Credit Card Review: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
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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.
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.
Capital One is currently offering Quicksilver Cash Rewards cardholders a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 within the first three months. That’s typical for cash-back cards with no annual fee, and 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 $150 is just some extra cash in your pocket.
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 restaurants, then you’ll likely want to consider a card that has a bonus dining category.
Further Reading: The Best Credit Cards for Dining Rewards
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 a recent purchase at anytime. There’s also no minimum redemption amount — all you have to do is sign in to your account via app or computer and simply select your preference. This is similar to many cash back cards, but nowhere near as flexible as the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which also earns 1.5% cash back but in the form of Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to premium Chase cards and turned into valuable travel rewards.
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, like 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
- Car rental insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Extended warranty
- Visa Signature concierge service
- Exclusive culinary experiences, sports and music events
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.
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% when you pay) and also has no annual fee. On the other hand, if you’re willing to get into 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, which might make sense depending on your spending habits. And the Chase Freedom, 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.
Further Reading: Best Cash Back Credit Cards
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 $150 sign-up bonus. Otherwise, you’ll probably do better looking elsewhere.
- One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
- Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees