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

Both cards earn generous rewards on everyday spending, putting them among the best flat rate cash back cards. The Capital One card earns 1.5 percent cash back rewards on all purchases and the Citi Double Cash Card earns 2 percent, but the comparison is not as simple as going for the greatest rewards. You may find that the Capital One card is worth it for its welcome bonus or because it offers additional benefits and no foreign transaction fees.

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
Welcome bonus Earn a $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening None
Rewards rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase Earn 2% cash back on purchases — 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 17.99% to 27.99%) 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then a variable APR of 17.74% to 27.74%)
Annual fee $0 $0

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Citi Double Cash Card highlights

Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Quicksilver

If you are looking to jumpstart your rewards earning with a great starter card, you will want to choose the Capital One Quicksilver. The Capital One Quicksilver offers a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within three months from account opening.

The Citi Double Cash does not offer a welcome bonus.

Rewards rate winner: Citi Double Cash Card

If you are looking for ongoing rewards, effective 2 percent cash back rewards are one reason to love the Citi Double Cash Card. 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, making it effectively a 2 percent cash back card.

The Citi Double Cash card doesn’t just win on base rewards. Behind the scenes, the card earns ThankYou Points, which means you can increase the value of your rewards by pairing the Citi Double Cash with other cards from Citi that earn ThankYou Points and combining your ThankYou Points accounts.

Pairing your Double Cash with a Citi Rewards+ Card will earn you a 10 percent bonus when you redeem your first 100,000 points per year. If you are interested in transferring points to travel partners, you can pick up a Citi Premier® Card. With the Premier card, ThankYou Points become transferable to one of Citi’s ThankYou Rewards transfer partners, granting you the ability to potentially redeem them for aspirational rewards like first class international flights.

Some frequent travelers might be able to eke out more rewards using the Capital One Quicksilver, as it offers 5 percent cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel, but if you are traveling frequently, you are likely to get better rewards and benefits from a travel rewards credit card.

Annual fee winner: Tie

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

Foreign transaction fee winner: Capital One Quicksilver

If you are traveling abroad, be sure to carry your Capital One Quicksilver card, as it carries no foreign transaction fees. 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 Foreign Purchase Transaction fee of 3 percent of each purchase transaction in U.S. dollars.

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 are charging on your credit card. For cards that offer flat-rate rewards like the Capital One Quicksilver and the Citi Double Cash, your rewards will depend solely on how much spending you put on the card, irrespective of the spending category.

Let’s imagine you charge $1,000 a month in everyday spending. Both the Double Cash and the Quicksilver award a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, so your rewards calculation is fairly simple. Using the Citi Double Cash, you will earn $20 in rewards once you pay for your purchases. Putting the same amount of spending on a Capital One Quicksilver card will net you $15.

Why should you get Capital One Quicksilver?

Additional benefits

Capital One Quicksilver offers a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, with no foreign transaction fee. If you travel abroad frequently, having the Capital One Quicksilver in your wallet gives you spending power, generous everyday rewards and no surprise fees when you open your statement after your trip.

Unlike the Citi Double Cash, the Quicksilver offers some additional benefits to cardmembers including extended warranties, price protection, purchase assistance and cellphone protection. Even if you are tempted by the slightly higher cash back earnings of the Double Cash, one dropped cellphone or extended warranty claim might make the Capital One Quicksilver more valuable to you.

Additionally, if you are looking to finance a large purchase, the Capital One Quicksilver offers a 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (variable APR of 17.99 percent to 27.99 percent after). If you are looking to pay for a large purchase over a period of 15 months or less, opening a new Capital One Quicksilver card can give you an attractive financing option.

Redemption options

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, Capital One Quicksilver offers the following redemption options:

  • Redeem rewards with PayPal
  • Use rewards at Amazon.com
  • Cover your purchases
  • Spend rewards on gift cards

Recommended credit score

Capital One offers the Quicksilver to cardmembers with good to excellent credit. For most credit card issuers, that means having a credit score above 670.

Why should you get Citi Double Cash?

Additional benefits

If you want a card that earns generous rewards on all purchases, the Citi Double Cash Card has a lot to love. If you are looking for additional benefits like purchase protection, car rental insurance or extended warranties, you will want to consider a different card. The Citi Double Cash card offers a few benefits like Citi Identity Theft Solutions and lost wallet service, but its highlight is the card’s generous everyday cash back.

If you have a higher-interest balance that you are looking to transfer, the Double Cash also offers a tool to help you pay off debt with its introductory balance transfer offer: 0 percent introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then a variable APR of 17.74 percent to 27.74 percent), with an intro fee of 3 percent for each transfer ($5 minimum) for transfers completed within the first four months.

Redemption options

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 cash back awards.

In addition to cash back, you can redeem ThankYou points for other rewards, but these rewards typically offer less value than redeeming your points for cash back:

  • Gift cards
  • Shop with Points at Amazon
  • Travel

As mentioned above, a great way to increase the value of your rewards from your Double Cash card is to pair the card with another ThankYou Points earning card and combine ThankYou Points accounts. If you pair the card with a Citi Rewards+ card, you will earn a 10 percent bonus on the first 100,000 points you redeem in a year. Pairing the card with a premium ThankYou Points card like the Citi Premier will give you the ability to transfer points to one of Citi’s many ThankYou Points transfer partners.

Recommended credit score

Citi Double Cash is offered to consumers with a good-to-excellent credit score. Typically, you will have the best chance of being approved for the Citi Double Cash if your credit score is between 670 and 850.

The bottom line

Either the Capital One Quicksilver or the Citi Double Cash Card can be a great card to have in your wallet for your general spending. If you want a card with extended warranty protection, cellphone protection or no foreign transaction fees, you might consider trading some rewards for these benefits that are offered on the Capital One Quicksilver, but not the Citi Double Cash. For rewards maximizers, the Citi Double Cash has the edge with its effective 2 percent cash back rate.