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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards vs Chase Freedom Credit Card

4 min read
Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Jan 18, 2016 | Updated Mar 27, 2020

This is a review and comparison of two popular cash back credit cards: the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards card and the Chase Freedom card.

These are both rewards cards, but they provide their cash back in very different ways: the Quicksilver card offers a steady 1.5% back on every purchase you make, while the Freedom card offers 5% cash back on different types of purchases throughout the year. Neither one has an annual fee.

Read on to learn if one of these cards might be right for you, or maybe even both.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49% - 25.49% Variable
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securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.


Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 – 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠

The Rewards

Quicksilver Cash Rewards

This card offers:

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make
  • $100 signup bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months

You can redeem the cash back you earn whenever you want, in whatever amount you want.

Chase Freedom

You’ll get:

  • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
  • 5% cash back on purchases in the present category
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $150 sign-up bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months

Here are the current and recent 5% cash back bonus categories:

Quarter 2019 Categories 2020 Categories
January – March
  • Gas Stations
  • Tolls
  • Drugstores
  • Gas Stations
  • Streaming Services
  • Internet, Cable, Phone Services
April – June
  • Grocery Stores
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Fitness Club & Gym Memberships
July – September
  • Gas Stations
  • Streaming Services
TBA
October – December
  • Department Stores
  • PayPal
  • Chase Pay
TBA

Take Note: There are two things to know about the 5% cash back offer:

  1. You’ll need to go online and activate your rewards every 3 months before you will earn the 5% back.
  2. The 5% cash back is limited to $1,500 in purchases every 3 months. After that, 1% cash back is provided.

Chase will also add more retailers to the categories as they approach.

The Verdict

These cards are very different: the Quicksilver Cash Rewards gives 1.5% back for every purchase, while the Chase Freedom has rotating reward categories.

If you’re looking for a very simple card that won’t require much thought, you can use the Quicksilver card no matter where you’re shopping. Or, if you’re looking for better rewards, you can use the Freedom card and keep an eye on the categories to get 5% back.

The signup bonuses are quite similar, with the Freedom card providing $75 more if you take advantage of both offers. This is a pretty small difference overall.

If you’re a frequent Uber user, the Quicksilver card could be worth getting for the 20% discount alone. This is a very significant discount, much more than you’ll usually find on credit cards.

Since these cards offer different types of rewards, it could make a lot of sense to own both of them. You could use the Freedom card whenever you’ll get the 5% back, and the Quicksilver for every other purchase.

If you’re going to go for a strategy like that, you may want to take a look at the Citi® Double Cash card. It’s very similar to the Quicksilver card, but provides 2% back instead of 1.5%.

Insider tip

Worried about having too many credit cards? Rather than a problem, this can actually be a very good thing. Click here to watch our Q&A Video: Is There A Reason To Carry Multiple Credit Cards?

The Benefits

Here’s an overview of the benefits offered by each card:

Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Chase Freedom

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • DoorDash Membership

Account

  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Financial Tools and Tips
  • Capital One Credit Wise
  • Capital One Second LookSM
  • Personalized Payment Due Date

Security

  • Zero-liability Protection
  • Zero-liability Protection

Shopping

  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection

Travel

  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Potentially more
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Roadside Dispatch/Roadside Assistance

The Verdict

The benefits provided by each card are somewhat comparable. They both offer most of the standard benefits you find on many credit cards, like the shopping and traveling protections.

The concierge is also a great feature to have. It’s like your own personal assistant, and you can call anytime for non-emergency help with almost anything you need.

The exact benefits you receive may differ from what you read online. You’ll need to check your Guide to Benefits, which arrives with your card, to learn what benefits are available to you.

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Quicksilver Cash Rewards $0 0% for 15 months  15.49% - 25.49% Variable  25.49% Variable None
Chase Freedom $0 0% for 15 months  16.49% - 25.24% Variable 26.49% Variable 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Quicksilver Cash Rewards None Up to $39 None
Chase Freedom None Up to $39 Up to $39

The Verdict

Most of the costs and fees for these cards are similar. Neither one has an annual fee, and the regular interest rates are about the same.

Neither card has a penalty APR to worry about, so if you miss a payment you won’t be penalized with an extremely high interest rate.

Take note that the Freedom card has a 3% foreign transaction fee that you’ll pay for purchases made in other currencies. This makes it a poor choice for paying for purchases outside the country.

Insider tip

0% intro APRs are great, but take note that if you make a late or returned payment you could lose it before it officially ends, leaving you with the high penalty APR!

The Bottom Line

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card and the Chase Freedom card are both solid cash back cards, but you’ll need to use them in different ways. Check your spending habits: which one would fit in the best?

The extra benefits are fairly comparable, so take a look at the rewards to make your decision.

Use the Quicksilver for any purchases you need to make, earning 1.5% cash back every time. Or, keep an eye on the 5% cash back categories for the Freedom card, and use it whenever you’ll get the discount.

Remember that you could also use both of these cards together. Just pull out your Freedom card whenever your purchase will earn 5% back, and go for the Quicksilver card for every other purchase. (But if you’re going to consider this strategy, take a look at the Citi Double Cash Card. It offers many of the same benefits as the Quicksilver, but provides 2% cash back)

Do you use one of these cards? How do you like it? Click here to leave your own review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card, or click here to leave a review for the Chase Freedom Card.

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The information related to Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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