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 with responsible use, 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.

Main details

Features Capital One Platinum Capital One QuicksilverOne
Welcome bonus None None
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
Annual fee $0 $39

Capital One Platinum vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne highlights

Though the differences between the Platinum and QuicksilverOne credit cards may seem small, the ways these differences can aid your credit can be significant. 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 wins in this category. The QuicksilverOne allows you to earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back 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 0 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 the 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 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 cash back the more you spend.

Why should you get the Capital One Platinum?

If you’re simply looking to build your credit with responsible use, the Platinum card is a better option thanks to its lack of an annual fee and low minimum credit score recommendation. The Platinum doesn’t offer rewards, but if you’re focused on keeping your monthly spending low, this card may be right for you.

Additional benefits

You will be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months. 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 to 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 with responsible use 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.

Additional benefits

Just like Platinum, the QuicksilverOne will automatically consider you for a higher credit line in as little as six months.

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.

Redemption options

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 ($50 or $100, for example).

Recommended credit score

An average credit score is recommended to qualify for this card. Again, average to fair credit scores typically start around 580.

The bottom line

If you have an average credit score (or limited credit history) and want to continue building it with responsible use, both 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 with responsible use.

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.