Capital One's Quicksilver is one of the best cash-back rewards cards anywhere.
Not only does it come from one of largest credit card issuers in the world, but the card paved the way for the modern cash-back standard:
1.5%, rather than the previous 1%.
If you're looking for a way to get the most out of your spending (and who doesn't want money back?), then the Capital One Quicksilver is going to be one of your best options.
The Capital One Quicksilver gives 1.5% cash back on any and all purchases, which is nearly 50% more than competitors.
The card also provides a one-time cash back bonus of $100 when you spend $500 total within the first three months.
Unlike many competitor's cards (and even other Capital One cards), the Quicksilver has lower spending requirements before you receive this bonus.
You could spend $500 on groceries in three months. The only question you need to ask is what you're going to spend that free c-note on.
If the cash back bonus isn't enough, think about the purchase rate.
For the first nine months of owning the card, you pay 0% APR.
After those nine months, the rate ranges from 13.49% to 23.49%.
The transfer rate is almost the same, with only a 3% penalty imposed on funds transferred within the first nine months of owning the card.
The APR you receive will be based on your credit rating, so those with very high credit scores and expect the lowest APRs.
There's no annual fee, either.
This means that you aren't penalized for owning the card; it's low-maintenance, which means even more money in your pocket.
And because the rewards don't expire, you can take your time deciding what to redeem them on, or even save them up over time—perfect for those who might want to use their cash back to purchase an expensive plane ticket or plan a big vacation away from home.
Capital One Cardholder Benefits
The Quicksilver also comes with all benefits granted to Capital One cardholders.
The most obvious of these benefits is the ease of access; with online banking and mobile apps, you can access your account at any time, from anywhere.
This lets you keep an eye on your transactions and initiate transfers whenever you need.
Capital One also provides 24/7 customer service, so if you run into trouble, someone is just a call away.
On top of this, you can set up alerts to notify you of specific activity on your account.
Author note: customer service accepts calls from overseas as well as within the continental United States. While traveling in Asia, my card was locked for suspicious activity. A five-minute chat with a customer service representative solved the issue and allowed me to continue using the card.
Should your physical card or just the card number be stolen, fraud coverage and interactive alerts help you stay on top of it.
You can choose how to receive these alerts (from email, text, or the phone), making it easy to respond instantly to suspicious activity.
If the thieves still get away with your information despite these steps, you're covered under Capital One's fraud liability. And because your account is monitored automatically 24/7, you'll know right away if there is any suspicious activity on your account.
Some of the monitoring benefits include Capital One's Second Look program, which specifically looks for duplicate or unusual charges.
For example, if you typically spend money on sports gear and suddenly purchase a $75 makeup palette, you'll get a notification.
The transactions are also listed in more detail, including the date, time, and location, so that you know exactly what to look for.
Capital One works with Apple Pay.
Just pull up your card on your phone and hold it over the scanner; no need to use your physical card.
Capital One also allows you to choose the date you make your card payments, as well as the method, with no fee at all.
If you don't want to worry about remembering to make payments, the autopay feature pulls it straight from your bank account.
Some of the most impressive benefits become apparent when traveling.
There are no foreign transaction fees when using your credit card outside the United States, and you have automatic travel insurance if you use your card to purchase your ticket.
You can also have a replacement card issued immediately as part of the 24-hour travel assistance service.
Finally, if you rent a car using your credit card, you receive rental insurance at no additional cost.
These benefits are available to all Capital One cardholders, but the Quicksilver also comes with World Elite MasterCard benefits.
These include free extended warranties on any items purchased with your credit card, complimentary concierge service for travelers, and identity theft resolution services.
You'll also have access to complimentary travel upgrades, and perhaps even more beneficial, early check-in and check-out whenever available.
Anyone who travels frequently knows nothing is worse than waiting in a hotel lobby when all you want is a hot shower and a soft bed.
The World Elite MasterCard benefits also include travel protection up to $1,500 for non-refundable travel expenses as well as price protection on items purchased; if you find a lower price on an item within 120 days of purchase, you will be refunded the difference.
Where the Quicksilver Shines
It can sometimes be difficult to determine what sets one card apart from others, but the Quicksilver makes that difference very clear.
It beats out the competition in a number of different areas.
If you've ever owned a rewards credit card before, then you know just how complicated it can get.
Whether you have to keep track of rotating categories or opt-in programs, many rewards cards can be more work than they're really worth.
The Capital One Quicksilver has a simplified structure that makes it easy to optimize the rewards you get while minimizing the work you have to do.
You receive 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no need to sign up for or keep track of anything.
