Credit card review: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Aug 6, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.


Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Overview

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good card for those who prefer to keep their earnings simple. This card has a flat-rate earning of 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is easily redeemable and requires no minimum. However, the Quicksilver rewards aren’t quite as flexible as its competitors, so if you plan to expand your portfolio at some point then you may want to consider a different card. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card may slightly outpace the perks of other cash-back cards with its sign-up bonus and no annual fee, but it also requires an excellent credit rating from its applicants and has other weaknesses. Although Quicksilver’s simple earning structure and lack of an annual fee may be appealing, its cash-back return isn’t market-leading and can’t be turned into more valuable travel rewards points like other entry-level cards. Let’s dive into the details.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

The Capital One Quicksilver is best for people who use one card for everything because it has a flat earning rate. If you don’t use bonus spending categories like dining, entertainment and groceries, or you prefer not to juggle cards when you’re out and about, then you should at least be earning more than 1% cash back on all spending. However, you can likely improve on the Quicksilver’s earning rate, as we’ll see shortly.

Sign-up bonus

Capital One is currently offering Quicksilver Cash Rewards cardholders a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 within the first three months. That’s typical for cash-back cards with no annual fee, and it has the advantage of a low spending requirement that most people should be able to meet without sweating. But as compared to the best travel credit cards, which can offer sign-up bonuses worth thousands of dollars, this $200 is just some extra cash in your pocket.

Main benefits and perks

hertz-presidents-circle-cars-washington-dulles-iad-airport-2019
Hertz President’s Circle at Washington-Dulles airport (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The Capital One Quicksilver isn’t the card to get if you want perks like lounge access or travel credits, which are more often included with premium credit cards. However, the Quicksilver does include some benefits, such as no foreign transaction fees. That’s a perk that, while now nearly universal on credit cards with annual fees, is a little rarer on no-annual-fee cards. Other benefits include:

  • 24-hour travel assistance services if your credit card is lost or stolen
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Concierge service
  • Exclusive culinary experiences, sports and music events through Capital One Access

How to earn cash back

Paying with a debit card is essentially just paying with cash - you won't reap any of the same benefits as you would by paying with a credit card. (Photo by dolgachov/Getty Images)
Paying with a debit card is essentially just paying with cash – you won’t reap any of the same benefits as you would by paying with a credit card. (Photo by dolgachov/Getty Images)

There’s nothing special when it comes to earning cash back on the Capital One Quicksilver, merely a flat 1.5% on all purchases with no bonus categories. If you don’t have one category of high spending, then it’s fine to earn the same amount on all purchases. However, if you make a great number of purchases each month in one particular category — such as dining or groceries — then you’ll likely want to consider a card that has that as a higher bonus category.

Related reading: The best credit cards for dining rewards

How to redeem cash back

You can redeem cash back earned on the Capital One Quicksilver as a statement credit, check or gift card, or you can apply it directly to something you already bought using the “purchase eraser” feature. There’s also no minimum redemption amount — all you have to do is sign in to your account via the app or your computer and simply select your preference. This is similar to many cash-back cards, but it’s nowhere near as flexible as the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which also earns 1.5% cash back but can be turned into Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to premium Chase cards — the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred — and turned into valuable travel rewards.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

What cards Compete with the Quicksilver?

The Capital One Quicksilver is similar to its sister card, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which also earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The main differences are that the QuicksilverOne is for those with limited or average credit, and it comes with a $39 annual fee and no sign-up bonus. Beyond that, the perks and cash back are essentially identical. So if you have a credit rating high enough to qualify for the Quicksilver card, that’s the better choice between the two.     

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

However, when it comes to earning cash back, even if you’re looking for a card with a flat earning rate on all purchases, you’ll definitely do better with the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns 2% on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay) and also has no annual fee.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to try out bonus categories, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases (plus limited time bonus categories such as streaming and Uber Eats), which might make sense depending on your spending habits. And the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants), while earning only 1% cash back on most purchases, also offers 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 in spending each quarter.

Finally, as noted earlier, if you’re going to go with a 1.5% cash back card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited also has no annual fee and earns the same amount in cash back, but as part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem, has much greater potential and upside when it comes to redeeming that cash back. Just pair the Freedom Unlimited with a premium Chase card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and you can turn your cash back into transferable airline and hotel points, which could easily double the value of what you earned from the card.

The information for the Capital One QuicksilverOne, Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Best Cash-Back Credit Cards

Bottom Line

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a standard amount of cash back for its category and a decent sign-up bonus. However, there are other cash-back cards that offer more generous earnings, and yet other cards that feature more flexible ways to redeem your rewards for greater value. The only reason to pick the Quicksilver over other cash back credit cards is if you value the $200 sign-up bonus. Otherwise, you’ll probably do better looking elsewhere.

Additional reporting by Liz Hund

Featured photo by The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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