Editorial Review

Capital One Quicksilver Review: A No-Fuss, No-Gimmicks Cash Card

A pioneer in offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, this card also gets credit for letting you redeem your cash in any amount — no minimum.

Erin El IssaJune 11, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: This card's 1.5% cash-back rate set a new standard. Easy earning and easy redemption make it a winner.

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High rewards rate and no minimum redemption

  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee

  • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

  • Sign-up bonus

Cons
  • Other cards have longer 0% periods

  • No bonus rewards categories

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Higher rewards rate

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

1% + 1% cash back on all purchases

This no-fee card gives you 2% back on everything: 1% when you buy it and 1% when you pay it off. But this offer includes no sign-up bonus or 0% period on purchases, and you can't redeem less than $25 in cash back.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card set the standard for an entire generation of cash-back credit cards with an extremely simple value proposition: 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

By itself, the sheer simplicity of the rewards is enough to recommend the card. You get an excellent cash-back rate with no bonus categories to remember or spending limits to keep track of. But the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card goes even further by offering low fees, a solid sign-up bonus, easy rewards redemption and a lengthy introductory 0% APR period.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Basics

  • Card type: Cash back.

  • Annual fee: $0.

  • Sign-up bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

  • Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • Interest rate: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.

  • Balance transfer fee: 3%.

  • Foreign transaction fees: None.

Where the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card shines

Simple rewards earning and redemption

People who value simplicity will appreciate the straightforward rewards on the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. And the ease of use doesn't apply only on the rewards-earning side. The card doesn't have a minimum redemption amount. While many competitors require you to amass as much as $25 in rewards before you can cash out, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card lets you redeem for any amount at any time. Want to redeem $1.89 worth of rewards and get that soft drink for free? Go right ahead.

Cash sign-up bonus

The only thing better than earning cash is earning it with minimal effort. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has a solid sign-up bonus with a fairly low spending requirement to earn it — meaning you're less likely to feel pressured to overspend.

Low fees

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good option for the fee-averse. It charges an annual fee of $0, and because it has no foreign transaction fees, it's one of the best cash-back cards to take with you when traveling internationally. Even the 3% balance-transfer fee is lower than what many of its rivals charge. (Still, if a balance transfer is your main purpose in applying for a new credit card, there are better card options without transfer fees.)

Great 0% APR period

Because of the transfer fee, we don't usually recommend this card for balance transfers. But it's a great option if you have a big purchase coming up that will take a few months to pay off. It has an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.

Reasonable qualification requirements

This card is marketed to people with good credit, which we generally define as scores above 690. This is not the only decent rewards card that's available to people with good (but not excellent) credit, but we appreciate that you don't have to be pushing 800 to qualify for a decent rewards card with low fees.

Why you might want a different card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has a lot going for it, but it isn't the best fit for everyone.

You can get a higher flat rate

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer pays 2% cash back on purchases — 1% when you make them, plus another 1% when you pay them off. That's obviously a better rate than the 1.5% on the Capital One card. However, the Citi card does not offer a sign-up bonus. Taking the bonus into account, you'd have to spend $30,000 with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer before your total rewards exceed those on the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Once you reach that milestone, though, you'll always be ahead in terms of rewards.

Rewards rate aside, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer lags the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card in a couple key areas:

  • It has no 0% APR period for purchases.

  • It charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

  • You can't redeem your cash back until you have accumulated at least $25 in rewards.

If any of these is a dealbreaker for you, go for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

You can get bonus rewards on gas and groceries

Flat-rate rewards are perfect for consumers with varied spending habits. People who spend a significant chunk of their budget on gas and groceries should consider a card that specifically rewards these types of transactions. Enter the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. It offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in spending per year — then 1%),  2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else. (Terms apply.)

(All information about the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.)

If you spend at least $61 a week at the supermarket, take a look at the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It charges an annual fee of $95 but pays much richer rewards:  6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. (Terms apply.)

These cards also include bonus offers for new cardholders and 0% introductory APR periods.

Strategic spending can earn you 5%

If you don't mind logging in to your account every quarter to opt into bonus rewards categories, you may want to check out one of the 5% credit cards — the Chase Freedom® or the Discover it® Cash Back.

Both of these cards earn 5% cash back in categories that change every three months; you have to opt in to the category each time it changes. The 5% cash back is good on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending. All other spending earns 1% cash back. The current bonus categories for both cards can be found here.

To learn more about how your cash-back credit card options might stack up, check out our best credit cards page.

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Probably the best-known rival to the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card in the 1.5% cash-back game is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The cards have identical rewards rates, both allow you to redeem cash back in any amount, and they have similar 0% APR periods, too.

The key difference comes in their bonus offers. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® doesn't have a traditional sign-up bonus — a chunk of cash you earn by spending a certain amount. Instead, in your first year with the card, you earn 3% cash back on the first $20,000 in purchases. The math here is simple and straightforward: If you expect to put less than $10,000 on the card in the first year, you'll come out ahead with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. If you expect to put more than $10,000 on the card in the first year, you'll do better with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Two other noteworthy differences:

  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you expect to be doing a lot of spending during international travel, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is the more cost-effective choice.

  • The cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is technically earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which can give you more flexibility (and potentially more value) when you redeem.

Should I get the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card?

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card isn't fancy. That's a feature, not a drawback. It doesn't pay the highest cash-back rate on the market, but few cards offer as compelling a combination of rewards rate, redemption simplicity, low fees, sign-up bonus and 0% APR period.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.