The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card and Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card are both great starter credit cards — you can qualify for them even if you have a limited credit history or an average credit score. Neither card offers a welcome bonus or introductory APR, but if you’re mainly focused on building your credit, both are good options.
When deciding between the Platinum and QuicksilverOne, the main factors you should consider are annual fees and rewards rates. The Platinum has no annual fee, whereas the QuicksilverOne will cost you $39 a year. The QuicksilverOne offers rewards, though, which may help offset the cost of an annual fee. (The Platinum doesn’t have a rewards program, so you won’t earn points or cash back for using your card.)
|Features||Capital One Platinum||Capital One QuicksilverOne|
|Rewards rate||None||Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases|
|Introductory APR||None, Variable APR of 26.99 percent||None, Variable APR of 26.99 percent|
Capital One Platinum vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne highlights
The main difference between the Platinum and QuicksilverOne are their rewards structures and annual fees. Here’s a comparison of each card’s key features to help you decide which one is right for you.
Sign-up bonus winner: Tie
Neither card has a sign-up bonus, so they tie on this factor.
Rewards rate winner: QuicksilverOne
The Platinum doesn’t offer any rewards, so the QuicksilverOne is the clear winner here. The QuicksilverOne allows you to earn unlimited 1.5 percent cashback on all your purchases.
Annual fee winner: Capital One Platinum
The QuicksilverOne offers a rewards structure, but it also comes with a $39 annual fee that can potentially eat into your earnings. You’ll need to make at least $2,600 in purchases with the card to earn your $39 back. Depending on your spending habits, you may not earn enough rewards to exceed the cost of the annual fee.
Balance transfer winner: Tie
The Platinum and QuicksilverOne both have a variable APR of 26.99 percent for balance transfers. Neither of them charge balance transfer fees, which is a plus, but they’re still not the best choice for completing a balance transfer.
They don’t offer a zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers, either, which many cards do. If you shop around, you may be able to find a lower APR to help you save interest on your existing debts and pay them off faster.
Introductory APR period winner: Tie
Neither card has an introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers. Both have a 26.99 percent APR on purchases, which can vary based on the prime rate.
Which card earns the most?
You won’t be able to earn rewards with Platinum, so the QuicksilverOne is the clear winner here with an unlimited cash back rate of 1.5 percent on all purchases.
To help you decide if the QuicksilverOne card is right for you, here’s a quick spending example.
Capital One Platinum vs. QuicksilverOne spending example
To offset the cost of the QuicksilverOne’s $39 annual fee, you’ll need to spend about $220 a month, or $2,600 a year, to break even. If you can’t envision yourself charging $220 a month to your card, you may be better off with the Platinum.
If you spend just $500 a month ($6,000 per year) with the QuicksilverOne, you’ll earn $90 in cash back each year (or $51 after the annual fee). If you bump up your spending to $1,000 per month and $12,000 per year, you’ll earn $180 worth of cash back rewards (or $141 after factoring in the annual fee). The amount of rewards you can earn is unlimited, so you’ll earn more cashback the more you spend.
Why should you get Capital One Platinum?
If you’re simply looking to build your credit, the Platinum card is a good option thanks to its lack of an annual fee and low minimum credit score requirement. The Platinum doesn’t offer rewards, but if you’re mainly focused on building your credit and keeping your monthly spending low, this card may be right for you.
If you use this card responsibly and make your first five monthly payments on time, you’ll automatically receive a higher credit limit. Not all lenders offer this sort of opportunity, so it’s a big plus.
The card also comes with fraud protection benefits, like security alerts whenever Capital One detects suspicious activity on your account.
Recommended credit score
People with an average-good credit score or limited credit can apply for this card. Although Capital One doesn’t give an exact range of credit scores it will consider, a fair or average credit usually starts at around 580.
Why you should get the QuicksilverOne
If you want to build your credit and earn rewards at the same time, the QuicksilverOne is a great option. To get the most out of this card’s rewards, you’ll have to spend at least $220 a month. If you plan to spend less than that, the annual fee-free Platinum may be a better option for you.
Just like Platinum, the QuicksilverOne automatically grants you access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time.
The card also comes with travel perks like travel accident insurance and emergency travel assistance. You won’t be charged foreign transaction fees, either, which is a big plus if you’re a frequent international traveler.
You can redeem your rewards for cash, apply them to a recent purchase or use them to buy gift cards. You can even set up automatic redemptions so you don’t have to remember to redeem your rewards. You’ll receive cash back at a certain time every year, or once your rewards have reached a certain threshold (i.e., $50 or $100).
Recommended credit score
You only need an average credit score to qualify for this card. Again, average to fair credit scores typically start around 580.
If you have an average credit score (or limited credit history) and want to continue building it, both of these cards are a good option. Overall, the QuicksilverOne edges out the Platinum thanks to its cash back rewards program, allowing you to earn rewards while building your credit.
The only people who won’t benefit from the QuicksilverOne are those who plan to spend less than an average of $220 a month. In this case, the Platinum may be a better value due to its lack of an annual fee.