If you have excellent credit and want a no-fuss cash-back rewards program with a decent rate, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card should make your short list. There are other cards that earn you more per dollar, but many of them lack a bonus for new cardholders or are more of a hassle to use.
Easy way to earn and redeem a solid rate of cash back
Decent welcome bonus
No promotional balance transfer APR offer
- Easy way to earn and redeem a solid rate of cash back: You’ll earn a competitive flat rate of cash back with no limits that you can redeem at any time—and rewards never expire. You can even set up automatic redemptions. (More on that below.)
- Decent welcome bonus: This offer is in line with what similar cards with no annual fee are offering right now. And we like that the spending requirement is relatively low.
- No promotional balance transfer APR offer: While this card boasts a competitively long 0% APR offer on purchases, it lacks the comparable balance transfer deal other flat-rate cash-back cards are advertising right now. If you’re not trying to consolidate card balances and save on repayment costs, this won’t matter, but if you are, pass on this card.
Bonus for New Cardholders
If you spend at least $500 within the first three months after you open your card, you’ll get a $150 cash-back bonus. Capital One will credit it to your rewards balance within two billing cycles.
This is not a large offer, but it’s a typical promotion among similar flat-rate cash back cards. To get a higher bonus, you’ll probably have to spend more on the card, and the card may charge an annual fee.
If you’ve ever had a Capital One Quicksilver card before, you may not be eligible for this bonus.
Earning Points & Rewards
Capital One’s rewards system is very straightforward and simple. You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all the purchases you make. In other words, for each dollar you spend, you’ll earn 1.5 cents in cash back rewards.
This is a competitive earning rate for a no annual fee card, though there are a few that offer 2% cash back on all purchases—or even more—if you’re willing to pay an annual fee, invest the money, or take other extra steps.
Still other credit cards earn you rewards at a higher rate, but only for some types of purchases.
There’s no limit on how much you can earn. What’s more, rewards never expire. The only time you might actually lose your rewards balance is if you close the card without first redeeming your rewards.
You can redeem your rewards at any time and for any amount in three main ways:
- Statement credit
- Gift card
You can even set up your rewards account to automatically pay out at set times of year (for instance, every quarter) or when you reach a $25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,500 threshold.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Keep this card in your wallet and use it as your go-to card for all of your purchases. Always remember to pay off your credit card in full each month, because any interest you have to pay could easily wipe out your cash-back earnings. Similarly, if you use this card to finance a large purchase, make sure the balance is paid off before the promotional period ends.
This card offers a handful of benefits that make The Balance's cut for high-value perks worth noting:
- Travel accident insurance: If you or a covered travel companion experiences a severe, even fatal accident as a passenger on a plane, train or other common carrier, you'll be covered for as much as $1 million as long as your trip was paid for with your card.
- Insurance coverage for delayed luggage: You'll receive up to $100 per day for three days to cover daily must-haves if there's a delay in returning your bags while traveling on a trip paid for with your card.
- Insurance coverage for trip cancellation or interruption: If your travel plans are disrupted because of an unexpected injury or illness, you may be reimbursed up to $1,500 for non-refundable expenses as long as you used your card to pay for the entire trip.
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Extended warranties
- Lowest advertised price match
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Roadside assistance hotline
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
Capital One ranked “about average” among 11 credit card issuers in the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Its mobile app also was rated as “about average” in another 2019 J.D. Power study, though the online banking experience overall was rated “better than most.”
One stand-out feature that Capital One provides is a tool called CreditWise. It provides you a free VantageScore 3.0 credit score, access to your TransUnion credit report, and a simulator that can show you how different activities, such as paying off your credit card debt, might affect your credit score. You also don't even have to have a Capital One card to sign up for CreditWise.
The CreditWise tool can also help you monitor your credit for fraud by notifying you when there are changes to your TransUnion or Experian credit reports. In addition, CreditWise will scan the “dark web” for information such as your Social Security number, and notify you if it’s detected somewhere it shouldn’t be.
Capital One also offers account and security alerts to notify you if anything fishy is detected on your Quicksilver account. If it is, or if you just need peace of mind if you misplace your card, you can lock your card via the mobile app to prevent it from being used. Plus, Capital One can provide you with a virtual credit card number that you can use for online shopping, so you don’t have to disclose your actual card number to merchants.
The card’s fees are in line with other credit cards, but travelers will appreciate that there is no fee for foreign transactions.