If you have good to excellent credit, prefer a simple cash-back rewards program that earns a decent rate, and you want a credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, the Capital One Quicksilver should make your short list. There are other credit cards could earn you cash back at a higher rate, but many lack a sign-up bonus or are more of a hassle to use. In the first year or two, the Quicksilver’s welcome bonus may put you ahead of those cards.
Good welcome bonus
Competitive interest-free deals on balance transfers and purchases
Easy way to earn and redeem cash back
Lower earnings rate than other flat-rate cash-back credit cards
Requires good to excellent credit score
- Good welcome bonus: Given that the Quicksilver doesn’t have an annual fee and the spending requirement to get the bonus is relatively low, this is a compelling offer that meets those offered by other cards on the market.
- Easy way to earn and redeem cash back: You’ll earn a good flat rate of cash back with no limits and that you can redeem at any time—rewards never expire. You can even set up automatic redemptions (more on that below).
- Competitive interest-free deals on balance transfers and purchases: Pay no interest on purchases or balance transfers made in the first 15 months. This is in line with many competing balance transfer offers, though there are certainly some that are longer. Note that you won’t earn rewards on transferred balances.
- Lower earnings rate than other flat-rate cash-back credit cards: Other cards earn 2% cash back on all purchases—some earn even more.
- Requires a good to excellent credit score: FICO generally classifies credit scores of 670 or above as “good” or better. If you have average credit, you may not qualify for this card (but you may want to look at the Capital One QuicksilverOne card).
Capital One Quicksilver Welcome Bonus
If you spend at least $500 within the first three months after you open your card, you’ll get a $150 welcome bonus. Capital One will credit it to your rewards balance within two billing cycles.
There are higher sign-up bonuses out there to consider, but they usually require you to spend more on the card to get the bonus, and the card may charge an annual fee. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one with a higher bonus and no annual fee, so that's worth looking at.
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, with a few small catches. 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 decent earnings rate, especially for a free card.
Other credit cards earn you rewards at a higher rate, but only for some purchases. Alternatively, some cards give you a higher flat rate than the Quicksilver (like 2% or more), but don’t come with a sign-up bonus.
To put the 1.5% earnings rate in perspective, consider this: In 2017, the average U.S. family spent $40,176 per year on expenses, not including housing. This could translate into $602.64 in cash back if you put all of your non-housing expenses onto the card.
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 $25, $50, $100, or $200.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Keep this card in your wallet and use it as your main 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.
Capital One Quicksilver’s Excellent Perks
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, interruption, or delay: 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.
Capital One Quicksilver’s Other Features
- 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 third out of 11 credit card issuers in the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, scoring just above the industry average. Its mobile app also was rated as “about average” in a 2019 J.D. Power study, but Capital One’s online experience 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.
If your credit report notes a new application for credit that you didn’t make yourself, that’s a sign that thieves may be applying for credit in your name. Learn about how to recover from identity theft.
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. Finally, 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.
Capital One Quicksilver’s Fees
The card’s fees are in line with other credit cards, but travelers will appreciate that there is no fee for foreign transactions.