Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card review: Earn 1.5% cash back, no annual fee, and build credit


Rating as of Mar. 16, 2022 based on a review of services November 15, 2022.

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Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850
Our Bottom Line:

Students will love the simplicity of this cash back credit card from Capital One. Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day, and your rewards won’t expire for the life of the account. Plus there’s no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or other hidden fees to worry about. Build your credit with responsible card use and be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months.

Intro APR Purchases N/A
Intro Term Purchases N/A
Intro APR Balance Transfers N/A
Intro Term Balance Transfers N/A
Regular APR 17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it's misplaced, lost or stolen
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Editor's Note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for students, but lacks a bit of firepower to be considered a strong all-around card. 

An all-rounder credit card for students would offer: 

  1. Low interest rates.
  2. Debt protection and credit-building tools.
  3. Cash back rewards.
  4. One or two perks.

But curiously, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card skips right over letters A and B, and instead piles on C and D.

Cardholders seeking a simple earning structure will like this card, as it offers a generous 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no annual fee to worry about. But, you’ll have none of the credit-building or debt-protection tools offered by its competitors. 

Overall, it’s all depends on what you’re looking for in your first credit card.

Key facts

  • Best for – Students building credit.
  • Signup bonus – N/A.
  • Cash back – Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • Intro APR – N/A.
  • Regular APR – 17.99% - 27.99% (Variable).
  • Perks and unique features – Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, Complimentary Concierge Service.

In-depth analysis of the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Let’s take a deep dive into the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. 

Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, every day.

That’s it. Clean and simple. 

At first, the lack of rotating spending categories with 5% cash back may seem stodgy, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good student credit card that offers 5% back on anything. 

And offering a blanket 1.5% cash back on everything has its advantages, too.

  1. First of all, it means that as a busy student, you won’t have to keep track of constantly rotating rewards categories. I’ve personally felt a mix of frustration and FOMO when I forget that I could’ve gotten 5% back on a big purchase if I’d just remembered to time the purchase right. 
  2. Second, credit card companies don’t offer 5% cash back out of the goodness of their collective hearts. They’re trying to encourage spending — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is problematic when you’re a student who’s trying to stick to a budget, build credit, and resist impulsive spending.

That’s why the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s 1.5% cash back on all purchases is such a good fit for students — it manages to be highly rewarding without encouraging non-essential purchases. 

Bonuses

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card does not have a signup bonus. But like the card’s lack of rotating rewards categories, its lack of a signup bonus isn’t necessarily a glaring shortcoming. 

If you’re new to the world of rewards credit cards, you should know that signup bonuses aren’t automatic — they typically require you to spend a certain amount of money within a certain time window (typically thousands of dollars). 

That’s money many college students just don’t have!

APR

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s APR situation is, frankly, its biggest drawback. 

The card charges 17.99% - 27.99% (Variable) APR on all purchases from day one.

If you’re new to credit card APR, here’s how it works. 

Let’s say you place $1,000 worth of charges on your card and are unable to pay it back after 30 days (though you wouldn’t do that because you know that you should pay off your credit card balance in full every month). Here’s how to calculate how much interest you’ll owe: 

  1. Divide your APR by 365, so 0.2699 / 365 = 0.00074.
  2. Multiply by your balance, so 0.074 x $1,000 = $0.74.
  3. Multiply by days in your billing cycle, so $0.74 x 30 = $22.20.

$22.20 may not sound like much, but credit card debt can snowball quickly. That’s why it’s more than a little disappointing that the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t have any safety nets to protect its young cardholders from debt. 

Annual fee

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card charges no annual fee, which is standard among student-focused rewards cards. 

Other fees

Whenever you consider signing up for a credit card, you’ll want to familiarize yourself not just with the perks and bonuses, but the fees as well. After all, one big “gotcha” fee can wipe out months of hard-earned cash back rewards.

In the case of the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, the fees are pretty standard fare. 

  • Annual fee – $0.
  • Balance transfer fee – 3%.
  • Balance transfer APR – Varies by cardholder.
  • Cash advance fee – 3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10.
  • Late payment fee –  Up to $40.

