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The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a simple way to earn some cash back on every purchase. If you want a card for all-around spending it might be right for you.
You’ll get 1.5% cash back on every purchase, without any limits or bonus categories to remember. There’s a welcome bonus of $150 for spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening.
All this comes for no annual fee, and you even get a 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 15.49% - 25.49% Variable. That makes this quite a good deal, giving you a way to earn cash back and enjoy card benefits for free.
The Quicksilver features contactless technology, allowing for quick tap-and-go payments.
This card is designed for good or excellent credit, so you might not be approved if your credit isn’t in that range (a FICO credit score of about 700 or higher). But there are two similar cards from Capital One that are designed for fair, average, or limited credit, and one of them may work for you. There are a few important differences between these cards, though.
|Card||Credit Level||Annual Fee||Rewards|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (This review)||Good or Excellent||$0||
|Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review)||Fair or Average||None||
|Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review)||Fair or Average||$0||
Should you be using the Quicksilver Cash Rewards to earn rewards whenever you shop? Or would a different card be better for you? Read on to learn more and find out.
We give the Quicksilver Cash Rewards 4 out of 5 stars because it can provide flat-rate cash back completely for free, although you can find slightly better rewards programs on other cards.
The Quicksilver Cash Rewards is good for earning a bit of cash back on every purchase, but there could be a better card for you. See a few other general-use cash back credit cards below, some of which offer more rewards.
|Welcome Bonus Offer|
There are no bonus reward categories with this card, just a simple 1.5% back for everything you buy. And that signup bonus is quite easy to earn, which is a better deal than some other cards, like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Review) which requires $1,000 in spending during the first three months to get a $150 cash back introductory bonus.
If you’re sick of trying to remember which card to use for which purchases, the Quicksilver Cash Rewards makes it easy to get some cash back without giving it a second thought.
You can redeem your cash back for a statement credit, whenever you want and for any amount. Cash back won’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
Many credit cards require you to reach a certain amount before you can redeem it, and then you may only be able to do so in certain denominations. So being able to redeem any amount whenever you want is pretty convenient.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review) and Discover it® Cash Back (Review) both let you redeem any amount at any time, too. The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review) requires you wait until you accumulate $25 in cash back, but then you can redeem any amount over that. And the Amex Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred cards are more limited still, making you redeem in increments of $25.
Your card benefits may include the following, along with other protections.
The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes.
Users can see data from their actual TransUnion credit reports for free, which is an interesting feature that most credit card issuers don’t offer. There’s also a credit simulator which will show how certain decisions would impact your credit, for better or worse.
Anyone can enroll in the CreditWise service, cardholder or not. Although the VantageScore credit scoring models aren’t as popular as the FICO scoring models, this is still a good way to track your credit over time and see how it changes based on your financial activity. See some alternatives below for other cards that provide free access to a credit score. Most issuers don’t provide credit report access, like Capital One, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited (Review) is another cash back card with a similar service.
|Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers||Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% intro on purchases for 15 months||15.49% - 25.49% Variable||15.49% - 25.49% Variable||25.49% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0||None||3%||3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $39||None|
This card can be completely free to use because there’s no annual fee. Just pay your statement balance in full each billing period, and interest charges will never accrue on your purchases. That will let you earn cash back at no cost whatsoever.
You can also make good use of the 0% intro rate you’ll get for purchases and balance transfers. That gives you 15 months to pay off purchases at no interest. Or, if you’re being charged interest on a different credit card with a high balance, you can move that balance over here and pay it down without being charged extra. A 3% fee will be charged if you transfer a balance during that time and take advantage of the offer, but after that transfers will have no fee.
If you have a card with a 0% rate you won’t need to pay your statement balance in full to avoid interest. But you’ll still need to make at least the minimum payment every month or you could lose your 0% rate.
There are no foreign transaction fees with this card, making it a good pick to bring with you outside the country. And it’s a Mastercard, so you won’t have trouble finding merchants that accept it. All Capital One cards come with no foreign transaction fee, in fact.
Capital One Cash Advances: What They Are and Why to Avoid Them
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card is a good option if you want to earn some cash back for every purchase, with a nice signup bonus too.
