With a solid cash back rate of 1.5% on every purchase, an easily obtainable introductory bonus and a host of travel and retail benefits, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option for rewards lovers. Here’s how you can get the most out of it.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card was my most frequently used credit card from 2003 until 2020.
It was the first credit card I signed up for, way back in college. I stuck with it for so long because it’s a very simple, low-cost way to earn a solid cash back return on every purchase.
Earn rewards on all your purchasesThe card gives 1.5% cash back on everything you buy. The introductory bonus ($200 after spending $500 in the first three months) is a nice, quick pop that’s easy to obtain. Both are very competitive among no-annual-fee cards. Speaking of fees, the Quicksilver doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, either.
The total package is tough to beat. There are some cards that offer more cash back on every purchase, but they typically fall short in at least one of these other areas (perhaps their sign-up bonus is lower or they charge annual or foreign transaction fees).
I also like that the Quicksilver delivers rewards daily, as transactions post. Most credit cards make you wait until your monthly statement closes. I typically redeemed these for statement credits, although it’s possible to get a check or a gift card. Cardholders can also donate rewards to charity or offset Amazon.com purchases.
Quicksilver rewards are very straightforward. There’s no need to calculate point values or ratios. Rewards are represented in terms of dollars and cents (“rewards cash”). And there’s no minimum redemption threshold. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
If you have other credit cards that give more than 1.5% cash back in some categories but less in others, the Quicksilver can help you earn more rewards in those categories you aren’t able to maximize elsewhere. You can earn even more rewards by using Capital One Offers, a free online shopping portal for Capital One cardholders. It delivers enhanced rewards (often 10% cash back or more) at certain retailers.
An intro APR, if you need to carry a balance
Generally speaking, rewards cards aren’t a good deal if you carry a balance, because the typical interest rate is much higher than the rewards payout. But the Quicksilver card has a compelling promotion for new cardholders: A 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 15 months your account is open. After that, the variable APR is 15.49% to 25.49%, based on creditworthiness.
The 15-month 0% APR only applies to new purchases (balance transfers are charged the regular APR ranging from 15.49% to 25.49%). The Quicksilver might be a good choice if you want more time to pay off big purchases, but make sure to knock them out before the 15-month mark, when interest starts accruing.
Helpful retail and travel benefits
Some Quicksilver cards run on the Visa network, while others carry the Mastercard logo. Both can include helpful benefits. Mine was a Visa Signature card. Those additional privileges include:
- Extended warranty coverage (double the original manufacturer’s written U.S. repair warranty up to one full year on warranties of three years or less)
- Purchase protection (if eligible purchases are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, Visa will repair or replace them, up to $500 per claim)
- An auto rental collision damage waiver (this is secondary coverage, meaning you need to go through your personal car insurance policy first – if you have one – but it can still be useful)
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 when you charge your entire common carrier ticket)
If your Quicksilver is a World or World Elite Mastercard, you’re entitled to even more card perks and benefits. Along with the four categories mentioned above, World and World Elite Mastercard holders also qualify for cell phone insurance, a free ShopRunner membership and discounts from Lyft, DoorDash and HelloFresh (to name a few).
*note: as of the date of publish the Quicksilver card is issued under Mastercard.
But wait, there’s more
A couple of other Quicksilver perks that are nice to have, though not entirely unique, are contactless functionality and free credit monitoring. Contactless payments (tapping a card or phone at the point of sale) have rapidly grown since the pandemic made people concerned about touching potentially germy surfaces.
Free credit monitoring offers a different kind of protection. It can alert you to identity theft issues, and it also helps you improve your credit score, which is one of the most important numbers in your financial life.
CreditWise from Capital One, as it’s known, alerts you to changes in your credit history and keeps you up to date on your credit score and report. It also lets you run sample scenarios to see how certain activities (like opening a new account or paying down debt) might affect your score.
What credit score you’ll need to qualify
The Quicksilver card is marketed to individuals with good-to-excellent credit (which typically means a credit score of 670 or above, though that’s not a guarantee of approval). Lenders are still nervous about the pandemic and the state of the economy, so I’d feel better if you’re applying with a score above 700.
The average FICO score is 711, so most people are in the ballpark. If your score is in the 580 to 669 range, you might be better off with the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It has fewer benefits but is easier to qualify for. You could always upgrade later on, once you’ve raised your credit score.
I was a loyal Quicksilver cardholder for a long time. I eventually moved on to more lucrative rewards cards, but I still think the Quicksilver is a good fit for a lot of people.
Have a question about credit cards? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to help.