Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Quicksilver

Which rewards suit you best?

Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Quicksilver

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Capital One offers a number of rewards cards that have very focused interests, and others that are very broad. Two of Capital One’s top options are the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card. They both offer competitive benefits to the cardholder, but also have their fair share of caveats to keep an eye on. How do you choose between the two? It comes down to preference. Let’s take a look at how they compare.

Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Quicksilver

  Capital One Venture card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver card
Capital One Quicksilver Card
Rewards rate
  • 10 miles per dollar on hotel rooms booked and paid through hotels.com/venture
  • 2 miles per dollar on other purchases

 

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Sign-up bonus
50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within 3 months of approval
$150 when you spend $500 within 3 months of approval
Annual fee
$95, $0 in first year
$0
Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 annual spend)
  • $447
  • $288
Pros

 

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No limits on miles
  • Redeem any hotel or airline purchase for a statement credit
  • No minimum miles required to redeem for travel 

 

 

  • Redeem for any amount, any time
  • Redeem for statement credits, checks, gift cards and more
  • Automatic redemption option
  • Redeem for previous purchases

 

 

Cons

 

  • No ability to transfer miles

 

 

 

  • There are many credit cards that offer better returns

 

Who should get this card?

 

  • Cardholders who want to earn the most rewards on their credit card spending
  • Frequent travelers seeking a card with good travel benefits
  • Frequent customers of Hotels.com

 

 

  • Cardholders who want to avoid paying an annual fee
  • Cardholders who prefer a simple card with cash back rewards

 

 

The case for Venture 

If you’re a frequent traveler who’s looking for a card with exceptional travel benefits, the Capital One Venture is worth a look. It earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, and 10 miles per dollar on hotels purchased through hotels.com/venture. The miles you earn are unlimited and are redeemable for a travel statement credit. The card also offers a large sign-up bonus of 50K miles after $3,000 spent in the first three months of your account opening. 

The Venture aligns with the Quicksilver in only two ways. First, they share the same regular APR. Second, both of their sign-up bonuses are applicable within the first three months of account activation. Aside from that, what’s offered by the Venture is targeted to travel needs. The 50K-mile bonus is appealing within the context of travel card bonuses – and it’s hard to do a straight dollar-for-dollar comparison to Quicksilver’s bonus. So if you could more readily use miles over cash back, the Venture is the one to go with. 

Here are a few things to remember: 

  1. You can’t transfer miles. If transferring miles is a big deal for you when choosing a travel card, this one might be a disappointment. On the flip side, it has no blackout dates, no expiration and no airline or hotel booking limits.
  2. There’s no 0-percent intro APR. One of the big draws for rewards cards is a 0-percent intro APR period, which allows you to spend interest-free during the first year of your account. The Venture doesn’t have such an offer, but the 50K sign-up bonus is likely designed to help soften the blow. 
  3. The annual fee is waived for year one. Another big decision-maker when choosing a card is the annual fee. Here’s where the Venture adds a little more cushion to having to pay the full APR right away. Its $95 annual fee doesn’t kick in until after the first year of your account opening. The key is to not let it sneak up on you.   

The case for Quicksilver 

The Capital One Quicksilver takes a much more streamlined approach to rewards. This is a cash-back card with a flat 1.5-percent rewards rate. Unlike the Venture, the Quicksilver has no annual fee. But it does carry a $150 sign-up bonus for spending $500 in the first three months. The bonus applies to any type of purchase. And the cash you earn can be redeemed for any amount. You can also redeem for statement credits, checks or gift cards. 

Within the context of cash back cards, the Quicksilver is a very solid choice. Rewards simplicity is the name of the game, and it’s a helpful option toward getting you off to a fast start. The Quicksilver does have a 0-percent intro APR, which lasts for the first 15 months. This combined with not having an annual fee differentiates it from the Venture in a couple of key ways. But due to the nature of the rewards, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. If you view cash back as a more valuable reward than travel miles, the Quicksilver is the card you want to go with. 

Here are a few things to remember: 

  1. It doesn’t have an overly competitive rewards rate. In the context of cash back cards, the 1.5-percent cash back rate is about average. There are other cards that offer higher rates, such as the Capital One®  Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card at 4 percent on dining and entertainment. And with the Discover it® Cash Back, you can earn 5-percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in accordance with Discover's 2018 Cashback Calendar after enrollment. But Quicksilver’s rate is for any purchase and redeemable for any amount. 
  2. There are no bonus rewards categories. If you like to explore options for earning bonus rewards in certain categories, be aware that the Quicksilver doesn’t offer that option. It makes up for it with flexible redemption options as well as some additional benefits, such as travel and emergency assistance, auto rental coverage and fraud coverage. 
  3. It has a balance transfer fee. If you wish to transfer a balance to another account, the Quicksilver charges a 3-percent balance transfer fee. However, there is no foreign transaction fee to help soften the blow for cardholders planning to earn overseas.

The case for both 

Once you’re clear on how the Venture and the Quicksilver differ, you may find that you’re best suited taking advantage of the strengths of both. Depending on your lifestyle, having both cards might alleviate some pressure in some areas. For instance, the benefits of the Venture allow you to travel while earning points, while the benefits of the Quicksilver allow you to earn through making purchases while traveling. Or, you could earn cash back to handle personal expenses, while earning miles for business purposes. 

Both are for knowledgeable credit card users, and both require good to excellent credit to be approved. So be sure to make timely payments, and plan for the annual fee on the Venture after the first year. Either one of these cards is a solid choice in their respective areas. But the possibilities are wide for the use of both of them, as long as you’re aware of how to best utilize the rewards based on your everyday life.  

See related: Earn 10x miles on hotel stays with the Venture and VentureOne cards, Why some people prefer cash back over travel rewards


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Updated: 11-15-2018