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Capital One QuicksilverOne review: Enjoy no foreign transaction fees, even with average credit

CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card to help you decide if it's the right card for you.

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If you like to travel internationally, but don't have a high credit score, you might be frustrated looking for a credit card that doesn't tack on foreign transaction fees. Enter: Capital One.

One of the best features of Capital One credit cards is that they guarantee no foreign transaction fees, no matter where your credit score ranks on the scale of 300 to 850. While a higher credit score may help you qualify for a lower APR or a card with a better rewards program, consumers with average credit can still benefit from having a credit card with added perks.

Among them is the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, with an annual fee of $39 and variable APR of 26.99%. If your credit score is between 580 and 669 and you've been looking for a card with no foreign transaction fee and unlimited cash back, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® may be an accessible option.

Below, CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card to help you decide if it's right for you.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review

  • Rewards
  • Additional benefits
  • Fees
  • Bottom line

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    1.5% cash back on all purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $39

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    None

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Fair

  • See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Redeem cash back at anytime and for any amount
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Access a higher credit limit after making your first five monthly payments on time

Cons

  • $39 annual fee
  • 26.99% variable APR
  • No welcome bonus
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $293
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $1,464
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Information about the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® 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.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card rewards

Just like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, the QuicksilverOne delivers a competitive 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no limits to how much you can earn.

If you elect to deposit your cash back rewards directly into your bank account, you can set up automatic disbursements as frequently as you like. According to Capital One's terms, you have the option of disbursing your points at a set time each calendar year, or when you reach a specific threshold that you determine.

Your cash-back rewards are also redeemable as credit statements that wipe out a portion of your credit card balance. Alternatively, you can apply your cash-back balance to gift cards for retailers like Walmart and Lowe's, or for restaurants like Subway and Starbucks, among others. Capital One cash rewards are also now redeemable on Amazon.com.

Unlike the Quicksilver, the QuicksilverOne does not offer a welcome bonus.

CNBC Select calculated how many rewards the average American can earn if they optimize the way they use their Capital One® QuicksilverOne® 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:

  • Groceries: $78
  • Gas: $33
  • Dining out: $55
  • Travel: $34
  • Utilities: $73
  • General purchases: $59
  • Total: $332

Based on the annual spending budget from Esri, the average American can earn an estimated $293 in the first year of card membership, after accounting for the $39 annual fee, and $1,464 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.

Additional benefits

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the best cards for fair and average credit because it helps consumers raise their credit limit after making their first five monthly payments on time.

All Capital One cardholders can utilize CreditWise from Capital One to track their credit score and simulate hypothetical purchases to see how every choice would affect their credit.

Beyond credit building, the QuicksilverOne card offers limited retail benefits, like extended warranty protection for eligible purchases, and travel benefits like accident insurance, 24-hour trip assistance services and secondary rental car insurance (also known as an auto collision damage waiver).

Fees

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has a slightly higher variable APR at 26.99%, meaning you need to be even more careful about paying your card in full every month. There is no balance transfer fee, but there is also no introductory 0% APR period. If you want to use your credit card to pay off debt or another large purchase, there are better cards that offer a 0% APR period for special financing.

Like all Capital One credit cards, the QuicksilverOne lets international travelers spend freely with no foreign transaction fees.

The annual fee for the Capital One QuicksilverOne card is $39.

Bottom line

When used responsibly, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card bestows cardholders with the ability to travel internationally without any foreign transaction fees and the opportunity to improve their credit score as long as they practice good financial habits, paying their balance on time and in full each month. Establishing good habits with the QuicksilverOne card will help consumers become eligible for cards with lower APRs and additional benefits, like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

Our methodology

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.

The credit ranges stated are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Information about the Capital One® cards has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.