Full Review of Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
Simple rewards program with a decent return
Decent introductory offers
No annual or foreign transaction fees
No penalty APR
No opportunities for bonus rewards rates
The one-time offer is relatively small
The APR can be comparatively high
- Simple Rewards Program With A Decent Return: If you’re looking for a no-fuss cash-back credit card that pays respectably, this one is worth considering. It offers a flat 1.5% cash-back rewards rate on every purchase you make, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. While many other rewards credit cards offer bonus rewards rates on certain spending categories, some of those also offer only 1% cash back on all other spending. With its mid-level standard rate (there are cards that pay more), this card might prove not only simpler to use but more lucrative in the long run.
- Decent Introductory Offers: As a new cardholder, you’ll earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. That’s an effective 30% return on “investment,” and it’s achievable even for someone who has a relatively small budget. On top of that, you’ll also get access to an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, after which the variable APR is 15.49% to 25.49%. If you have a big balance on another card that you need to pay down or need to make a big purchase, you’ll have plenty of time to pay it off interest-free—although some cards do offer 3 to 6 months more time than this one. Just keep in mind that there’s a 3% balance transfer fee.
- No Annual or Foreign Transaction Fees: The card not only charges no annual fee—common among cash-back credit cards—but also no foreign transaction fee. It’s not the only cash-back card that waives this fee on purchases made abroad, but you’ll find more cards in that category that do charge it than not. Foreign transaction fees typically run close to 3% on each international purchase, so this card could save you a good amount on a long trip.
- No Penalty APR: Unlike most cards, the APR doesn’t increase to a penalty rate—usually the highest interest rate charged on the card—after you’ve been in arrears on payments for 60 days or more.
- No Opportunity for Bonus Rewards Rates: The card's flat-rate rewards structure is appealing in its simplicity. But if you’re willing to complicate your life a little with a card that offers more rewards in areas where you spend a lot, this one won’t do it. What's more, it doesn’t even offer the highest flat rewards rate out there. For example, the Citi Double Cash Card, another card with no annual fee, offers 1% back on every purchase plus another 1% when you pay your bill. The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature card gives you 2.5% cash back on all purchases—though it charges a $99 annual fee after the first year.
- The One-Time Offer is Relatively Small: Earning $150 after spending just $500 in three months is a nice incentive. But if you have a bigger budget, you could potentially earn more with a different cash-back credit card. One example is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card, which offers 20,000 bonus points—good for $200 in cash back, gift cards or travel—after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. It has no annual fee. Also, if you’re fine with paying an annual fee, some travel credit cards offer even higher one-time offers.
- The APR Can be Comparatively High: After the card’s introductory 0% APR promotion ends, the ongoing variable APR can range from 15.49% to 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Some other cards have a lower range of APRs. According to the Federal Reserve, the average credit card interest rate is 17.14%. Of course, this APR won’t matter if you pay your balance in full each month, which we recommend. But if you think you might have a balance left over after the promotional period, or you habitually carry a balance, think twice about applying.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
The Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card is a solid choice for people who either don’t spend a lot in any one budget category or prefer one rewards rate instead of multiple rates, depending on the purchase.
It’s also a good option if you're looking for a long introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases, balance transfers, or both. Remember, though, that some other balance-transfer credit cards skip the upfront balance transfer fee.
The card’s lack of an annual fee is also appealing for people who are generally fee-averse and don’t want to worry about earning enough rewards to recoup a yearly cost. Just be sure to take time to compare it with other no-annual-fee cards to ensure you pick the right one for you.
Finally, given its absence of a foreign-transaction fee, think about getting the card if you want a cash-back credit card to use abroad. The fees of up to three percent charged by other cards may not seem like a lot, but can add up to a surprisingly high figure over the course of an international trip.
Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card One-Time Offer
You’ll earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. In other words, you’d only need to spend only an average of $167 per month during the first three months you own the card in order to earn the incentive. That’s an achievable pace of purchases even if you’re not a big spender.
Keep in mind, too, that if you’re doing a balance transfer, the card’s one-time offer would offset the pain of the 3% balance transfer fee if you were to move $5,000 or less from another credit card.
