A quick glance between the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card reveals nearly identical offers in several categories. But while there are many similarities between them, these two cards have some important differences that can help you make the best choice for your needs.
Card comparison overview
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome bonus||Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first three months.||Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first three months.|
|Rewards rate||Earn 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases.||Earn 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases.|
|Introductory APR||Zero percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49 – 25.24 percent variable APR thereafter.||Zero percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49 – 25.49 percent variable APR thereafter.|
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver highlights
Since these two cards are quite similar, let’s look closely at the benefits to determine which one can be most useful for your wallet.
Sign-up bonus winner: Tie
Both of these cards offer an easily obtainable $150 sign up bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening. That’s a great bonus earn for two cards with no annual fee.
Rewards rate: Chase Freedom Unlimited
The rewards rate is identical on both cards. The cash back rewards on the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver are both 1.5 percent on each purchase.
However, the Chase card pulls ahead when you strategize with other cards. You can pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve to convert your cash back to Chase Ultimate Rewards, unlocking redemption options and boosting your points by 25 or 50 percent, respectively.
Annual fee: Tie
Once again, this comparison ends in a draw. Neither card carries an annual fee, making them both low risk if you want to try them out for a while to see what you think. No annual fee cards are especially helpful for those who don’t purchase much with cards but want to earn a bit back on spending.
Balance transfer fee: Capital One Quicksilver
The difference between these cards’ balance transfer fees is important to consider if you’re looking to transfer balances in order to pay off debt.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited charges a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum of $5) when a balance is transferred during the first 60 days your account is open. For balance transfers made after 60 days and up until the 15 month intro APR period ends, the fee goes up to 5 percent of the amount transferred, again with a minimum fee of $5.
The Capital One card also charges a 3 percent balance transfer fee, but the 3 percent fee extends to balances transferred anytime throughout the entire 15 month intro period. No minimum fee is named in the Quicksilver card details either — it’s just 3 percent.
Introductory APR period: Tie
Both cards offer zero percent APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. Even after the 15 months are up, the APRs are still very similar, depending on your creditworthiness. The APR range for Chase Freedom Unlimited is 16.49 – 25.24 percent variable, while the Capital One Quicksilver ranges from 15.49 – 25.49 percent variable.
Foreign transaction fee: Capital One Quicksilver
On your next trip abroad, you’ll want to pack the Quicksilver.The Quicksilver doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, while the Chase Freedom Unlimited charges 3 percent on every purchase made overseas.
Which card earns or saves the most
You’ve seen from the categories covered above just how similar these cards appear at first glance and the modest distinctions between them. But to make the best choice, it’s helpful to get even more specific.
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver spending example
With either one of these cards, let’s say you spend just enough to earn the sign-up bonus — about $167 each month for three months — and about that same amount each month throughout the year.
By the end of the year, you’ll have spent just over $2,000. With the Chase card, you’ll earn the $150 sign-up bonus plus a $30 cash back reward for a total of $180. With the Capital One card, following the same plan, you earn the same $150 sign-up bonus plus $30 cash back for a total of $180.
And if paying off debt balances with a balance transfer is a more important goal than cash rewards, either one of these cards can give you the opportunity to get out from under that burden. Let’s say you’ve accumulated debt of $10,000. With either card, if you make the transfers within 60 days of account opening, you’ll pay the same 3 percent fee ($300) for the transfer. If you delay and wait more than 60 days to make transfers, your best choice is the significantly longer 3 percent fee period offered by Capital One Quicksilver on balance transfers.
Why you should get Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers great earning potential with its sign up bonus and 1.5 percent cash back rate on all purchases. Balance transfers made during the first 60 days could save you a significant amount of interest during the intro APR period.
Keep in mind that if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can convert your points into Chase Ultimate Rewards points at the rate your Sapphire card earns.
With the Freedom Unlimited, you’re not liable for unauthorized charges. Purchase protection covers new items against damage and theft and extended warranties can add an additional year to many U.S. manufacturer warranties. Plus, you’ll get a complimentary three months of DashPass, a subscription service for $0 delivery fee on DoorDash orders over $12, and 5 percent cash back rewards on Lyft rides through March 2022.
The points you earn on the Chase Freedom Unlimited card are redeemable for cash, gift cards, travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards or shopping with points through Amazon. Your points never expire while your account remains open, but you will lose your points if your account is closed.
Recommended credit score
A good to excellent credit score of around 670 or above is recommended.
Why you should get Capital One Quicksilver
This card will appeal to much the same audience as the Chase Freedom Unlimited card with no annual fee, an achievable sign-up bonus, the same cash rewards rate on purchases and a long introductory APR period. But this card does offer a fixed balance transfer fee and perks for international travelers, since there’s no foreign transaction fee.
Travelers will like this card. Besides the zero foreign transaction fee, this card offers a complimentary concierge service to help you arrange dining, entertainment and travel, along with 24-hour travel assistance services to get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance and travel accident insurance.
You’ll get extended warranty protection at no charge on eligible items purchased with your credit card, instant purchase notifications to avoid fraud and two online shopping tools, Wikibuy and Paribus, to make sure you get the best deals.
Capital One Quicksilver rewards can be redeemed in four different ways: paper check, statement credit, apply it to a recent purchase you made with your card or spend the reward on a variety of gift cards. You can redeem rewards for any amount at any time.
Recommended credit score
You should qualify for this card if your credit rating is good to excellent, around 670 or higher.
Both of these cards make great, simple cash back options for someone looking for great rewards that they don’t have to think about too much. Small differences, like fees, extra benefits and ability to pair with other cards could make one better than the other for you, but either would make a great cash back addition to your wallet.