While the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Platinum Credit Card come from the same issuer, these two cards are for very different types of cardholders.

The Capital One Quicksilver is an easy-to-use cash back rewards card intended for consumers with excellent credit — you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, plus rewards on select travel purchases.

By contrast, the Capital One Platinum is a credit-builder card designed for consumers with fair credit. The Platinum card also provides the opportunity to get a credit limit increase if you pay your bill on time for at least six months.

Below, we compared the features, benefits and fees of these two cards to help you decide which option is best for you.

Main details

Features Capital One Quicksilver Capital One Platinum
Annual fee $0 $0
Sign-up bonus $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months None
Rewards Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases; 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel None
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months None
Variable APR 19.99% to 29.99% 30.49%

Capital One Platinum vs. Capital One Quicksilver highlights

Deciding which of these two cards deserves a spot in your wallet may be determined by your credit score and what benefits you want in a credit card.

If your credit score is lower than you would like it to be, and you want a card that helps you build a more robust credit profile, the Platinum card may better serve your needs. However, if you already have stellar credit and you’re after cash back rewards or a 0 percent APR offer, the Capital One Quicksilver fits the bill.

Here are some factors to consider as you compare the two cards:

Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Quicksilver

The Capital One Platinum doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, which is not uncommon among credit cards for consumers with lower credit scores.

New cardholders of the Capital One Quicksilver, on the other hand, can receive a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. While this bonus isn’t the best available, it’s consistent with most cards that don’t charge an annual fee. The $500 spending requirement should be easily attainable, as you only have to spend an average of $166.66 for three months to earn the bonus.

Rewards rate winner: Capital One Quicksilver

The Capital One Platinum’s primary purpose is to help cardholders build credit, not to earn cash back rewards. To that end, the card doesn’t have a rewards program.

By contrast, providing cardholders with cash back rewards is the main benefit of the Capital One Quicksilver, which is why it takes the cake in this category. The card is perfect for those who want to earn better-than-average rewards without a lot of hassle. You’ll receive 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, which makes it easy to know exactly how much you’ve earned. Further, you’ll get 5 percent back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Unlike other cash back cards, there’s no limit to the number of points you can earn and no restrictive categories or activations to deal with.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Neither the Capital One Quicksilver nor the Capital One Platinum comes with an annual fee. You also won’t be charged foreign transaction fees when you spend abroad with either card.

Intro APR winner: Capital One Quicksilver

Since the Capital One Platinum doesn’t offer an introductory APR period, the card comes up short in this category.

The Capital One Quicksilver offers a 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR converts to a variable rate between 19.99 percent to 29.99 percent, depending on your creditworthiness.

When deciding whether to transfer a balance, always factor the balance transfer fee into your decision. In this case, Capital One charges a 3 percent fee on any balance you transfer within the first 15 months of opening your account.

Which card earns the most?

The Capital One Platinum focuses on helping you build credit, so it doesn’t offer a cash back program. Meanwhile, Capital One Quicksilver delivers 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, with no limits, making it easy to earn more.

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Capital One Platinum spending example

With the Capital One Quicksilver’s unlimited 1.5 percent cash back rate, you’ll earn $15 for every $1,000 you spend using this card. Here are some guidelines to illustrate your potential earnings with the Quicksilver:

Spending amount Capital One Quicksilver Capital One Platinum
$1,000 per month $15/month or $180/year $0
$1,500 per month $22.50/month or $270/year $0
$2,000 per month $30/month or $360/year $0
$2,500 per month $37.50/month or $450/year $0
$3,000 per month  $45/month or $540/year $0

While it’s always nice to earn cash back, remember to pay your outstanding balance in full each month, or interest charges could cut into any cash rewards you earn.

Why should you get the Capital One Quicksilver?

You should consider the Capital One Quicksilver if you already have excellent credit and are looking to get cash back for your purchases without jumping through a lot of hoops. Plus, if you have a large purchase coming up or want to pay down high-interest debt, the Quicksilver’s zero-interest offer on purchases and balance transfers may be a good fit for you.

Additional benefits

The Capital One Quicksilver provides worthwhile Mastercard benefits such as $0 fraud liability and identity theft protection. Other benefits include travel accident insurance, travel assistance services, extended warranty protection and, through Nov. 14, 2024, up to six months of complimentary Uber One membership.

Like many credit cards, the Quicksilver allows you to freeze your account if you misplace your card. However, the Quicksilver is one of the few cards that enable you to use your mobile app to activate the freeze. Additionally, you can create a virtual credit card number connected to your account to keep your credit card information safe.

Redemption options

Firstly, you can redeem rewards in the form of a statement credit or check. The Quicksilver even allows you to set up automatic redemptions at a set time during the year or when your rewards reach a specified threshold.

You can also redeem your rewards as credits for previous purchases, gift cards and PayPal or Amazon purchases.

Recommended credit score

The Capital One Quicksilver is available to borrowers with good to excellent credit scores. As such, you should have a FICO score above 670 or a VantageScore above 661.

Why should you get the Capital One Platinum?

If your credit scores are below average and you’re looking to build your credit, consider the Capital One Platinum. The Platinum is a great starter card for someone with a thin credit profile or anyone looking to rebuild their credit.

The Capital One Platinum doesn’t charge an annual fee or require a high credit score. As a new cardholder, your credit limit may be low, but Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher credit limit in as little as six months. If you don’t use the higher credit limit, you could lower your credit utilization ratio, which could positively impact your credit scores.

Additional benefits

Just like the Quicksilver card, the Capital One Platinum is a Mastercard. This means you’ll get valuable Mastercard benefits like zero liability protection, emergency card services, identity theft protection and more.

Other Platinum benefits include access to CreditWise (you get access to this with the Quicksilver, too), which offers a free look at your credit score.

Redemption options

Unfortunately, the Capital One Platinum doesn’t offer a rewards program or subsequent redemption options. The Platinum is best suited for consumers who want a hassle-free card that can help build credit.

Recommended credit score

Capital One suggests that a fair credit score is needed to qualify for the Platinum card. Generally, a fair credit score falls between 580 and 669 for FICO and 601 to 660 for VantageScore. While no credit score can guarantee you’ll be granted a credit card, your odds of approval generally improve the higher your score is.

The bottom line

When comparing these two Capital One cards, your decision likely rests on the strength of your credit score and what features you want your card to offer. If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills card that’ll help you improve your credit (with responsible use), the Capital One Platinum is a good option.

But if you already have excellent credit and are looking for a card that rewards you with cash back for your spending — with no limits — the Capital One Quicksilver could be an excellent addition to your wallet. There are no bonus categories or promotion activations to worry about, and you can even automate your redemptions.

If you’re still unsure about either of these cards, explore the best cards for every type of cardholder to get a sense of your other options.