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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards vs Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

4 min read
By Brendan Harkness Jan 18, 2016 | Updated Jan 14, 2021

This is a review and comparison of two popular cash back credit cards: the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review).

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 Flex card offers 5% cash back on different types of purchases throughout the year, along with extra 5% and 3% categories. 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

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Min. credit levelGood
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99% - 23.74% Variable

The Rewards

Quicksilver Cash Rewards

This card offers:

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make
  • $200 for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening

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

Chase Freedom Flex

You’ll get:

  • 5% cash back on:
    • Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories, up to $1,500 in spending each quarter, then 1%
  • 3% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Drugstores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months

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

Quarter 2020 Categories 2021 Categories
January – March
  • Gas Stations
  • Streaming Services
  • Internet, Cable, Phone Services
  • Wholesale Clubs
  • Internet
  • Cable/Phone Services
  • Select Streaming Services
April – June
  • Grocery Stores
  • Streaming Services
  • Fitness Club & Gym Memberships
  • TBA
July – September
  • Amazon
  • Whole Foods
  • TBA
October – December
  • Walmart
  • PayPal
  • 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 Flex has rotating reward categories, along with some other 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 Flex card and keep an eye on the categories to get 3% or 5% back.

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 Flex 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 – 18 month BT offer (Review). It’s very similar to the Quicksilver card, but provides 2% back instead of 1.5% (1% for purchases, 1% for payments; must pay the minimum due to earn rewards).

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 Flex


  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • DoorDash Membership


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


  • Zero-liability Protection
  • Zero-liability Protection
  • Cell Phone Protection


  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection


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

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 Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Quicksilver Cash Rewards $0 0% for 15 months, then 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)  25.49% (Variable) None
Chase Freedom Flex $0 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable  14.99% - 23.74% Variable 24.99% Variable 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Quicksilver Cash Rewards None Up to $40 None
Chase Freedom Flex None See Terms See Terms

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 Flex 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 Credit Card (Review) and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review) 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 3% and 5% cash back categories for the Freedom Flex 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 Flex 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 – 18 month BT offer (Review). 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? Leave your own review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card or Freedom Flex below.

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