Capital One Quicksilver vs. Capital One Platinum

Which card is best for you?

Quicksilver vs. Capital One Platinum card

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The Capital One Quicksilver card and the Capital One Platinum card share the same issuer. But aside from their affiliation with Capital One, these two cards are a world away in terms of the benefits they offer and the reasons why a cardholder might choose them. 

The Capital One Quicksilver card is a high-yield cash back card designed for cardholders with excellent credit. It offers a flat 1.5 percent cash back rate that can add up to big savings for cardholders who use it regularly.

The Capital One Platinum card is a plain vanilla credit card designed for cardholders who are building or rebuilding their credit. It doesn’t offer a rewards program, nor does it offer a sign-up bonus. Instead, its biggest selling point is its forgiving stance toward cardholders who are rebuilding their credit: If you pay your bill on time five months in a row, for example, it will automatically raise your credit limit.

Which card is best for you?

Deciding which card is best for you depends on how high your credit score is and what you’re looking for in a credit card: Do you want a cash back card that rewards you for spending? Or would you rather stick to a simple, plain vanilla card you can use to upgrade your credit?

Here’s what else to consider when comparing the two cards:

Capital One Quicksilver vs. Platinum card from Capital One

  Quicksilver card
Quicksilver card
Capital One Platinum card
Capital One Platinum card
Rewards rate
1.5 percent cash back on general purchases None
Sing-up bonus
$150 cash back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months None
Annual fee
$0 $0
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900) $288 $0
Pros
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No penalty rate
  • Rewards don’t expire as long as account is active
  • No limit on the number of miles you can earn
  • You can use your cash in any way you want
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No penalty rate
  • Simple, plain vanilla credit card
  • Will give you access to a higher credit line after you pay on time five months in a row
Cons
  • You can’t transfer cash to other rewards programs
  • Doesn’t offer a rewards program
Who should get this card?
  • Someone who wants to earn cash back
  • Someone with excellent credit
  • Someone who wants a simple credit card
  • Someone who is building or rebuilding credit

Best for someone who wants to earn cash back: Quicksilver Rewards card

If you like the idea of earning rewards alongside your spending, then the Quicksilver Rewards card is a clear winner. This low maintenance cash back card is ideal for cardholders who want to earn a significant amount back, but don’t want to put of a lot of effort into their earnings. Because the Quicksilver card gives you 1.5 percent cash back no matter what you’re purchasing, there’s no need to keep track of rewards categories or worry about whether you’ll earn a bonus with your spending. For example, if you charge $1,000 a month, you’ll earn $180 over the course of the year, just by swiping your card.

Cash back earned on $1,000 monthly spend

Quicksilver card Capital One Platinum card
$1,000 x 1.5% cash back x 12 months = $180 $0 (no rewards program)

Best for someone who wants a simple card without rewards: Platinum card

The Platinum card is a better pick for someone who may be tempted to charge more than they can afford or who doesn’t use their card regularly.

Because rewards programs and 0-percent interest promotions can make overspending more enticing, a simple, no-frills credit card, such as the Platinum card, may encourage you to be more conservative with your spending. Also, people who don’t use credit cards often tend to like plain, vanilla cards because they’re simpler than rewards cards.  

That said, since the Platinum card is designed for cardholders who have average credit, its finance charges are steep. If your credit is excellent, you’d be better off looking for a low rate credit card, such as U.S. Bank’s Visa Platinum card or PNC Bank’s Core Visa.

Best for some who wants to rebuild credit: Platinum card

For cardholders who are just starting to use credit or who are rebuilding their credit scores, the Platinum card is a good option. Unlike some competitors, it doesn’t charge an annual fee, nor does it charge a penalty rate. So if you run into a stretch of bad luck and repeatedly miss payments, you won’t be surprised with a higher interest rate than you were expecting.

Like all Capital One credit cards, the Platinum card also waives foreign transaction fees – a rare perk for a card aimed at consumers with imperfect credit. In addition, the Platinum card will automatically raise your credit limit after your first five months of on-time payments, which will have a beneficial impact on your credit score. Since larger credit limits are hard to get for consumers with damaged scores, that perk alone is worth a lot.

Best for someone with excellent credit: Quicksilver card

If you have excellent credit, choosing the Quicksilver card over the Platinum card is a no brainer. Not only will the interest most likely be lower, but many of the perks – including no foreign transaction fees and no penalty APR rate – will be the same.

Note: If your credit score isn’t high enough to qualify for a Quicksilver card, but you’d like to earn cash back with your spending, you may want to consider the QuicksilverOne card. This card offers the same 1.5 percent cash back rate on all purchases, but is designed for cardholders with average credit. The only caveat: In addition to a higher minimum APR, it charges a $39 annual fee – which can significantly cut into your overall earnings. For example, if you charge around $300 a month, you’ll earn roughly $54 over the course of the year. But if you factor in the annual fee, you’ll only earn around $15.

Cash back earned on $300 monthly spend

Quicksilver card QuicksilverOne card
$300 x 1.5% cash back x 12 months = $54 $300 x 1.5% cash back x 12 months - $39 annual fee = $15

Which card should you choose?

If your credit is excellent, the Quicksilver card is a great low-maintenance cash back card to use for everyday spending. But if you’re trying to build credit or just want a plain, no-frills card, the Platinum card has some appealing features.

The Platinum card’s finance charges are high, so it’s not a great choice for carrying a balance. But if you need help qualifying for a larger credit limit – thus improving your credit score – or just want a plain vanilla card to demonstrate that you regularly pay your bills on time, the Platinum card is a decent choice.

See related: Citi Prestige vs. Platinum card from American Express: Which card is best?, American Express Premier Rewards Gold vs. Platinum card from American Express


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Updated: 12-11-2018