Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review: a streamlined flat-rate cash back card
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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Overview
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a mainstay in the world of flat-rate rewards cards. It earns cash back on all purchases with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, which makes it a great all-rounder for any budget.
You might be a great fit for this Capital One credit card if your spending doesn’t fit bonus categories’ terms neatly.
Continue reading our Capital One Quicksilver review to see whether this flat-rate card deserves a spot in your wallet.
What are the pros and cons?
- Ongoing 16.49 percent to 26.49 percent variable APR could be higher than competing cards’ interest rates
- 3 percent balance transfer fee
- No flight or rental car redemption options
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
- Welcome offer: $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for the first 15 months
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent for the first 15 months
- Regular APR: 16.49 percent to 26.49 percent (variable)
Current welcome offer
As a new cardholder, you can earn $200 in cash rewards after spending only $500 on purchases within your first three months.
A $200 value is on par with other average no annual fee cash back cards’ sign-up bonuses. Granted, this isn’t a cash back jackpot, but it’s an easy-to-reach payday considering a $500 spending requirement is typically one of the lowest you’ll find.
The Capital One Quicksilver is a prime example of a flat-rate cash back card, which — compared to bonus category cards — is the most simple and accessible type of rewards credit card. A card like Quicksilver could be a perfect fit if you prefer a streamlined rewards experience over higher maintenance credit cards.
But be careful — although it looks like a starter credit card, you actually need good to excellent credit to qualify. Capital One has plenty of other solid options if you’re building credit or have at least fair credit, including the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers the same rewards rate as the Quicksilver but for a $39 annual fee.
How you earn
The Quicksilver is a great rewards card if many of your expenses fall outside the usual bonus categories, such as superstore purchases, a variety of online shopping retailers and bill payments.
Its unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases can make this card a valuable partner — especially if you regularly spend beyond bonus categories’ reward spending caps.
How to redeem
You can redeem your cash back rewards for hard cash in the form of a check, or you can receive it as a statement credit. Cash back can also be used to cover recent card purchases, online purchases at checkout on Amazon.com and PayPal or equivalent gift cards.
In the spirit of making things a little easier, you can also choose to receive your cash back automatically at a set time each year or at a certain cash value. That way, you don’t have to track your rewards balance.
How much are the rewards worth?
The 1.5 percent cash back rate means that every dollar you spend will net you 1.5 cents.
Capital One cash back is also one of the few reward currencies to maintain a consistent value across all redemption options. Even when used to shop with points on Amazon or PayPal, your cash back keeps its full value.
Other cardholder perks
Despite appearing as no-annual-fee card slim with benefits, the Quicksilver carries a host of standard Capital One travel and shopping perks.
The Quicksilver card comes with a healthy spread of travel and shopping protections for a no-annual-fee card.Virtual credit card numbers through the Eno assistant app can guard your real card data while you shop online, and extended warranty protection and travel accident insurance can keep you covered when you pay with your card.
You’ll be able to snag exclusive travel and entertainment opportunities like pre-sale tickets through Capital One Access. Plus, you can access various 24/7 services like travel and roadside assistance as well as complimentary concierge assistance.
Rates and fees
If you want a low-maintenance credit card, the Capital One Quicksilver doesn’t have many ongoing fees to keep track of. There is no annual fee and there are no foreign transaction fees in case you plan to travel.
The 15-month zero-interest intro APR on purchases and balance transfers can make it even easier to curb extra costs (16.49 percent to 26.49 percent variable APR ongoing for purchases). The balance transfer fee is 3 percent of the amount of each transferred balance that is posted during the first 15 months that your account is open or at a promotional APR that we may offer you at any other time.
First-year card value vs. ongoing value
Besides the benefits previously mentioned, any ongoing value after your first year will be solely rooted in your rewards and any personal value from the simplified spending and rewards style.
There are no card costs to recoup since there’s no annual fee. This is helpful considering that flat-rate cards with lower cash back rates typically require you to spend more than cards with boosted category rewards in order to pocket rewards beyond the yearly price tag.
Unless your spending regularly exceeds typical bonus categories’ spending limits, your favorite merchants and biggest expenses aren’t covered by standard bonus categories or you only plan to use one rewards card for everything, you might want to consider a card with more valuable reward rates and perks.
|Benefits and costs||First-year value||Ongoing value (no welcome offers)|
|Welcome offers||+$200 (after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months)||—|
|Perks (of monetary value)||N/A||N/A|
|Total value of intro purchase APR**||
*Based on the following estimates for annual expenditures by category: groceries ($4,600); dining ($3,500); household utilities, fuels and public services ($4,000); household supplies, furnishings and home improvement ($2,800); apparel and services and department stores ($1,800); gas and gas stations ($2,000); transit and rideshares ($800); entertainment ($3,000); personal care products and services, household operations and other miscellaneous spending ($3,300); travel ($2,000); pharmacies and drugstores ($1,300); online shopping ($1,800).
**Intro APR card data based on a $1,000 unexpected expense, average credit card interest rate (at time of writing), minimum ongoing variable APR and the minimum monthly payment to pay off the balance within the card’s intro APR period factored into Bankrate’s credit card payoff calculator for comparison.
How the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card compares to other cash back cards
Quicksilver’s 1.5 percent flat-rate cash back rate is standard, but the interest rate of 16.49 percent to 26.49 percent variable may be too high for some cardholders. If you want a card with lower interest or more perks, it may be worth looking into another card.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash vs. Citi Double Cash
If you need to transfer your balance and you always pay your card off on time, the Citi® Double Cash Card may be a better choice. It provides a stellar 18-month, zero-interest intro balance transfer APR (16.24 percent to 26.24 percent, variable, ongoing).
Plus, it’s one of the few flat-rate cash back cards that tops the average 1.5 percent rate. You can earn up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases — 1 percent back at purchase and 1 percent upon payment. (Note: the intro APR on the Double Cash does not apply to new purchases.)
Capital One Quicksilver Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is also a stiff Quicksilver competitor with its additional bonus cash back categories. You earn 5 percent cash back on travel purchases through Chase Unlimited Rewards, 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstores purchases as well as 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases.
Since the Freedom Unlimited’s cash back rate alone matches the Quicksilver card, if a good chunk of your spending goes to dining and drugstores, it might be a better choice for you.
Best cards to pair with the Capital One Quicksilver
Since flat-rate cards reward purchases that don’t usually fall within standard bonus categories, you could benefit by pairing your Quicksilver with a bonus category card for your specialized spending.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express would make an excellent partner for 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent); 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services; 3 percent cash back on transit; 3 percent back on U.S. gas station purchases; and 1 percent back on all other purchases — if you don’t mind a $95 annual fee.
If you prefer dining or delivery to cooking, the no annual fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), plus 1 percent on all other purchases.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Capital One Quicksilver worth it?
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a popular choice among cardholders who want a straightforward cash back card that earns rewards on all purchases. Other than the possible interest, there are no ongoing fees or bonus categories to worry about. Capital One can even automate the redemption process.
But if you don’t mind a bonus category or two, you might be able to rack up more cash back and receive specialized benefits on a different card. “I think everyone should have a card like the Capital One Quicksilver,” says finance expert Ana Staples, “I have a travel rewards card and a cash back card with rotating categories but it’s the Quicksilver that helps me make sure I get more than 1 percent back on all of my purchases. This card really completes my credit card strategy.”
Learn More: Is Capital One Quicksilver worth it?