The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card both come with no annual fee and offer 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. But the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is a mainstay in the flat-rate cash back card space, while the Bank of America Unlimited Cash debuted in July 2021. Which card is better for you?

If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, then the Bank of America Unlimited Cash may be more valuable to you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a straightforward card that earns a high cash back rate without having to jump through a lot of hoops, the Capital One Quicksilver card may make more sense for you.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card content was last updated on October 3, 2022.

Main Details

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
Welcome bonus $200 cash bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months $200 online bonus cash rewards if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
Rewards rate 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
Intro APR 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (17.99% – 27.99% variable APR thereafter) 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.99% – 26.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.
Annual fee $0 $0

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Bank of America Unlimited Cash highlights

Both of these cash back cards come with no annual fee, unlimited cash back on all purchases and intro APR offers, but they vary in some terms including their welcome bonuses.

Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Both cards offer a $200 welcome bonus, but the Capital One Quicksilver only requires you to spend $500 on purchases within the first three months to earn the bonus. The $500 spending threshold is easy to meet, and one of the lowest spending limits you’ll find. In comparison, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash requires you to spend $1,000 on purchases within 90 days.

Also, it’s worth noting that a $200 welcome bonus is on par with other cash rewards cards that don’t carry an annual fee.

Annual fee winner: Tie

Like many cash back cards, both the Capital One Quicksilver card and the Bank of America Unlimited Cash card don’t charge an annual fee. Either card is ideal if you’re trying to keep a yearly fee from eating into your rewards earnings.

Intro APR winner: Bank of America Unlimited Cash

Both the Capital One Quicksilver card and the Bank of America Unlimited Cash card offer an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash card offers cardholders a slightly lower variable APR rate of 16.99 percent to 26.99 percent after the intro APR offers end. The ongoing variable APR for the Quicksilver card is 17.99 percent to 27.99 percent.

The Bank of America Unlimited Cash card offers 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.99% – 26.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

If you’re running the numbers to see if transferring a balance makes sense, remember to calculate the balance transfer fee and add that to your total debt to be paid off.

Which card earns the most?

If you’re looking for an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, the Capital One Quicksilver and the Bank of America Unlimited Cash both fit the bill. Either card may make sense if your purchases often fall outside the usual card bonus categories, such as bill payments or certain online retail purchases.

If you already use a rotating category card to optimize cash back in specific bonus categories, either of these flat-rate cards would be a good complement. They’ll both offer you 1.5 percent back on non-category purchases instead of the baseline 1 percent back typically offered for general purchases on other cards.

So, which card earns the most? On their own, the cards are tied. However, there is one notable difference: Bank of America customers who belong to Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program can get a 25 percent to 75 percent rewards boost on top of their Bank of America Unlimited Cash’s 1.5 percent cash back rate.

The Preferred Rewards program tiers are based on the combined three-month average balance of your Bank of America and Merrill accounts. For the Bank of America Unlimited Cash, here is the new cash back rate you’d earn for each rewards tier:

Gold Platinum Platinum Honors
Minimum balance $20,000 $50,000 $100,000
Rewards bonus 25% 50% 75%
New cash back rate 1.87% 2.25% 2.62%

As the tier bonus structure reveals, if you’re a Preferred Rewards member with $50,000 or more across all of your accounts, then the Bank of America Unlimited Cash card’s cash back rate of 2.25 percent is better than almost all flat-rate cards, which typically offer a maximum rate of 2 percent back on general purchases.

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Bank of America Unlimited Cash spending example

On their own, both the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards and the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards cards deliver a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. So, for example, whether you spend $100 per month or $1,000 per month, both cards will earn either $1.50 or $15 (respectively) in cash back.

But, as demonstrated above, you can boost your cash back rewards significantly with the Bank of America Unlimited Cash if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member.

For example, say you spend $2,000 on purchases during a billing cycle. At a rate of 1.5 percent cash back, you’d earn $30 back with either the Capital One Quicksilver or the Bank of America Unlimited Cash.

However, if you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you could boost your rewards earnings further on that $2,000 in purchases with the Bank of American Unlimited Cash. For each tier, you could earn a total of:

  • Gold (25 percent boost): $37.40
  • Platinum (50 percent boost): $45
  • Platinum Honors (75 percent boost): $52.40

Why should you get the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards?

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards includes 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase and a sign-up bonus that’s easy to obtain. If it’s simplicity you’re after, the Capital One Quicksilver is a solid option since you won’t need to plan your spending according to rotating quarterly categories or keep track of quarterly category sign-ups.

Additional benefits

Despite its no-frills starter card appearance, the Capital One Quicksilver card comes with a number of travel and shopping perks and protections. You’ll have access to exclusive travel and entertainment opportunities, such as pre-sale tickets via Capital One Access, plus 24/7 travel assistance, roadside assistance and concierge services.

The card also comes with no foreign transaction fees and access to the Eno assistant app, which uses virtual credit card numbers to protect your card data while you shop online.

Additionally, the Capital One Quicksilver card may be either a Visa or a Mastercard, so you’ll also get the standard benefits that come with either payment network, such as additional purchase protections, travel benefits or shopping perks. Refer to your benefits guide when you receive your card for a detailed list of features.

Redemption options

In your Capital One account, you’ll see your rewards balance and several redemption options. You can redeem cash back for a statement credit, a check in the mail or gift cards. Plus, with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, there is no minimum redemption amount.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card. Generally, this means you’ll need a FICO credit score of 670 or higher.

Why should you get the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards?

The bonus rewards that you can earn as a Preferred Rewards member make the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards more worthwhile. Here are some additional benefits and reasons to consider getting the Bank of America Unlimited Cash card.

Additional benefits

Bank of America cards typically don’t have as many benefits as other cards, but you will get the usual Visa card features. Visa benefits vary depending on the tier you have, but benefits usually revolve around purchase and travel protections. The Bank of America Unlimited Cash is a Visa Signature card that includes benefits like 24/7 roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, credit monitoring, and extended warranty coverage.

Additionally, you’ll also get access to BankAmeriDeals and Museums on Us. BankAmeriDeals allows you to receive an extra 5 percent to 15 percent cash back at participating merchants for a limited time. As for Museums on Us, cardholders can gain free admission to over 225 museums and cultural institutions when they present their card and photo ID during the first weekend of every month.

Redemption options

With the Bank of America Unlimited Cash, you can redeem earnings as a statement credit to your card, a credit to a qualifying Merrill investment account or a direct deposit to a Bank of America checking or savings account.

If you choose to receive a direct deposit to a Bank of America checking or savings account or a credit to a Merrill 529 account, you must have at least $25 in cash back to redeem.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card. As such, your FICO score should be at least 670.

The bottom line

The Capital One Quicksilver card and the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card offer no-fuss opportunities to earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, plus standard welcome bonuses and intro APR offers. And if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards Member, or if you’re inclined to become one, you can enjoy some of the highest flat-rate cash back rewards rates available today.

However, for most consumers, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards and the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards don’t offer much that you can’t find with many other cash back cards. For example, you can get a similar sign-up bonus with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, but you’ll earn an unlimited 2 percent cash rewards.

And then there’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, previously a straightforward flat-rate card, which offers 3 percent to 5 percent cash back in popular categories in addition to 1.5 percent back on all purchases. That’s why, before deciding on a card, it’s important to compare all of your options to see which one would work best for your needs.