Curiously, Capital One claims that they may offer new cardholders a promotional APR, without providing any further details. But I wouldn’t apply for this card with the intent of transferring a balance from your old card, since the promo may fall through and you’ll be hammered by 17.99% - 27.99% (Variable) APR.

If you’re looking to save on interest through a balance transfer, consider MU30’s list of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards.

Unique perks and benefits

Things improve significantly with the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s perks and benefits.

In a somewhat surprising move, Capital One has positively loaded up its student rewards cards with special features typically reserved for top-tier cards with annual fees. 

  • No foreign transaction fees. Heading to Paris to meet with a friend? Don’t worry about getting nickel-and-dimed for every transaction — like many travel rewards cards, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Extended warranty. Store and manufacturer warranties will automatically be doubled if you purchased the item using your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card (this perk doesn’t apply to cars, sadly!).
  • Credit limit raised after six months. Provided you make on-time payments, you’ll automatically be considered for a raise in your credit limit in as little as six months.
  • $0 fraud liability. If your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is ever stolen and used to make fraudulent charges, Capital One will not hold you liable for them (just be sure to report your stolen card ASAP!).
  • Autopay. Capital One lets you set up autopay so you never miss a full (or minimum) payment on your account. Consider this step to be essential!
  • Travel accident insurance. If you purchase a trip using your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, you and your dependents will automatically be insured for up to $100,000 for loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing while at the airport or on the plane. Pretty unlikely to happen, sure, but still nice to have.
  • Complimentary concierge service. Looking for tips on travel, dining, or entertainment? You can call up Capital One and get free guidance from their 24/7 concierge service.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services. If your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is ever lost or stolen, not only will you not be liable for fraudulent charges, but you’ll get an emergency replacement and a cash advance right away. 

These perks may not be worth much on a daily basis, but on a particularly bad day, they can be extremely valuable.

For example, if your $1,000 TV suddenly dies out on you three weeks after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, not to worry, your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card will cover the replacement, as long as you used the card to make the TV purchase.

How much can you earn with the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card?

Normally, this is where I’d show you a big chart with various spending categories, percentages, and calculate how much you could earn in cash back depending on your lifestyle. But the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s rewards are so straightforward you can illustrate them with a simple slider.

For example, if you spend $1,500 monthly, you’ll earn back $22.50 in cash back per month or $270 per year.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card Review: Is The High-Risk, High-Reward Student Card Right For You? - Rewards slider

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to redeem your points for cash back. You can also convert them to gift cards, use them to recharge your PayPal balance, or apply them to your Amazon purchases at checkout. 

 

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back — The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers generous and straightforward rewards — instead of having to track rotating categories, you’ll just get 1.5% cash back on everything.
  • Accepts fair credit — The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card accepts fair credit (620+), which is important since as a student you may have limited credit history.
  • No annual fee — The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card charges no annual fee, so you won’t get a “gotcha” bill for $95 in a year’s time.
  • Doesn’t encourage nonessential spending — The lack of a signup bonus or 5% cash back on rotating categories may seem like omissions at first, but their absence discourages unnecessary spending — which may be more important in the long run.
  • Valuable perks — Perks like travel accident insurance and extended warranty may be worth $1,000s on the day you have to use them.

Cons

  • No intro APR offer — The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t offer 0% APR for any amount of time on either new purchases or balance transfers, making it unviable for anyone looking to carry over old debt or potentially create new debt.
  • No signup bonus — While the lack of a signup bonus discourages nonessential spending, a small bonus for meeting a reasonable spending threshold would’ve been a nice touch (e.g., $50 for spending $500 in six months).
  • Dangerously high APR17.99% - 27.99% (Variable) APR from day one is a pretty threatening incentive to stay out of debt — and potentially catastrophic if you can’t.
  • No debt safety nets — Unlike some other student-centric rewards cards, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t offer young cardholders tools or programs to help them stay out of debt, such as late payment forgiveness.
  • No credit building tools — Similarly, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s lack of credit-building tools is a vexing omission — especially since the card is marketed as helping students build credit.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card compared

How does the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card stack up to its closest competitors — including ones from within the Capital One stable? 

 Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit CardCapital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit CardChase Freedom® Student credit card
Credit requiredFair (620+)Fair (620+)Good (690+)
Annual fee$0$0$0
Intro APRN/AN/AN/A
Regular APR17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)17.99% Variable
Signup bonusEarn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three monthsEarn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months$50 bonus earned after making your first purchase within 3 months
Rewards1.5% cash back on all purchases3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores, plus 1% on all other purchases, plus 8% on entertainment purchased through the Capital One Entertainment Portal.1% cash back on all purchases
Perks and benefitsExtended Warranty, Master RoadAssist® Services, 24/7 Concierge, and moreExtended Warranty, Master RoadAssist® Services, 24/7 Concierge, and more$20 Good Standing rewards on each anniversary of account opening for up to 5 years, credit limit increase after making 5 monthly on-time payments within 10 months

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now On the Secure Website

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card shares most of its DNA with its stablemate, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. You’ll get the same APR, same perks, and sadly, still no signup bonus. 

The difference comes in the form of rewards. Rather than 1.5% cash back on everything, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers extra rewards (unlimited 3%) within categories that students tend to drop money in, including groceries, entertainment, and streaming services — plus 1% on all other purchases. 

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Apply Now On the Secure Website

Chase’s counterpart to the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card, eschews competitive rewards for a generous signup bonus.

You’ll get $50 just for making your first purchase within three months, plus a $20 “Good Standing” bonus on your account anniversary for up to five years (as long as you don’t default). 

You’ll also get 1% back on all purchases, making the Chase Freedom® Student credit card a worthy contender in the space. 

Should you get the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card?

Whether or not you should get the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card entirely depends on your spending habits in school — because it’s always better to let your spending habits pick your card, and not the other way around!

This card might be a fit if:

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card might be a fit if you don’t plan on generating debt of any kind in school and you value simple, straightforward cash rewards.

The card’s sky-high interest rates and lack of debt-forgiveness are extremely risky — but if you’re confident you’ll always be able to pay off your balance, it’s rewards may make up for the risk. 

This card might not be a fit if:

Conversely, if you doubt your ability to pay off your credit card each month while you’re in school, you should probably avoid using the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card.

If you’re a student, you probably have enough to worry about before adding snowballing credit card debt to the plate. 

It’s also not a great fit if you’re the kind of person who likes maximizing coupons and rewards — you may be happier with a card offering 3% cash back in certain categories. 

Finally, if you’re looking for a student credit card only for use in case of emergency, it would make more sense to get a card with a signup and/or anniversary bonus, since you’ll earn more cash rewards for making just a handful of purchases each semester. 

How to apply for the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you decide the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good fit, head to the card’s homepage, where you can re-familiarize yourself with the card’s benefits:

Be sure, also, to carefully comb through the card’s Rate and Fee Information, located in a scrolling window at the bottom of the page:

Once you’re ready, click “Apply” and you’ll be brought to the card’s application form:

Note that you’ll have to share your degree type and expected graduation date, as well as estimated annual income. Don’t worry if your income is low — you won’t be disqualified, you’ll just start out with a slightly lower line of credit (e.g., $3,000 instead of $5,000). 

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application, you’ll receive your card in the mail within 7-10 business days. And since there’s no ticking clock on a signup bonus, there’s no rush to use the card once you activate it!

Summary

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great fit for the student who can always pay it off and appreciates simple, straightforward rewards. Its high APR and lack of debt-avoiding safety nets are vexing, even threatening, but as long as you can make your payments, you’ll enjoy a card with solid cash back and even more generous perks.

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About the author

Total Articles: 195
Chris helps people under 30 prosper - both financially and emotionally. In addition to publishing personal finance advice, Chris speaks on the topics of positive psychology and leadership. For speaking inquiries, check out his CAMPUSPEAK page, connect with him on Instagram, or watch his TEDx talk.