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August 23, 2017 12:00 PM PT

Capital One Quicksilver vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

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Both Capital One Quicksilver and Chase Freedom Unlimited give 1.5% cash back with no annual fee. Which one is better? We break down the surprising differences.

On the surface, the two cards seem the same. Both cards have similar sign-up offers and give you an unlimited 1.5% cash back. Both have no annual fee and no rotating categories.

But there are subtle differences you should not ignore. The Freedom Unlimited has the potential for higher rewards, while Capital One has no foreign transaction fees.

Which one is better for you? Read on to find out.

Capital One vs Chase

 

Capital One Quicksilver

Chase Freedom Unlimited

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% intro on purchases for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Purchase APR14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.74% to 25.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.74% to 25.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction FeeNo foreign transaction fee3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a one-time $150 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within three months of account opening.Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchaseCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic!
 Learn MoreApply Now

Capital One Quicksilver: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What You Get with Both Cards

$150 Bonus

With both cards, you get:

  • $150 bonus. Both cards give you the chance to earn $150 in cash rewards after spending $500 in the first three months of account opening.
  • 1.5% unlimited rewards. You get a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no limit to how much you can earn. There are no rotating categories to keep track of and your rewards never expire.
  • No annual fee. The sign-up bonus and rewards are generous for a card with no annual fee.

Note: Both cards require good - excellent credit, which usually means a credit score in the 700+ range. If you know your credit isn't quite there, focus on building credit first.

Which is Better, Chase or Capital One Credit Card?

Why Capital One Quicksilver Is Better

Here are some reasons you may prefer Capital One Quicksilver:

  • No foreign transaction fee. This may be your deciding factor. The Quicksilver has no foreign transaction fee, while Freedom Unlimited's fee is 3%. If you travel abroad frequently, you'd want the Quicksilver in your wallet.

  • Pick your own bill due date. This is another feature that you may find helpful. You can pick your own monthly due date to pay your bills. So if you usually get paid on a certain day, you can align your due date to your paychecks. Or you can set your due date to not coincide with other bills.

Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited Is Better

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited
The 1.5% reward rate may sound the same for both cards, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited has opportunities for higher rewards. It's the better choice for these reasons:

  • Earn an extra $25 for adding an authorized user. On top of the sign-up offer, you can earn an extra $25 for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase in the first three months. That means in total, you can earn up to a $175.00 bonus.

  • Shopping portal to earn bonus points. Chase has a great online shopping portal that awards bonus points for every $1 spent at partner merchants. Many popular online stores offer 3-5x bonus points, with some going up to as much as 20x points. This gives you the opportunity to earn more than just 1.5%. And you can rack up points faster.

    Capital One no longer has a shopping portal. So there are no other ways to earn extra points.

  • Earn Ultimate Rewards points. This could make a difference for you. With the Freedom Unlimited, you get your rewards in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most versatile and valuable credit card points.

    On their own, the points are worth cash back at 1 cent each. However, if you have one of the premium UR cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred), you can pool your points. This will then allow you to transfer them 1:1 to an airline or hotel partner, or use them to purchase travel on the Chase travel portal at a discount. This allows your points to be worth more.

    Even if you don't have one of the premium cards yet, think about if you'd eventually get one. This would get you in the Ultimate Rewards family, where you can later redeem for travel at greater value.

Both Cards Have Some Disadvantages

Beware of these potential downsides for both cards.

Downsides of Capital One Quicksilver:

  • No opportunities to earn extra points. Unlike Chase, Capital One doesn't have an online shopping portal where you can earn extra rewards when you shop at partner stores. All purchases will always be 1.5% cash back. And there is also no extra cash bonus for adding an authorized user.

Downsides of Chase Freedom Unlimited:

  • Larger balance transfer fee. The balance transfer fee is higher at 5% (versus 3% for the Quicksilver). This can add up to quite a bit. If you have a $3,000 balance to transfer, you'd be paying $150 in fees (as opposed to $90 for the Quicksilver).

  • Chase's 5/24 rule. Chase has a rule with certain cards. If you have opened 5 personal credit cards in the past 24 months (with any bank), you will not be approved for a new card. Unfortunately, the Freedom Unlimited falls under this rule.

  • 3% foreign transaction fee. There will be an extra 3% charge for purchases made outside of the U.S.

Bottom Line: Which Card Is Better for You?

Since the sign-up offer and reward rate are the same, this depends on what you hope to get out of it.

If you're traveling abroad, the Capital One Quicksilver has no foreign transaction fee. If you think you may eventually want one of the Chase's travel cards, Chase Freedom Unlimited will allow you to join the Ultimate Rewards family, where you can use your points at a higher value later on.

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited
At Chase's Secure Site
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

Cash Back Credit Cards 2015

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CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.