Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card review: Low-risk, high-reward for building credit
This straightforward, secured cash back card helps rebuild credit, but comes at the cost of a hefty security deposit and APR.
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Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card Overview
If you’re looking for a chance 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. A 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 predecessor, 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.
What are the pros and cons?
- 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 wind up carrying a balance.
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 1.5 percent cash back on all eligible purchases, unlimited 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 28.49 percent variable
Current welcome offer
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 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.
How you earn
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 makes the Quicksilver Secured card an ideal choice if you’re just getting started with credit cards or cash back and don’t need the headache of juggling multiple cards and strategizing over 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 as a credit-builder. 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.
To decide whether a flat-rate card like the Quicksilver Secured makes sense for you, take a look at your budget to see where you typically spend the most, as cards that offer bonus rewards in one of your highest spending categories — like gas or dining out — may prove more valuable than a flat-rate card. That said, the category variety you’ll find on secured cards that offer rewards is quite limited, so a boosted rate on general purchases will likely pay off for most cardholders.
How to redeem
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 credit-builders.
How much are the rewards worth?
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.
Other cardholder perks
Considering the Quicksilver Secured is designed 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 features a handful of unique features that could prove particularly valuable for credit-builders, including the ability to increase your credit limit and earn back your security deposit.
Increase your credit limit with responsible use
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 for credit-builders.
However, the Quicksilver Secured makes up for this by giving you a clear path to a higher limit. If you use your card responsibly, such as by 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.
Being able to increase your credit limit and having a clear roadmap for how to do so should help credit-builders stay on track and improve their utilization and score efficiently. If you keep up the good work, you may even be able to get your deposit back and “graduate” to an unsecured Capital One card.
Earn back your security deposit
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 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.
Get preapproved with only a soft credit pull
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. Since nearly all new card applications result in a “hard pull” of your credit, which temporarily knocks a few points off your credit score, it’s best to limit applications to those cards that offer good approval odds.
The Quicksilver Secured is a big help in this regard. 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 a bit more confidence about your odds of approval. Though you’ll still face a hard pull when you hit apply and your score will still temporarily take a minor dip, you’ll at least have a good chance of coming out with a new card.
Rates and Fees
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, though, the card could prove costly. While it doesn’t make much sense to carry a balance on a secured card since you’d essentially be borrowing money from yourself while paying interest to the card issuer, it can happen; and if it does, you’ll face a very high variable APR of 28.49 percent, well above the current average credit card interest rate.
Considering Quicksilver Secured card applicants may have less experience with using credit cards or previous financial missteps, the card’s high APR is worth watching out for.
How the Quicksilver Secured card compares to other secured cards
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.
Quicksilver Secured card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Long considered one of the best secured cards on the market, the Discover it Secured card could beat out the Quicksilver Secured when it comes to rewards value thanks to its higher rewards rate in the popular categories of gas and restaurants as well as a unique introductory offer that sees Discover automatically matching all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. If you see yourself spending heavily in those categories or with the card in general, the Discover it Secured card’s earnings could easily outpace those of the Quicksilver Secured, at least in the first year. Add to this 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 stands as a robust alternative to the Quicksilver Secured.
Quicksilver Secured card vs. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
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 offered by the Quicksilver Secured and is 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. And 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.
Best cards to pair with this card
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 is the smart choice. By combining a card like the Discover it Secured — 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.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Quicksilver Secured card worth it?
If you’re looking for 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.