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

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Jan 18, 2016 | Updated May 20, 2019

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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.


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 purchases in the present category
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $150 sign-up bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • $25 sign-up bonus for adding an authorized user and making a purchase in the first 3 months

Here are the 5% cash back bonus categories from 2018, plus the 2019 categories for the first quarter:

QUARTER 5% CASH BACK CATEGORY
2018: January – March Gas Stations, Internet/Cable/Phone Services, Various Digital Wallets
2018: April – June Grocery Stores, PayPal, Chase Pay
2018: July – September Gas Stations, Lyft, Walgreens
2018: October – December Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs, Chase Pay
2019: January – March  Gas Stations, Tolls, Drugstores

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 are some of the most interesting benefits offered by each card.

Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service

    Call any time to talk to a personal assistant, who can help you in all sorts of non-emergency tasks like finding hard-to-find gifts, making reservations, and getting travel info.

  • Luxury Hotels

    Get benefits at over 900 hotel properties.

  • Movie Discounts

    Get discounts at fandango.com/visasignature

  • Fine Wine & Food

    Special dining and wine experiences.

  • Sports Experiences

    Access to popular sporting events and premiere golf benefits at Pebble Beach Resorts®.

  • Shopping Discounts

    Discounts and special offers at premium retailers, from jewelry to apparel and electronics.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Provides coverage against lost or stolen items within 90 days from the date of purchase.

  • Extended Warranty Protection

    Extends a manufacturer’s warranty at no charge.

Travel

  • Roadside Assistance Hotline

    Assistance with services such as towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery in case of emergency.

  • Travel Assistance Services

    Provides help with travel emergencies, including emergency card replacement or cash advances.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Covers you and your family in the case of physical accidents.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.

  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

    If checked or carry-on bags are lost or damaged, provides reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger.

Chase Freedom

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Purchases are covered for 120 days against theft or damage, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.Extended Warranty Protection

  • Eligible warranties of 3 years or less can be extended by up to an additional year.
  • Return Protection

    If a merchant won’t take back an item within the first 90 days, reimbursement will be provided to refund eligible items, up to $250 per item; limited to $1,000 a year per account.

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services

    Provides a number of emergency services, 24/7.  Services include sending emergency messages, providing medical and legal referrals, ticket and document location, and translation services.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Cardholders are eligible for accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $250,000 on transportation via air, train, bus or cruise transportation purchased with this card.

  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance

    You will be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels if your trip is shortened due to sickness, weather, or other eligible conditions.

  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

    Lost or damaged checked or carry-on bags are covered for up to $3,000 per passenger, for cardholders and their immediate family members.

  • Roadside Dispatch/Roadside Assistance

    Assistance, such as a locksmith, tire change, or towing service, is provided in a roadside emergency for $59.95 per service call. (Additional fees may apply.)

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Collision and theft damage is covered on most cars in the U.S. and abroad, provided that the cardholder purchases the rental with their card and declines the rental company’s collision 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 real differences here are in the extra benefits provided by Visa. As you can see, the Quicksilver card offers a set of valuable perks you can use to save money and have a better time while traveling, or to find discounts on expensive purchases. If you’ll be staying in hotels, going to see sports, or like to enjoy a night of nice wine and food, these benefits can come in very useful.

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.

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

Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Chase Freedom

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • Luxury Hotel Collection discounts
  • Fine Wine and Food
  • Sports Experiences
  • Shopping Discounts

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

  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Return Protection

Travel

  • Travel Assistance Services
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Roadside Assistance Hotline
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Roadside Dispatch/Roadside Assistance
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

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% intro on purchases for for 15 months  16.24% - 26.24%  26.24% Variable None
Chase Freedom $0 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months  17.24 - 25.99% Variable 26.99% Variable 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Quicksilver Cash Rewards None Up to $38 None
Chase Freedom None Up to $38 Up to $38

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.

There are a few important differences, however. The 0% intro APR for the Freedom card is almost twice as long as the Quicksilver’s, so you’ll end up dealing with the regular APR more quickly with the Quicksilver.

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.

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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