Best secured card for flat-rate rewards
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
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This straightforward, secured cash back card helps rebuild credit, but comes at a cost.
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It’s worth considering the Quicksilver Secured if you want a low-cost way to boost your credit score while earning cash back with no annual fee. That said, the card’s high ongoing APR and minimum deposit requirement may be a drawback.
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If you want to build credit while keeping costs low, a secured credit card is a great first step. Though you’ll need to put down a refundable security deposit to get started, secured cards typically cost less and offer better terms than the unsecured cards available for people with bad credit or limited credit history.
The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is no exception. The card is the secured version of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, a popular cash back card. The Quicksilver Secured charges no annual fee and carries the same flat cash back rate as its unsecured sibling, making it not only a solid credit-building option, but also one of the most rewarding secured cards on the market.
While other secured cards may offer more flexibility with their deposit requirements, higher starting credit limits and additional value via unique perks, the Quicksilver Secured should be a terrific starting point for the average credit-builder.
Offers a better-than-average flat rewards rate on general purchases, making it a good option for low-maintenance cardholders.
Offers prequalification, allowing you to get a sense of your odds of approval before you apply and put your credit score at risk.
Gives you a chance to increase your credit limit in as little as six months with responsible card use.
You can earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly — a unique feature that should appeal to credit-builders wary of tying up money in a security deposit.
Carries a high minimum deposit requirement, which could be a barrier for people who don’t want to tie up $200 unavailable for months.
Features a low maximum credit limit to start, which could make it more difficult to keep your credit utilization — a key credit scoring factor — in check.
Charges a very high ongoing APR if you carry a balance.
The Quicksilver Secured doesn’t come with a welcome bonus, which is typical of secured cards (with a few notable exceptions, such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card). Other factors, such as the rewards rate and regular APR, are more important considerations when picking a secured card.
The Quicksilver Secured card keeps things simple, offering a flat-rate cash back rewards program and easy redemption that makes earning and using rewards a cinch, even for total newbies. You can also earn 5 percent back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. If you are an avid or aspiring traveler, this card may be a good starting point for eventually getting an unsecured travel credit card. Otherwise, it may not be the most rewarding option on its own, but there’s no doubt that the Quicksilver Secured card blows most credit-building cards’ rewards programs out of the water.
Like the unsecured version of the card, the Quicksilver Secured card earns a flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back on all eligible purchases, with no need to track spending or enroll in bonus categories. There’s also no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. This detail makes the Quicksilver Secured card an ideal choice if you’re just getting started with rewards credit cards and don’t need the headache of juggling multiple cards and strategizing how to maximize your rewards on every purchase. You can also earn unlimited 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
While 1.5 percent cash back is not the highest rewards rate available on a secured card, it’s easily one of the best flat rates you can find while building credit. Not only do the few competing secured cards that offer rewards typically cap cash back on general purchases at just 1 percent, but cash back programs are also hard to find on secured cards in general, with many offering few extra features other than the opportunity to build credit with responsible card use.
As with earning, redeeming cash back with the Quicksilver Secured card is remarkably easy. You can get your cash back in the form of a statement credit or a check in the mail or trade it in for gift cards and online purchases. You can also set up automatic redemption when you reach a certain cash back balance or at a specific date each year. While this is not necessarily the most comprehensive list of redemption options, it should offer more than enough flexibility for most cardholders.
Since this card earns cash back rewards, you won’t have to worry about calculating point values or weighing redemption options. Instead, you simply earn a percentage back of every dollar you spend. For example, if you use your Quicksilver Secured card to purchase $100 worth of groceries, you’ll earn $1.50 back.
Considering Capital One designed the Quicksilver Secured for cardholders with damaged or limited credit histories, it may come as no surprise that the card carries minimal extras. Still, along with standard credit card perks like $0 fraud liability, the Quicksilver Secured has a handful of unique features that could prove particularly valuable for credit-builders. Some include the ability to increase your credit limit and earn back your security deposit.
The Quicksilver Secured card starts you off with a $200 credit limit, matching your $200 security deposit. That’s a fairly low starting limit, even compared to unsecured credit-building cards, many of which give you at least a $300 starting limit with no deposit requirement. Since credit utilization — the amount of money you’ve borrowed relative to your total available credit — is a key scoring factor, such a low limit could prove troublesome at first.
