Capital One Quicksilver review: Decent flat-rate rewards for excellent credit
Rating as of Aug. 15, 2019 based on a review of services December 2, 2022.
A one-time $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
A 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months – after which, the ongoing APR of 17.99% – 27.99% applies; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
- Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
- $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
- Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
- Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99%-27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Do you tell people like it is and appreciate the simple things in life? Do you have high, but realistic, expectations? We may have a card to match your practical personality.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a no-annual-fee credit card with a mix of travel-related and everyday benefits to make it great for daily use. That is, if you have the credit for it. This card requires at least good credit and reserves its best interest rates as well as its welcome bonus for applicants with credit scores of 750 or higher and clear histories.
In this Capital One Quicksilver review, we’ll look at the features that set this uncomplicated rewards credit card apart from others like it and what we think you’ll appreciate about it. But we’ll also talk about how it falls short and why this may not be the best flat-rate rewards card out there.
- Best for – People who want to earn cash rewards without activating offers, people who travel, people with excellent credit
- Intro offer/sign-up bonus – Up to $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 on qualifying purchases within three months from account opening
- Rewards – Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything and unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- Annual fee – $0
- Intro APR – 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (for select applicants, dependent on credit)
- Regular APR – 17.99% – 27.99% (variable)
- Other unique features – No foreign transaction fees and up to six months of complimentary Uber One membership
Pros & cons
- No fees — No annual fee or foreign transaction fee to cut into your cash back earnings.
- Free benefits — Complimentary concierge services, return protection, and membership statement credits for select services.
- Intro APR — 0% intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening.
- High interest rate — Some applicants who qualify for this card will receive a high variable APR and others will receive an average one. It depends on your credit when applying.
- Only for excellent credit — While you may be able to qualify with a score of between 700 and 749, this card leaves a little to be desired for all those with anything less than excellent credit.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card benefits
In addition to unlimited cash back of either 1.5% or 5%, depending on how you spend, this card comes with a few travel benefits and membership perks. The welcome bonus, which is fairly easy to qualify for but nothing out of the ordinary, is only for select applicants.
Let’s talk about the key features of this card.
Everyone with a Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card will earn cash back on all of their spending at a rate of 1.5%. This is not capped, there are no bonus categories, and rewards never expire.
You can also earn 5% on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. The key is that you have to use this travel portal. If you don’t use Capital One Travel to make a reservation or booking, you’ll just earn 1.5% on your spending even if you pay with your Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.
There are several options for redeeming rewards. You can:
- Redeem them for statement credits or checks
- Apply them retroactively to past purchases to reduce your balance
- Use them to buy gift cards or donate to charity
- Use them to shop on Amazon.com or cover PayPayl transactions
Fortunately, there are no minimums for redemptions, so you don’t have to stockpile them before cashing in.
For a card without a price tag, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has a decent suite of benefits. As a cardmember, you’ll enjoy the following services at no cost:
- Master RoadAssist Service
- 24-hour travel assistance services
- Complimentary Concierge Service
These protections along with no foreign transaction fee are certainly nice to see, especially on a credit card that isn’t specifically designed to be used for travel.
Another benefit of this card is access to Capital One Travel. Capital One Travel is a travel portal exclusively for eligible cardholders that offers Capital One’s best prices on travel bookings from flights to hotel reservations. And when you use your Capital One Quicksilver credit card to book hotel stays and rental cars through Capital One Travel, you’ll earn 5% cash back.
Read more: Best travel rewards credit cards
Besides the benefits we’ve already covered, this card doesn’t come with a whole lot of extras, with one exception. Right now, members will receive up to six months of Uber One membership for free in the form of statement credits. This offer is only good for six consecutive months of membership and does not include the 30-day free trial.
Uber One, which normally costs $9.99 a month, gives members savings on UberEats orders and Uber rides, in addition to exclusive access to limited-time promotions.
Capital One members also enjoy access to member-only events and tickets through Capital One Dining and Capital One Entertainment, but you don’t need the Quicksilver card specifically to access these. Still, these can help you score some cool experiences.
The welcome bonus for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is interesting. Instead of giving everyone the same bonus offer as many cards do, this card only awards bonus cash to applicants with excellent credit.
If you have excellent credit, you can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening.
But don’t think that just because you qualify for this card you’ll be eligible for the bonus. If you “just” have great credit, you won’t earn any cash bonus at all if you open the card.
There are essentially two versions of this card: the one you get if you have great credit and the one you get if you have excellent credit. Though the product itself is the same for everyone approved, only those with the best scores and histories get the welcome bonus and lowest interest rates.
A $200 cash bonus is very common within this category of credit cards, though a $500 spending requirement is pretty low.
Fees and interest
Let’s dig into what this card can cost you if you don’t repay your bill each statement period or use it for things like balance transfers and cash advances.
Zero dollars and zero cents.
This card carries no annual fee (have we mentioned that yet?) and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees either. But there are a few other fees typical for credit cards to make note of.
Cash advance fee – 3% or $3 (whichever is greater)
Balance transfer fee – 3% on balance transfers made within the first 15 months for borrowers with great credit and no transfer fee at the transfer APR for borrowers with excellent credit
Late fee – Up to $40 each time
The regular variable APR for this card is fairly average for an unsecured credit card at between 17.99% and 23.99% for borrowers with excellent credit. But some applicants will only qualify for an interest rate of 27.99%, which is very high.