Rewards Earning Details
Cardholders earn a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no limit to how those earnings. On the one hand, that eliminates any need to emphasize certain spending habits in order to earn more rewards on certain purchases. But on the other, it also means there’s no opportunity to earn more than 1.5% in rewards on categories in which you spend a lot.
Rewards Redemption Details
You have three choices when redeeming your rewards: a paper check, a statement credit (general or against a specific purchase) and gift cards. Your rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open, so you don’t need to worry about allowing them to accumulate. That said, there’s no minimum redemption amount, so you can truly gain access to your cash back anytime you want.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Because the Capital One Quicksilver doesn’t offer any bonus rewards rates, the best thing you can do to maximize your rewards is to use the card every chance you get.
However, because this card’s flat rate is lower than the cash back percentage for some other cards, be careful in the event that a merchant charges extra to use a credit card, as do some gas stations for example. If the credit card price exceeds the cash price by more than your rewards amount of 1.5%, you may want to simply pay in cash or debit—or use another credit card that rewards you at least as much as the price difference, if you have one. That way, you aren’t losing money by opting for paying with this card.
When it comes to redeeming rewards, you might also want to consider buying a gift card, and going online to check the redemption rates for those. Partners include Amazon, the Gap, and Macy’s. A customer rep for Capital One said partners sometimes offer specials that allow you to get a card that offers a little more in value than you pay or offers extras such as discounts on purchases.
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel assistance services
- Extended warranty protection
- Access to premier culinary experiences, as well as music and sporting events
While Capital One ranks third in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Customer Satisfaction study, behind Discover and American Express and tied with Chase. Its scores on individual attributes of consumer service are, however, only about average.
The card issuer provides free access to your VantageScore credit score through its CreditWise feature, but that platform is available whether you’re a cardholder or not. Also, many other card issuers provide free access to your FICO credit score, which is the score used by most major lenders.
If you have a question, you can reach Capital One customer service 24/7, which is standard for the credit card industry. However, unlike almost all other card issuers, access is only by phone or physical mail; no email or online chat options are offered. You can also manage your account through Capital One’s mobile app, which was ranked No. 2 among banks by J.D. Power in 2019.
Capital One offers a couple of security features that aren’t standard for the industry. While almost all issuers now allow you to freeze your card temporarily if it’s misplaced, Capital One is among a select number of issuers that allow you to do so in a mobile app. And if you’re concerned about using your card number online, Capital One allows you to create a virtual number tied to the account that keeps your card information number safe.
You can create a virtual card number for each website you use and lock and unlock numbers whenever you want.
Hidden Fees to Watch Out For
The card’s fees are on par with other cash-back credit cards in the industry, but remember that some balance-transfer credit cards don’t charge a fee on those transactions, as does the Capital One Quicksilver.
The Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card is best for people who prioritize simplicity in their financial lives. The card’s flat rewards rate makes it easy to remember what you’re earning every time you use it. And the absence of an annual fee means that as long as you’re paying off your balance in full every month, and so aren’t incurring interest charges, the rewards you earn represent pure gains, with no offsetting expenses.
The card’s decent introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers also make it a good option if you’re also looking for some interest savings. However, if this feature is a priority for you, you may want to shop around. Other cards are available that provide a longer period of 0% APR than the 15 months provided by the Capital One Quicksilver, and don’t impose a balance-transfer fee like the 3% charge this card applies.
Some of those cards may also offer other features that appeal to you more than the corresponding ones on this card, as well. While the one-time offer for the Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card is easily earned, and represents an excellent “return on investment,” the offers for some other cards deliver a bigger total reward, albeit with a larger required “spend” as well.
Also, if you spend heavily in certain categories, a rewards credit card that maximizes cash back on that particular spending might be a good substitute—or worthy complement—to the Capital One Quicksilver, which pays a steady but unremarkable 1.5% on virtually all purchases. For instance, some cards offer a tiered rewards system, giving you a higher rate on things like groceries, gas, dining, travel, or other spending categories.