Get 1.5% cash back no matter where you shop, without worrying about bonus categories. And don’t forget to spend enough in the first few months to earn your bonus cash back.
You’ll pay no annual fee for the privilege of getting cash back, and you get a 0% intro rate on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months before the regular 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR starts. It’s not a bad offer at all, but you might find some other cards to be more rewarding. Check out some alternatives to the Quicksilver Cash Rewards card below, with different reward programs and benefits.
You can apply securely on Capital One’s website. Capital One will check your credit with one or all three of the major credit bureaus when you apply.
Most people will get an instant decision, either approved or denied, but in some cases it could take longer. Capital One may request more information from you.
If your credit isn’t good enough for the Capital One Quicksilver card, consider the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review). It’s available to anyone, despite its name. You don’t need to be a student to apply.
This card is meant for people with fair, average, or limited credit (like students). It’s not the most rewarding card but it has no annual fee, so you can use it to improve your credit for free and then go for a better card later.
That’s it, pretty simple. You can expect to get 1.25% cash back, assuming you always pay on time of course. This is not too bad for a card designed for fair or average credit, although there’s no signup bonus.
The Journey Student comes at the basic Mastercard level, so it will have a fairly simple set of protections. They include an Extended Warranty and Travel Accident Insurance, among a couple others.
Other than that, this card also comes with all of the Capital One benefits that you’d get with the Quicksilver Cash Rewards. You’ll have Zero Liability Protection, Security and Account Alerts, you can pick your own due date, etc. And as a cardholder you get easy access to the CreditWise service so you can keep tabs on your credit.
The Journey Student also comes with one benefit that the Quicksilver does not have. If you pay your first 5 monthly payments on time you’ll get access to a higher credit line. This is a handy feature to have on a student card, or any card designed for average credit, because they typically come with credit limits on the low side, like $1,000 or less. So this will increase your spending power and it will be better for your credit utilization.
There’s no annual fee for the Journey Student, and no foreign transaction fees either. It doesn’t come with a 0% introductory APR, like the Quicksilver. Instead your purchases will accrue interest at a fairly high APR of 26.99% Variable, unless you pay off your statement balance in full each billing period.
The Journey Student and the Quicksilver Cash Rewards are similar in several ways, though you’ll earn more cash back with the Quicksilver. The Quicksilver card might come with better benefits, if you get it at a higher Mastercard level.. And it also has the 15-month 0% intro rate on purchases and balances transfers (then 15.49% - 25.49% Variable).
The Quicksilver card is obviously better, but it’s also meant for good or excellent credit. If you’ve been denied for the Quicksilver or other similar cards, , or you’re just starting to build your credit, the Journey Student provides another way to earn cash back for no fee.
Read more in our Review of the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card
1.5% cash back on every purchase is pretty good, but you can get even better than that with the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review). This is the most rewarding general-use cash back card with no annual fee on the market today, and you can see why.
2% back is a decent step up from the 1.5% you’ll get with the Quicksilver Cash Rewards.
You’ll get a pretty similar set of benefits with each of these cards.
The Double Cash doesn’t come with the travel and shopping discounts you’d get with a Quicksilver card, but it does have a decent set of basic protections. Included are Identity Theft Solutions, The Lost Wallet Service, and Zero Liability Protection.
The Citi card offers a personal concierge service, which you’ll usually only find on higher-level cards. So it’s interesting to find this feature built in to the Double Cash.
Citi cardholders can also access offers through the Private Pass, which provides presale and preferred access to tickets in select large cities.
Citi will provide you with your FICO Bankcard Score 8 credit score, based on your Equifax credit report. But it doesn’t provide actual information about your credit report, like the CreditWise tool.
There’s no annual fee for the Citi Double Cash, and it comes with a 0% intro APR for 18 months on Balance Transfers followed by a rate of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable). This doesn’t apply to purchases, just balance transfers. It’s actually one of the longest balance transfer offers you’ll find on a credit card today. Transfers will incur a fee of 3%, however.
Foreign transactions will come with a 3% fee with the Double Cash card, compared to no fee with the Quicksilver. So the right choice for spending outside the country is obvious, although there are some travel rewards cards that would probably suit you better for traveling abroad.