Because of the potential for a steep interest rate, this card is not a good choice for carrying a balance from month to month and it’s important to stay on top of your due dates to avoid paying interest.
Who is it for?
For the following people, the Capital One Quicksilver credit card is an easy choice.
People who want to earn flat-rate rewards
If you don’t want to have to think about how you’re spending your credit card or manage bonus categories that are always changing, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card might be exactly what you’re looking for.
It makes a great primary credit card because it offers a pretty high credit limit for people with strong credit and doesn’t charge an annual fee, and you’ll have flexibility when it comes time to use your cash back. All in all, it’s a low-maintenance card for low-maintenance people.
People with excellent credit
You need a high credit score and clean credit history to qualify for this competitive card. And you need excellent credit for the bonus offer. For this reason and the lower interest rate, we recommend this card only to those with excellent credit.
If your credit isn’t quite good enough to be eligible for the lower interest rate range and get the bonus offer, you might want to shop around a bit for other cards.
Experian defines excellent credit as a FICO score of 800 or higher.
Capital One defines excellent credit as more than just a score alone. In addition to a score of at least 750 (give or take), you should also not have any bankruptcies or loan defaults in your credit and no late payments more than 60 days past due. In addition, you should have at least one card or loan with a limit of $5,000 or more that you’ve had for three years or longer.
Basically, they’re looking for a strong, squeaky-clean credit history that demonstrates experience.
Good credit, on the other hand, may include bankruptcies or loan defaults less than five years old and late payments less than 30 days past due. If you have any of these and you get approved, expect a variable APR of 27.99% – and don’t count on a welcome bonus.
People who want to make balance transfers
This is a decent option for transferring a balance because even though 15 months isn’t the longest introductory period you can find for a 0% APR offer, this card gives you that in addition to ongoing rewards. So you can use this card for balance transfers and then continue using it after that for all of your everyday needs.
Many balance transfer credit cards are better for balance transfers because they’ll give you a longer 0% APR period, but they tend to lack the ongoing rewards of a more general-purpose card like this. This one is kind of the best of both worlds because it doesn’t just serve one use.
Who is it not ideal for?
There are some people who won’t be able to qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver credit card and some people who can qualify but might be disappointed by it. Here are a few examples.
People with poor or fair credit
Unfortunately, you can only qualify for this card if your credit is in the good to excellent range. It’s not that it couldn’t be a great credit card for borrowers with average or below-average credit, but this demographic is not likely to be eligible.
This card is not created with new borrowers or those rebuilding their credit in mind. It doesn’t offer credit-building features or other types of support to help you work on your credit, save for the ability to check your score. Also, you won’t get approved if you have a limited credit history anyway. Choose a starter card or student credit card instead if you’re building from scratch or rebuilding.
People who could earn more with categories
Although they’re usually more work, rewards cards with rotating bonus categories sometimes offer the potential for more cash back than flat-rate cards like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.
Also, there are credit cards that pay higher cash back rates on everything. These also require excellent credit, but if you have the credit for this card, you probably have the credit for one of those.
Read more: Best rewards credit cards
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. competitors
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is unique in a few ways, but the idea of a flat-rate cash back card is certainly nothing new. Here are a few other credit cards that can easily be compared to the Capital One Quicksilver and might be a better fit for you.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is like a slightly watered-down version of its Quicksilver counterpart that you can qualify for with fair credit. It pays 1.5% cash back on everything and charges no foreign transaction fee, but it doesn’t offer bonus cash when you sign up, carries a (small) annual fee of $39, and has a lower credit limit.
If you can’t qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card but wish you could, you’ll be happy with the QuicksilverOne. It’ll help you build your credit so that next time you’re ready to apply for a credit card, you’ll have a better shot at the one you want most.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is perhaps the option most similar to the Capital One Quicksilver. It earns the same rate of 1.5% cash back on everything, as many cards do, except it also earns 5% cash back on all travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases.
Compared side-by-side, the two have really similar travel and protection benefits, bonus offers, and redemption options. Plus, both require at least great credit.
For very frequent travelers, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card may come out on top because it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® charges 3%. But from a pure rewards-earning standpoint, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the superior card.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Another strong contender in the flat-rate rewards card category, the Citi® Double Cash Card earns up to 2% cash back on everything, but the earnings structure is a little different than you might be used to. You’ll receive 1% back right away on each purchase and then another 1% when you repay each purchase, hence the “double cash.” There’s really no disadvantage to having rewards split up like this — it’s just a good reason to pay off your balance sooner.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is likely a better option than the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card for those who want to transfer a balance because its 0% intro APR offer lasts 18 months. It’s also probably going to help you earn more cash back, but Citi points might not be worth quite as much.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a competitive credit card ideal for people who want to earn cash rewards without an annual fee. It’s not a bad option for balance transfers and can help you save money on foreign transaction fees when you make purchases out of the country. And if you don’t mind booking through Capital One Travel, you can earn even more cash back.
That said, this card is not the highest-earning card available and is really only best for those with excellent credit scores. If you can qualify for the card but your credit isn’t good enough for the best interest rate or you can qualify but want more features and freebies, consider other options.