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(The Citi Premier is no longer available)

Key takeaways

  • The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Citi Double Cash® Card are both solid options for a flat-rate rewards card without an annual fee.
  • Those looking for additional card benefits or a better balance transfer structure will likely be more satisfied with the Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.
  • Those who want a higher cash back rewards rate will likely prefer the Citi Double Cash Card.

If you’re looking for a credit card that earns cash back rewards for everyday spending with no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn, you would be right to look at both the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and Citi Double Cash® Card.

Both cards earn generous rewards on everyday spending, putting them among the best flat-rate cash back cards available. The Capital One Quicksilver earns 1.5 percent cash back rewards on all purchases, and the Citi Double Cash® Card earns up to 2 percent cash back (1 percent as you buy, plus another 1 percent when you pay for your purchases), but this comparison is not as simple as going for the greatest rewards.

Which one of these cards deserves a place in your wallet as your go-to card for everyday spending? Let’s find out.

Main details

Capital One Quicksilver Citi Double Cash® Card
Welcome bonus Earn a $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening None
Rewards rate
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Up to 2% cash back — 1% as you buy, plus another 1% when you pay for your purchases
  • 5% cash back on hotel and car rentals booked on the Citi Travel portal through Dec. 31, 2024
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 19.99% – 29.99% after that) 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then a variable APR of 19.24% – 29.24%
Annual fee $0 $0

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Citi Double Cash® Card highlights

Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Quicksilver

If you’re looking to jump-start your rewards earnings with a great starter card, you’ll want to choose the Capital One Quicksilver. The Quicksilver offers a one-time $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 on purchases within three months from account opening; that’s a little under $167 in spending per month for three months — an easy feat for most cardholders. The Citi Double Cash, on the other hand, does not offer a welcome bonus.

Rewards rate winner: Citi Double Cash Card

Earning effectively 2 percent cash back on every purchase is one reason to love the Citi Double Cash Card. As noted above, the Citi Double Cash earns 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1 percent when you pay for your purchase, compared to the Quicksilver’s 1.5 percent cash back rate.

The Citi Double Cash card doesn’t just win on base rewards. Behind the scenes, the card technically earns basic ThankYou points, which means you can pool your points with other Citi cards you own and potentially increase your rewards value. “Basic” simply means you can’t transfer your rewards to Citi airline and hotel partners. But if you combine your points into your Citi Premier® Card (no longer available) account, which earns standard ThankYou points, your points can be worth 1.0 cents apiece toward Citi transfer partner travel, according to recent Bankrate valuations.

If you frequently stay at hotels or book rental cars, you might be able to eke out more rewards using the Capital One Quicksilver, as it also offers 5 percent cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel. But if you are traveling that frequently, you’re likely to get better rewards and benefits from a top travel credit card or hotel-centric card.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Neither the Capital One Quicksilver nor the Citi Double Cash charges an annual fee. This makes them both great options to have in your wallet alongside other credit cards that offer rotating categories but less-generous rewards on everyday spending.

Foreign transaction fee winner: Capital One Quicksilver

If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to carry the Capital One Quicksilver, as it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside of the United States. In fact, Capital One does not charge a fee on any of its cards for using your credit card for foreign currency transactions.

In contrast, the Citi Double Cash card charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee (or $5 minimum) in U.S. dollars on each purchase transaction for the first four months of card ownership from account opening. After that, the rate rises to 5% of each transfer with the same $5 minimum.

Which card earns the most?

How much you earn on a rewards card will depend heavily on your spending habits and the number of purchases you’re charging. For cards that offer flat-rate cash back rewards like the Capital One Quicksilver and Citi Double Cash, your rewards will depend solely on how much spending you put on the card, regardless of the spending category.

Credit Card
Spending example

Let’s imagine you charge $1,000 a month to your credit card in everyday spending. Using the Citi Double Cash, you’ll earn $20 in cash back rewards for the month ($10 upfront and $10 once you pay for your purchases), or $240 in cash back rewards for the year. Putting the same amount of spending on the Capital One Quicksilver will net you $15 for the month, or $180 in cash back rewards for the year.

