with information about your visit to our websites so they can show you advertising that is relevant to you.
  • Help measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.
  • Help us to improve the targeting of our advertising by excluding recent applicants and customers from adverts or identifying audiences who are more likely to respond

We work with a few different suppliers and may tell them about your activity on our website. This is so they can show relevant ads. These suppliers are:

  • Amazon
  • DoubleClick Manager
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Yahoo
  • Passendo
  • TikTok

We also partner with Tealium. Just like with the suppliers above, we may tell them about your activity on our website. The only difference is they then share this info with our marketing partners (like Facebook) to help improve our advertising.

Using targeting and advertising cookies, we collect information like email addresses, names and telephone numbers, then share this with the suppliers listed above. We do this to make sure you don’t see ads that aren’t relevant to you. We also use this info to identify groups of similar audiences to target for advertising purposes.

Disabling Targeting and Advertising Cookies on our websites doesn’t mean that you will not see any Capital One advertising on the internet, but it may mean that the advertising you do see will not be tailored to your likely interests or preferences. If you would like to know more about Targeting and Advertising cookies, opting out or altering other advertising cookies from across the web, visit Your Online Choicesopens in a new tab. Here you can also set your online behavioural advertising preferences as a whole or for individual companies.

Managing cookie preference

You can manage your cookie preferences for our sites at any time at our cookie portal.

You can also control how cookies are placed on your device and remove existing cookies using your web browser settings.

You can find out how to do this on your browser’s website, by using a search engine to search for how to change the privacy policy in your specific browser or by checking the instructions/preference settings within the browser. Generally this setting is within the privacy section. For mobile devices these may be within the browser app settings. Up-to-date browsers give you the option to accept or decline cookies as a global setting that applies to every website you visit with some allowing you to manage sites individually.