Some popular cash-back credit cards are known for generous rewards rates between 2 to 5%, but you often have to make an effort to keep track of a rotating rewards calendar. With unlimited 1.5% cash back on spending in every category, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a simpler alternative that delivers consistent rewards to consumers who want to streamline their spending.
Below, CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card to help you decide if it's the right card for you.
1.5% cash back on every purchase
Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
15.49% to 25.49% variable
3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR
See our methodology, terms apply.
The Capital One Quicksilver card is known for its consistent 1.5% cash back across all categories of spending. It delivers straightforward value with no annual fee and no minimum reward threshold for cashing in on your points.
In addition, the Capital One Quicksilver is currently offering an attractive welcome bonus of $200 when you spend $500 in the first three months of opening your account.
When you're ready to redeem your rewards, there are a few options. The most common method is transferring them directly to a connected bank account. There is also the option to have your cash automatically disbursed at a specific threshold of your choice.
Capital One also lets Quicksilver cardholders redeem their rewards as a statement credit and apply the cash value directly to their card balances.
As of November 2019, all rewards earned on Capital One cards can be redeemed on Amazon through Shop with Points. Though this program is known for lowering the value of travel miles, your Quicksilver cash back has a 1:1 value on Amazon.
CNBC Select calculated how much cash back the average American can earn if they optimize the way they use their Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.
The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953).
Here's a breakdown of how much cash back you can earn in each category, annually:
Based on the annual spending budget from Esri, the average American can earn an estimated $482 in the first year of card membership (assuming you earn the welcome bonus) and $1,809 over five years. This assumes that cardholders are redeeming cash back for a typical value of 1 cent each. Extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value, and you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your spending habits.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with travel protections just like other cards in the Capital One family. While it is not the most robust credit card for travelers, it does come with trip accident insurance and secondary car rental insurance. Emergency roadside assistance is available with this card, though cardholders may be responsible for covering any charges.
If you are planning on international travel, you'll be happy to know there are no foreign transaction fees for international purchases.
The Capital One Quicksilver card currently comes with a 0% APR introductory period of 15 months (then 15.49% to 25.49% variable). This 0% APR period applies to both purchases and balance transfers, with some important distinctions.
There is a 3% balance transfer fee if the transfer occurs during the 15-month 0% APR introductory period. After that, when the standard purchase APR is in effect, there is no fee for balance transfers.
The Capital One Quicksilver card does charge fees of up to $39 for late payments, and there is a $10 or 3% upfront fee for cash advances.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card requires good to excellent credit, but unlike many cards that dazzle consumers with double or triple miles, the value of this card is in its simplicity. For those who want 1.5% cash back on all spending and the ability to easily cash in rewards, the Capital One Quicksilver card is worth a look. Its $200 welcome bonus is particularly valuable if you plan on spending $500 or more within your first three months.
On the other hand, if you are a consumer who gets a thrill from taking an active role in your rewards spending, the Chase Freedom® card, which offers 5% cash back on categories that rotate every quarter, could be a better option to help you maximize your rewards.
Likewise, if you are a consumer who likes to keep many credit cards in your wallet, you might get more value out of a specialized rewards card, like the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® card that delivers 5X points on gas and is one of the best credit cards to use at the pump.
To determine which credit cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.
CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.
Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.
CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.
While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.
Information about the Chase Freedom® and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.