However, the Quicksilver Secured makes up for this drawback by giving you a clear path to a higher limit. If you use your card responsibly, starting with making your monthly payments on time, you can qualify for a higher limit in as little as six months. While this is a standard timeframe for a credit limit increase, plenty of competing credit-building cards offer either no clear timeframe for increasing your limit or only promise to review your account periodically to see if you’re eligible for a higher limit.
An even more compelling feature of the Quicksilver Secured card is that it gives you a chance to earn back your security deposit with responsible card use. If you make your card payments on time and otherwise use your card responsibly, you can get your deposit added to your account as a statement credit.
This feature is similar to earning a sign-up bonus on a higher-tier rewards card, with the difference being there is no preset spending requirement or timeframe for earning the statement credit. If you’re looking for even more incentive to keep your thin or damaged credit file on the right path, this unique perk is a great addition.
When you’re looking for a credit card with a limited credit history or poor credit, it can be tough to know which options are worth an application. You can check if you’re preapproved for the card at the Capital One website or via Bankrate’s CardMatch tool with only a soft credit check, which has no impact on your score. If you are preapproved this way, you can move forward with a formal application with more confidence about your odds of approval. Though you’ll still face a hard pull when you apply and your score will temporarily take a minor dip, you’ll at least have a good chance of coming out with a new card.
Along with the card’s generous flat cash back rewards rate, one of the key selling points of the Quicksilver Secured card is its low cost. Your security deposit is refundable and the card carries no annual fee, so as long as you pay off your balance each month, it should cost you nothing to keep the Quicksilver Secured in your wallet.
If you do wind up carrying a balance, the card could prove costly. The Quicksilver Secured’s ongoing APR is 29.74 percent variable, well above the current average credit card interest rate.
Though the Quicksilver Secured is a terrific secured card option for credit-builders, offering solid rewards at a low cost, it’s not necessarily the best fit if you want to maximize your earnings or get more control over your deposit and credit limit.
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Long considered one of the best secured cards on the market, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card could beat out the Quicksilver Secured when it comes to rewards value thanks to its higher rate in gas and restaurants categories. The card also touts an introductory offer in which Discover automatically matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year with the card. If you spend heavily in those categories, or with the card in general, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card’s earnings could easily outpace the Quicksilver Secured’s, at least in the first year. Add the card’s higher maximum deposit limit of $2,500, which could make it much easier to keep your credit utilization in check, and the Discover it® Secured Credit Card stands as a robust alternative to the Quicksilver Secured.
One of the key advantages of the OpenSky Secured Visa is its deposit and credit limit flexibility. You can put down anywhere from $200 to $3,000 and get a matching credit limit, the high end of which easily beats the maximum limit the Quicksilver Secured offers. It’s also one of the highest maximum limits available on a secured card. If you have the cash to spare, opting for such a high limit will give you much more wiggle room when it comes to credit utilization. Since credit utilization makes up 30 percent of your FICO credit score, maintaining a low balance with a high limit can fast-track your credit-building efforts. The barrier of entry for this card also does not require a credit check or even a bank account to get started. On the downside, the card will certainly cost more than the Quicksilver Secured due to its modest annual fee and lack of rewards.
If you’re new to credit cards or working on repairing your score, you may be best off sticking to a single credit-building card like the Quicksilver Secured to start. Once you build up your score and upgrade to a more lucrative unsecured card, you can more easily build out a credit card portfolio focused on maximizing your earnings and reward variety. That said, if you’re eager to get more credit and potentially speed up the credit-building process with a second card, a tiered bonus category card like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the smart choice. By combining a card like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card — which earns bonus cash back in specific spending categories — with a flat-rate card like the Quicksilver Secured, you’ll ensure you get outsized rewards in both your biggest spending categories and general purchases.
If you want a low-cost way to work on your credit score while dipping a toe into the world of cash back, it’s hard to go wrong with the Quicksilver Secured. While a bit more flexibility with its deposit and starting credit limit would be ideal, the card’s simple rewards program, easy redemption and user-friendly features — including a clear timeline to a higher limit and a chance to earn back your security deposit — make it a solid starter card for credit-builders and rebuilders alike.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
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