While the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Credit Card come from the same issuer, they are two credit cards designed 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. With 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, you can rack up points quickly and redeem them for a check, statement credit, gift cards and PayPal or Amazon purchases.

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

We compared the features, benefits and fees of these two cards side by side to help you figure out which card might be best for you.

Main details

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Welcome bonus Earn a $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening N/A
Rewards rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase N/A
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 16.49% – 26.49% variable APR No introductory rate; variable APR of 26.99%
Annual fee $0 $0

Capital One Platinum vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards 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 serve your needs. However, if you’ve already got stellar credit and it’s cash back rewards, a welcome bonus and a 0 percent intro APR you’re after, 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 card 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 can receive a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account. While the $200 cash 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 welcome bonus.

Rewards rate winner: Capital One Quicksilver

The Capital One Platinum’s primary purpose is to help cardholders build credit, not 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 credit card, 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 earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, which makes it easy to know exactly how much you’ve earned.

And 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 fee 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 16.49 percent to 26.49 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 Cash Rewards vs. Capital One Platinum spending example

With 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 card.

Spending amount Capital One Quicksilver cash back Capital One Platinum cash back
$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 card if you already have excellent credit and you’re looking to get cash back for your purchases without jumping through a lot of hoops. The Quicksilver offers 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, and there’s no limit to the amount you can earn. There’s also no minimum threshold you must meet to redeem your rewards. What’s more, your rewards are good for as long as you maintain an active account.

If you have a big purchase coming up, or if you 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. Incidentally, the Quicksilver’s regular APR (16.49 percent to 26.49 percent variable) is lower than the Platinum card’s standard rate (26.99 percent variable).

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 and extended warranty protection.

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 enables 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

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 ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or $1,500).

You can 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.

You can also use CreditWise to access your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores as well as credit monitoring (you get access to this with the Quicksilver, too).

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 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 Quicksilver might 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, take a look at the best credit cards for every type of cardholder to consider your other options.