Capital One’s Platinum vs. Quicksilver: Quicksilver Clearly Wins — If You Qualify

The Platinum is a bare-bones card that helps people build credit, and that’s about it. If you’ve graduated beyond the credit-building stage, choose the Quicksilver for its handsome rewards.
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Written by Jae Bratton
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A head-to-head battle between the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Platinum Credit Card really isn’t a fair fight. The Quicksilver has rewards, a sign-up bonus and an intro annual percentage rate (APR) period on purchases and balance transfers, all for a $0 annual fee. The Platinum doesn’t have any of those perks.

Of course, the Quicksilver’s rich benefits come at a price: your credit score. Only consumers with good to excellent credit, meaning a credit score of 690 or higher, can qualify for the Quicksilver. The Platinum has a lower barrier to entry, requiring only average credit.

Here’s how to decide between these two Capital One cards.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Credit score requirement: According to Capital One, you'll need excellent credit to qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. Typically, excellent credit means a credit score of at least 720. However, note that applicants with less-than-excellent credit may be approved for a different version of this card — one that earns the same ongoing rewards, but doesn't offer the upfront incentives of a sign-up bonus or intro APR period.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Credit Card Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Annual fee

$0.

$0.

Sign-up bonus

None.

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Rewards

None.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

APR

The ongoing APR is 29.99% Variable APR.

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies.

Why the Quicksilver is better for most people

Simple rewards

Earning rewards with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is as straightforward as it gets. Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases and an elevated 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal.

Rewards don't expire, and there is no minimum redemption amount.

Redemption options include cash back, statement credit and gift cards. Rewards may also be used to pay for purchases through PayPal and Amazon.

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t earn any rewards.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Through Nov. 14, 2024, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card cardholders get up to six months of Uber One membership statement credits.

Sign-up bonus

New Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card holders will want to cash in on the card’s sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The Quicksilver’s bonus is equal to those offered by other highly rated cash-back cards, but the spend threshold to receive it is substantially lower than some other cards’. Many people will have no trouble spending the required $500 within three months to get the bonus.

Typical of cards for people with fair credit, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus.

Intro APR and balance transfer period

Unlike the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, the Quicksilver boasts an intro APR period for new cardholders: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies. Paired with the card’s sign-up bonus and rewards, the intro APR period makes the Quicksilver an excellent card for those who need to finance large purchases.

Say your AC unit needs to be replaced at a cost of $5,000. By paying for the installation with your new Quicksilver card, you’ll immediately cash in on the sign-up bonus — and earn an additional $75 in rewards. Plus, for the next year or so, you won’t have to worry about paying interest on that sizable balance thanks to the card’s intro APR period.

Balance transfers to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card are subject to the same APR grace period as new purchases, but you will have to pay a balance transfer fee. Capital One allows cardholders to move balances from other credit cards, personal loans, student loans and auto loans.

Who might prefer the Platinum

Where accessibility is concerned, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card beats the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. Those who have fair or average credit cannot qualify for the Quicksilver, which requires at least good credit. For that consumer cohort, the Platinum wins over the Quicksilver by default.

Truthfully, though, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card may not even be the best card for people with fair credit. Consider the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®, which has the same $0 annual fee as the Platinum, but it earns 1.5% back on all purchases — the same rate as the Quicksilver's.

Which card should you get?

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card offers little that the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t. If your credit is good, you can get the Quicksilver and enjoy all of its benefits that are lacking in the Platinum.

What can you do if you want the Quicksilver, but your credit score only qualifies you for the Platinum? Get the Platinum first, and use it to build your credit. After all, that’s exactly what the Platinum is designed to do. Here are nine tips to build your score by as much as 100 points.

Once your credit score is high enough, go after the Quicksilver in one of two ways:

  • Call Capital One and ask for an upgrade to the Quicksilver. However, note that upgrading doesn’t allow you to cash in on a card’s sign-up bonus or get a higher credit limit.

  • Submit an application for the Quicksilver. The downside of going this route is that applying for a credit card triggers a hard pull on your credit report, which could lower your credit score, albeit temporarily

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