Are the Venture card’s travel rewards best for you, are you better off earning cash back with the Quicksilver card or should you apply for both? Our comparison guide will help you decide.
Capital One offers a variety of options for rewards-savvy cardholders, but the best card for you will depend on your appetite for an annual fee and how you like to use your credit card rewards.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card stands out as one of the best travel credit cards on the market, while the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a solid choice if you want to earn cash back on every purchase.
So how do you choose between the two? Will a travel card serve you well in the future, or do you prefer the simplicity of cash back? Why not both?
Here we take a look at how these cards’ sign-up bonuses, ongoing rewards and perks stack up.
See related: Cash back vs. points
Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Quicksilver
|Rewards rate||2 miles per dollar on other purchases||1.5% cash back on every purchase|
|Sign-up bonus||100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months of account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months|
$200 when you spend $500 within 3 months of approval
|Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 annual spend)||$823||$288|
|Who should get this card?|
The case for Venture
If you’re an aspiring or frequent traveler who’s searching for a card with exceptional travel benefits, the Capital One Venture is worth a look.
The Venture earns unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, so you won’t have to worry about tracking spending or juggling multiple cards. You can transfer to one of Capital One’s airline or hotel partners or redeem for travel via the Capital One Travel portal, as a statement credit for outside travel purchases or at a reduced rate as cash back or gift cards.
The card also offers a large sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. The value of Capital One miles varies depending on how you redeem them, but if you opt for travel, they’re worth 1 cent each, making this bonus worth as much as $1,000.
Cash back redemptions, on the other hand, fetch just 0.5 cents per mile, so the Venture card only makes sense if you could more readily use miles than cash back.Here are a couple more things to keep in mind:
- There’s no 0% intro APR. One of the big draws for rewards cards is a 0-% intro APR period, which can allow you to carry a balance without paying interest for a year or more. The Venture doesn’t have such an offer, but the Quicksilver offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months on new purchases and a 15.49% – 25.49% variable APR after that.
- The card charges an annual fee. Another big decision-maker when choosing a card is the annual fee. The Venture card’s $95 annual fee may be worth it, but only if you plan to use the card for the majority of your spending, redeem for travel and take advantage of its travel perks.
The case for Quicksilver
The Capital One Quicksilver also takes a streamlined approach to rewards. This flat-rate cash back card offers 1.5% back on all purchases, regardless of where, when or what you buy. You can redeem cash back for statement credits, checks or gift cards.
While the Quicksilver’s $200 sign-up bonus is much smaller than the Venture card bonus, it also carries a lower spending requirement of just $500 in the first three months. And unlike the Venture, the Quicksilver has no annual fee.
You’ll earn just 1.5 cents on every dollar spent with the Quicksilver – versus 2 miles per dollar with the Venture – but redeeming your rewards as cash back will give you great flexibility, as you won’t have to use rewards for travel to enjoy full value.
Here are a few more things to consider:
- You can earn more cash back with other cards. Compared to most cash back cards, the Quicksilver’s 1.5% cash back rate is about average. But there are other cards that offer higher rates, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers up to 2% back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay off those purchases) and the Discover it® Cash Back, which gets you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in accordance with the Discover Cashback Calendar every quarter after enrollment, then 1%.
- There are no bonus rewards categories. Some cash back cards let you earn double or triple cash back in certain spending categories, so if you spend heavily in an area like groceries or dining out, those may prove more rewarding in the end than a flat-rate card like the Quicksilver.
- You may not need to pay a balance transfer fee. If you’re looking to chip away at your debt over time with a lower interest rate, the Quicksilver could be a solid choice. Though the card charges a 3% balance transfer fee if you’re offered a promotional 0% intro APR as part of your transfer, it carries no balance transfer fee if you transfer at your standard card APR.
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.
The Venture card will help you stockpile miles for a future trip and allow you to enjoy great travel perks like expedited security screening. You’ll also have the option of transferring your miles to some frequent flyer programs and potentially stretching their value further. Meanwhile, the Quicksilver will allow you to earn flexible cash back rewards you can use as you see fit, without worrying about tracking spending or bonus categories.
Both cards require good to excellent credit to be approved, so be sure to take advantage of Capital One preapproval tools before you apply. You can also check out the CreditCards.com CardMatch tool to see if you have any targeted offers from other issuers waiting.