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Average Credit Showdown: Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards

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Average Credit Showdown: Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards

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If you have fair credit and want cash back on your purchases, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® should be on your radar.

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a solid cash-back rate on all purchases, and the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® comes with slightly higher rewards on a select group of common shopping categories. Both cards come with tools intended to help cardholders bolster their credit overall.

Picking the right card involves examining your personal spending habits and deciding which one will net you the most cash back.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Stellar cash back

Earning cash back doesn’t get much simpler than with the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Don’t worry about shuffling through your wallet to pick the right card at the right time, or having to opt in to quarterly categories. You just swipe and save. Redeeming cash back is easy, too. You can cash out any amount at any time, or have it done automatically when cash back hits a designated amount, like $25, $50, $100 or $200.

The card has an annual fee of $39, which probably won’t break the bank but should be taken into consideration.

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®: Categorized cash-back bonus

The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® provides a slightly higher rewards rate than the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card on a select group of common categories.

With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries and utility purchases and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Since most people spend regularly on these categories, netting bonus points with the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® should be easy. Redemption is flexible, and points can be redeemed as a statement credit (1 cent per point) or for a selection of gift cards (starting at 1,000 points).

The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® comes with a focus on rewarding improvements in your credit behavior. This card provides free access to your FICO score and can send you alerts when your score changes. This feature complements a credit line re-evaluation after five consecutive on-time payments. So, if you’re consistent about paying your bill on time, you could see a rise in your credit limit in addition to your credit score.

This card’s annual fee is $0, so it bests the competition on that measure. But be sure to consider all factors, not just the yearly fee, when making your decision.

Which card is right for you?

It depends where you spend the most money. If gas, groceries and utilities are among your most common expenditures, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® will probably lead to more cash back in the course of a year. If you prefer to think less about using the right card at the right time, and you don’t mind earning the same rewards rate on all purchases, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card may be a better fit.

Either way, both cards are geared towards people who are working on improving their handling of credit. In the long term, improving your credit score will almost always save you money.

Kevin Cash is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: kcash@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @kevin_cash.


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