Note, in terms of first-year value, you’ll earn more with the Quicksilver thanks to its welcome bonus ($380 total). But each year after, the average spender stands to earn more with the Double Cash.

Why should you get Capital One Quicksilver?

  • The Capital One Quicksilver offers a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, with no foreign transaction fees and heightened rewards on hotel and rental car purchases through Capital One’s travel portal. Further, if you use Uber often, the Capital One Quicksilver may be worth it to you, as it offers up to six months of complimentary Uber One membership through November 14, 2024.

    A few additional Quicksilver benefits worth mentioning include a variety of travel protections, like trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and travel accident insurance, as well as purchase protections that include extended warranties and price protection. For a no-annual-fee card, it offers a great variety of benefits. Learn more in our Capital One Quicksilver Card benefits guide.

    Additionally, if you’re looking to finance a large purchase or pay off existing credit card debt, the Capital One Quicksilver offers a zero percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening. The Citi Double Cash does offer a longer zero percent intro APR balance transfer period of 18 months, but the intro offer does not extend to purchases. So, if you have a large purchase on the horizon, this may tip the Quicksilver in your favor.
  • Capital One Quicksilver cash back rewards are easy to redeem. Most users will get the most value from their rewards by redeeming for cash or a statement credit. Simply log in to your account on the Capital One website and redeem your rewards as a check or statement credit. In addition to cash back rewards, the Capital One Quicksilver allows you to redeem your rewards by:

    • Purchasing items online via and PayPal
    • Covering the cost of recent purchases
    • Getting gift cards
  • Capital One offers the Quicksilver to cardmembers with good credit to excellent credit. For most credit card issuers, that means having a FICO credit score above 670.

Why should you get Citi Double Cash?

  • If you want a card that earns generous and versatile cash back rewards on all purchases, the Citi Double Cash Card has a lot to love.

    While the card doesn’t offer many benefits specifically through Citi — other than protections like Citi Identity Theft Solutions and lost wallet service — the Double Cash is a World Elite Mastercard, meaning it comes with the highest level of Mastercard benefits. This includes zero liability protection, Mastercard ID Theft Protection, Mastercard Airport Concierge, DoorDash and Lyft discounts and even cellphone protection.

    And if you have a higher-interest balance that you’re looking to transfer, the Double Cash is a great card for paying off debt with its 18-month, zero-percent introductory balance transfer APR offer, even after the balance transfer fee. This offer, paired with its solid cash back rate on all purchases, can make the Citi Double Cash worth it for cardholders looking to reap value from their card long after their debt is paid off.
  • Similar to the Capital One Quicksilver, you can redeem your cash back rewards through the card issuer’s website. Cash rewards from the Citi Double Cash can be redeemed in any amount and are issued as a statement credit, direct deposit or a check. Most Citi Double Cash cardholders who do not pair their Double Cash with another ThankYou points-earning credit card will get the most value from a cash back redemption.

    In addition to cash back, you can redeem ThankYou points in other ways, such as by:

    • Buying gift cards
    • Shopping with Points on Amazon or PayPal
    • Booking travel plans through the Citi Travel portal
    These redemption options typically offer less value than a cash back redemption, though.
  • Similar to the Quicksilver, the Citi Double Cash is offered to consumers with good to excellent credit.

The bottom line

Either the Capital One Quicksilver or Citi Double Cash Card can be a great card to have in your wallet for your general spending. For rewards maximizers, the Citi Double Cash takes the edge with its effective 2 percent cash back rate — 1 percent as you buy, plus 1 percent when you pay — or for those looking to pay off credit card debt.

On the other hand, the Quicksilver can be a good option for those looking for a wealth of card benefits, a zero-interest offer on purchases and first-year welcome bonus.

Before you decide, consider our roundup of the best cash back credit cards for other options that might better fit your spending habits and financial goals.