The Double Cash provides more cash back, but it has no signup bonus. It also doesn’t offer a 0% rate for purchases, like you’d get with the Quicksilver. So the right choice for you will depend on which features you want in a credit card: more cash back over a longer time, or a nice signup bonus with a 0% intro rate?
Read more in our Review of the Citi Double Cash Card
This rewards program is almost identical to the Quicksilver Cash Rewards, but it also has that 10% anniversary bonus. That means you’ll be earning the equivalent of 1.65% cash back with this card, after getting the year-end bonus.
So clearly, you’ll be earning 10% more cash back with the HSBC card than the Capital One card. And that’s before you factor in the intro bonus.
The HSBC Cash Rewards comes with a set of protections that is similar to what you’ll get with the Quicksilver. It has MasterRental Insurance (which is a rental collision damage waiver), MasterTrip Travel Assistance, and Price Protection, among several others.
Travelers can also use the Mastercard Airport Concierge to get a 15% discount on airport meet-and-greet services. You can get escorted through the airport, have your luggage taken care of, enjoy expedited check-in and security screening, and many other services.
There’s no annual fee to use the HSBC card, and there are no foreign transaction fees either. That matches the Quicksilver card.
The HSBC card comes with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers. This is a bit shorter than the Quicksilver’s intro period, which lasts 15 months.
These cards are alike in many ways, though you’ll be able to earn a bit more cash back with the HSBC card.
Read more in our Review of the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard
Instead of just 1.5% back for every purchase, the Discover it Cash Back provides 5% back in select categories. And for your first year you’ll get double that, for 10% cash back in the bonus categories and then 2% cash back for every other purchase. So you’ll have quite a bit more earning potential than you would with the Quicksilver, getting at least 2% back for every purchase and sometimes much more.
But you won’t earn unlimited cash back in the 5% categories, unfortunately. Once you reach $1,500 in bonus category spending per quarter you’ll drop to 1% cash back.
The 5% cash back calendar for the Discover it Cash Back for 2020 is:
|Quarter||5% Cash Back Category|
|January – March||Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS|
|April – June||Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft, Wholesale Clubs|
|July – September||Restaurants, PayPal|
|October – December||Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com|
If you find yourself spending in these categories every year, a card like this could be a good way to earn some money back. And for your first year the discount will be pretty significant, at 10% for these category purchases.
Discover cards definitely don’t come with the best benefits, and that became even more true after Discover recently discontinued many of their card protections. You can get Free Social Security Number Alerts, a service that most card issuers don’t offer. Sign up for this service and Discover will send you an alert if it finds your SSN on any of the thousands of risky websites it monitors.
You can monitor your credit score using Discover’s FICO Credit Scorecard. This will show your FICO Score 8, based on your TransUnion credit report. It lets you see some useful data from your TransUnion report too, like your total number of accounts, overall revolving utilization, and the number of missed payments you’ve had. But you won’t be able to check out data from your actual TransUnion credit report, like you can with the CreditWise service. The FICO Credit Scorecard is open to anyone, cardholder or not.
The Discover it Cash Back has no annual fee, and charges no fee when making foreign transactions. It comes with See Terms at See Terms APR for purchases and balance transfers (then See Terms). So these cards are pretty comparable in their terms and fees.
These cards are similar in many ways, but the rewards programs are very different. That actually makes them good cards to pair together. You can use the Discover it Cash Back whenever you’re spending in the bonus categories, to earn 5% back. Then pay with the Quicksilver Cash Rewards for every other purchase to get 1.5% back on non-category spending.
This isn’t a bad strategy. But since Discover will double all the cash back you earn in the first year, you’ll earn 2% back on non-category purchases. So for that first year you should use the Discover it Cash Back for all your spending because you’ll get a better rate than the Quicksilver. But after that first year, the strategy outlined above will be more effective.
Read more in our Review of the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card
Do you use this card? How do you like it? Leave your own review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card below, we’d love to hear from you!
Looking for other rewards credit cards for a similar credit level? Check out our picks for the Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase, a solid introductory bonus, and a fairly long 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers.
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The information related to Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, Discover it® Cash Back, and Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.
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