If you’ve been searching for an uncomplicated rewards credit card, you could do worse than one of the fraternal Quicksilver cards. Both the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) and the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) deliver on that front.
There are a few important differences between the cards, but ultimately, the Quicksilver is the one to choose. However, if you don’t have the credit to qualify for it, the QuicksilverOne is a good card to help get your credit in better shape while still earning some cash back rewards.
Let’s take a look at what separates the two cards, and why the Quicksilver comes out on top.
What’s the Difference Between the Quicksilver and the QuicksilverOne?
- The Quicksilver is aimed at people with good credit to excellent credit, and thus has more enticing features.
- The QuicksilverOne is designed for people with fair credit, which makes it easier to get.
- They vary in their annual fees:
- Quicksilver: $0
- QuicksilverOne: $39
- The Quicksilver offers a welcome bonus and a 0% intro APR for purchases:
- $200 cash bonus for spending $500 within 3 months of account opening
- 0% APR for 15 months, then 15.49% – 25.49% Variable
- The Quicksilver comes with a more impressive benefits package.
The most important difference between these two cards is that the QuicksilverOne is intended to help you build up your credit, and therefore has a lower credit requirement. The only reason you would choose the QuicksilverOne over the Quicksilver is if you don’t have the credit scores to qualify for the latter card. Neither card has a foreign transaction fee, so traveling doesn’t really factor into the decision — either card could take you places.
However, Capital One indicates that you may be considered for other cards if you’re not approved for the Quicksilver. This doesn’t involve a second hard inquiry, and you can decline the new offer if you so choose.
That means there isn’t much reason to apply directly for the QuicksilverOne. Even if your credit scores are low, there’s still a chance for approval for the Quicksilver card. And if you aren’t approved for the Quicksilver, you could be approved for the QuicksilverOne from the same application.
If you do need to increase your credit scores, the QuicksilverOne isn’t a bad choice. It’s relatively rare to have a card aimed at credit building that lets you earn rewards at the same time. However, there are cards that help build your credit, earn rewards, and don’t ask for an annual fee, like the Discover it® Secured (Review). But that’s a secured card, meaning it requires a somewhat sizable one-time deposit, so the annual fee may seem like the lesser evil for some consumers.
A Side-by-Side Look
The QuicksilverOne earns the same rate as the Quicksilver, but the Quicksilver will typically come with a welcome bonus.
Again, the main things that distinguish these two cards are the credit requirements and annual fees. Both cards have the same redemption options. You can redeem your cash back, at any time and for any amount, for:
- Statement credits
- Paper checks
- Gift cards
You could also use cash back to pay for Amazon purchases, or when checking out with PayPal. But redeeming for statement credits would likely be the easiest choice.
How Do the Benefits Compare?
Not having an annual fee isn’t the only thing that gives the Quicksilver card an edge. There are some large differences between the benefits as well. Neither card has an emphasis on travel, so there aren’t any major travel protections such as Travel Accident Insurance or travel assistance perks like emergency help (outside of roadside dispatch).
The Quicksilver features a handful of protections that the QuicksilverOne doesn’t have, including:
The Quicksilver will be issued as either a standard Mastercard or a Mastercard World Elite, depending on your creditworthiness. The difference between the two versions is a Mastercard concierge service. The concierge helps cardholders with non-emergency tasks like making dinner reservations, finding entertainment tickets, or locating gifts. Taking advantage of it could end up being pretty useful.
See Benefits for Each Card
- Mastercard Concierge (Mastercard World Elite only): Anywhere you are, 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, call for personal assistance in dining, entertainment, and travel.
- Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes.
- Cell Phone Protection: Pay your monthly phone bill with the card to get coverage against damage and theft.
- Price Protection: If you find an eligible purchase being advertised for less, you can be reimbursed for the price difference.
- Extended Warranty: Register to double an eligible manufacturer’s warranty protection up to one additional year, for warranties of three years or less.
- MasterRental Coverage: Provides coverage for collision damage and theft of eligible rented vehicles, when you decline the rental company’s own insurance
- Master RoadAssist Service: 24-hour toll-free dispatch for help with services like towing, battery recharge, fuel delivery, and more. Third-party fees apply.
- Security and account alerts: Get notified about changes to your account or unauthorized activity.
- Capital One Second Look fraud coverage: Automatically monitors your account 24/7 for fraudulent activity
- Access a higher credit line: Capital One may automatically consider you for a higher credit line after six months. Credit cards for average credit typically come with credit limits on the small side, like $1,000 or less at first, so this is a nice feature to have.
- Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes. Anyone can enroll in the CreditWise service, cardholder or not.
- Capital One Second Look fraud coverage: This tool will automatically monitor your account, 24/7, for fraudulent activity.
- Mastercard ID Theft Protection: Finding out that someone has stolen your identity and is pretending to be you is stressful. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of identity theft call 1-800-MC-ASSIST. These services are available at no charge.
Which Card Is Better?
The Quicksilver Cash Rewards is the better card. The lack of an annual fee coupled with the same rewards puts it ahead of the QuicksilverOne.
The extra protections and concierge service seal the deal. The protections could end up saving you money given the correct circumstance, and the concierge service could save you valuable time. Pair those features with the welcome bonus and introductory APR offer and it’s pretty clear that the Quicksilver is the better version of the card.
Again, the only reason to get the QuicksilverOne is if you applied for the Quicksilver card but couldn’t qualify due to credit, and were, therefore, offered the QuicksilverOne card instead. The QuicksilverOne is still a good card to use if you need to build up your credit, but once you’ve done so, you can then qualify for better cards, like the Quicksilver.
Alternatives to the Quicksilver Cards
For Good to Excellent Credit
- Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review): The Double Cash is one of the best flat-rate cash back credit cards around. For no annual fee, you’ll earn 2% cash back for every purchase (1% for purchases, and 1% for payments; must pay at least the minimum due on time). There are few benefits, but it does come with an intro APR offer for balance transfers.
- Wells Fargo Active Cash Card (Review): A new rival to the Double Cash, the Active Cash credit card offers 2% back for everything you buy, plus an intro APR offer for both purchases and balance transfers. It even has some relatively impressive benefits for a no annual fee credit card.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review): Not only does the Freedom Unlimited match the Quicksilver’s rate of 1.5% cash back, but it also features additional 5% and 3% cash back bonus categories. It doesn’t require an annual fee and comes with some pretty good benefits.
For Poor, Fair, or Average Credit
- Journey Student Rewards from Capital One (Review): The Journey Student Rewards is even easier to qualify for than the QuicksilverOne, but it offers a slightly lower rewards rate. It’s designed for people looking to establish their credit, and while it has “student” in the name, it’s available to everyone.
- Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Card: The Customized Cash Rewards Secured is chock-full of surprising features for a secured card, including a compelling rewards program. You can choose your rewards and monitor a credit score as you work to build your scores up, all for no annual fee. Secured cards are easier to obtain than unsecured cards, so if you have to get one, this would be far from a poor choice.
- Petal® 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Card (Review): The Petal 2 is pretty unique. It’s an unsecured card designed for people with limited credit, but it doesn’t actually require a credit score to get. It has its own mobile app and also offers just as much cash back as the QuicksilverOne. It doesn’t have an annual fee and comes with a couple of perks. Card is issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.