There's no limits on how much you can redeem, either; any amount, any time.
This was mentioned earlier.
There's no need to calculate exactly how much you need to spend to earn an extra $100 in cash back; just spend $500 within the first three months and get a one-time bonus of $100.
Take a moment and think about it: that's nearly 14 hours of work at minimum wage.
Some of the worst things about owning a credit card are the fees.
Whether it's the annual fee, transaction fees, or some other kind of fee, they take money out of your pocket.
The Capital One Quicksilver card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and only a 3% fee for a balance transfer.
If you're among the thousands who despite pointless credit card fees, the Quicksilver is a solid option.
Low introductory APR
For the first nine months of owning the card, you have 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
While this isn't a notably long period of time, it's better than nothing.
However, there are cards out there with longer promo APRs.
What to Know Before Applying
While applying for a credit card isn't complicated, there are a few things to know ahead of time that will make the process easier.
What is the minimum credit score I should have?
The Capital One Quicksilver is a card for people with excellent credit.
This translates to a score of 720 or higher; if your credit is lower than this, then your chances of qualifying for the card drop significantly.
Considering the average FICO score is around 695, the Quicksilver is owned by a limited number of people.
What fees are associated with the Quicksilver?
While there is no annual fee for owning and using the Quicksilver, there are a few other fees to be aware of.
There is a 3% fee for any balance transfers.
If you miss a payment, the penalty is $35.
If you take a cash advance, your fee is either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater.
What is the minimum credit line?
While your individual credit line will be determined based on your financial information and credit score, the minimum credit line for any Capital One Quicksilver cardholder is $1,000.
What are the daily periodic interest rates?
According to Capital One's website, "The daily periodic rate for your Introductory Purchase APR is 0.00000%, Non-Introductory Purchase APR is 0.03696%, 0.05066% or 0.06436%, Introductory Transfer APR is 0.00000%, Non-Introductory Transfer APR is 0.03696%, 0.05066% or 0.06436%, and Cash Advance APR is 0.06436%. "
What is the minimum payment?
If your balance is less than $25, then that balance will be your minimum payment.
Above $25 and the minimum payment will be $25 or 1% of your balance, as well as any late payments and interest.
If there an outstanding past due amount, that will be added to the minimum payment, as well.
How can I redeem rewards?
You can redeem your rewards at a specific time each year, or you can set up a redemption threshold.
This threshold is usually $25, $50, $100, or $200.
Rewards come in the form of a statement credit or a check. Keep in mind that there is no limit to the rewards you can earn.
What do other customers have to say about the Quicksilver?
If you're looking to see what other people have to say about the Quicksilver, check out some of these reviews.
The overall rating on Capital One's website is 4.6 out of 5.
"It's a great fit for me because I can make a payment from my phone at any time, check my transactions and balance on my phone. They give me rewards any time I need them and are helpful on the phone."
-- helabdk (5 out of 5)
"I think the card features are great. But I'm very upset that Capitol one has nothing to offer me as far as credit increases after 2 years of perfect payment history. Especially because my income has greatly increased since I opened this card."
-- Farrahl (1 out of 5)
"The Capital One Quicksilver card staff are great. I've main maintained my Capital One card since I turned 18 and was issued my first credit card. I use this card periodically and one time I was quite late as I forgot there was a balance. Your staff took off the late charge and ensured my credit would not be affected. I will never close this account knowing I've a great support staff behind me, who I feel value my business, in the event I need assistance."
-- Dstep (5 out of 5)
"Ok card but too low limit $3500 and too high interest, very disappointing since I have 800+ credit and had capital one for years. Opened with Amex with a 10k limit and 5% lower interest also cash back. Came in handy for a $4000 bedroom set purchase. Been asking for a higher limit for years, always denied."
-- Mmrtn223 (2 out of 5)
The majority of customers are happy with the card, with only 141 1-star reviews out of a total of 4,748 reviews. 3,505 of those reviews were 5-star.
The primary complaints could be found in reference to Capital One's customer service staff and the mobile app.
Hi-ho Quicksilver, Away?
The Quicksilver is a card with a huge number of strengths.
While the maximum APR of 23% is a bit steep, on-time payments and proper spending habits can mitigate any risk associated with owning the card.
There are almost no others on the market that compete with the 1.5% cash back rate (all that comes close is the Citi Double Cash Card), and the signup bonus is literally free money.
If you're a frequent traveler, the Quicksilver may not be the best choice — but if you are someone that wants to make the most of your day to day spending and would enjoy being rewarded for grocery shopping or getting gas, then it's hard to beat the Quicksilver.
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