Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Juan Ruiz
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Earning credit card rewards can be challenging if you have limited credit or less-than-perfect credit. But there’s a clear path to building or rebuilding your credit to qualify for rewards-earning cards.
Today, we’re discussing a pair of Capital One cards that are good vehicles to improve your credit so you can earn credit card rewards.
If you have limited credit or credit with a few blemishes, you’ll want to learn more about how these cards work. And more importantly, how you can leverage the cards to qualify for even better cards that have greater earnings and more benefits.
Today we’re comparing the Capital One Platinum Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. Each card is designed for a consumer with a certain credit history, and each card, when managed well, can take you to the next step of building better credit.
Let’s take a look at how these cards compare and which may be best suited for your situation.
|Feature or Benefit||Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome Offer||No welcome offer is available.||Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.|
|Security Deposit Required||No||No|
|Reports to All 3 Major Credit Bureaus||Yes||Yes|
|Upgrade Card or Increase in Credit Limit||Evaluated by Capital One after 6 months of positive history|
|Redemption Options||N/A||Cash-back, a statement credit, shopping at Amazon or via PayPal, gift cards|
|0% APR on Purchases||N/A||15 months from card approval, after that the current APR applies (rates & fees)|
|Annual Fee||$0 (rates & fees)||$0 (rates & fees)|
While the Capital One Platinum card does not offer a welcome bonus, the Quicksilver card offers a welcome bonus in the form of cash earned when you complete minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.
The Capital One Platinum card is great for those looking to build up their credit score and credit history, without paying a deposit or annual fee.
If you’re ready to get serious about building or rebuilding your credit, you’ll want a credit card for which approval is probable, one that has a simple structure and is easy to manage, and ideally, has some benefits you can use. This is where the Capital One Platinum Credit Card really shines.
A flexible, no-frills card that earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. Redeem rewards for any amount anytime you choose with no annual fee.
Low maintenance, that’s your motto. When it comes to your credit cards, you don’t have the time or inclination to figure out which spending categories earn you the most cash-back.
A card that earns 1.5% cash-back for everything is more your speed.
That’s why you should consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. You’ll never waste your time with changing categories, and there’s no limit to the cash-back you can earn.
The Capital One Platinum card is designed primarily for building credit and does not earn rewards.
The Quicksilver card offers a simple rewards structure that allows you to earn 1.5% cash-back on every purchase you make. You can also get 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Capital One Travel with the Quicksilver card.
You can redeem the rewards earned on the Quicksilver card for cash-back, statement credits towards previous purchases, shopping on Amazon, via PayPal, and gift cards.
To qualify for the Capital One Platinum card, Capital One recommends a fair or better credit score. Fair credit is described by Capital One as “having defaulted on a loan in the past 5 years or having a limited credit history of less than 3 years.” FICO, the prominent credit score creator, states that a fair score is one that falls between 580 and 669.
To qualify for the Quicksilver card, you will need a “good” credit score, or better. Capital One describes qualification criteria as the applicant has “not declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan in the past 5 years” and that the applicant “has a credit card or loan that has not been more than 30 days late in the past 5 years.” FICO states that a good credit score is between 670 and 739.
Fortunately, you can determine if you have card offers already available to you with a risk-free tool. Using the CardMatch tool does not involve a credit application or any hard inquiry on your credit report. Just provide the minimal information required and receive a list of any card offers available.
Capital One also has a pre-qualification tool that requires additional information but also determines if you have offers available and does not conduct a hard inquiry on your credit report.
To learn more about how pre-qualification works and what tools are available, visit our article on this topic.
Using the pre-qualification tools will tell you if you have card offers waiting, but does not guarantee you will be approved for the card.
The minimum credit limit for the Capital One Platinum card is $300. After 6 months of positive history with the Capital One Platinum card, you will be considered for a higher credit limit. After that time, you could also receive an offer to upgrade your card.
The minimum credit limit for the Quicksilver card is $1,000. Your history with the Quicksilver card will be evaluated for a higher credit limit or upgrade after 6 months of positive history.
If you’re not sure where you stand on your credit, the first step is to determine your credit score and review your credit report for accuracy. You can access your credit reports from all 3 major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Once you’ve determined your starting point, you can check for prequalified offers using a risk-free tool such as the CardMatch tool.
If you have existing card offers available, determine the level of credit required to be approved — which should be stated by the issuer — and apply for the card you’re most likely to qualify for.
Record the date you were approved to keep track of any bonus offers or special promotions, and for building consecutive months of positive history.
Learn how to set up and log in to your online card account to manage on-time payments and keep track of your progress.
Watch for credit limit increase and card upgrade offers in your online account and in your email.
While it does take time and effort to maintain good credit, you’ll be on your way to better credit and securing your rewards card of choice before you know it.
Of our featured cards, the better card for you will be the one you can qualify for. Once you’re approved for a card, managing it well will open the door to better card opportunities.
While we’ve covered just 2 of many cards for building or rebuilding credit, there are several additional cards available. If you have bad credit or no credit, for example, we’ve put together a list of some of the best secured cards.
You may also want to check out this collection of cards that are well-suited for those with bad credit.
You can always improve your credit and eventually qualify for a rewards-earning card that can save you money, provide benefits you can use, and earn rewards that can be used to enhance your life.
The information regarding the Capital One Platinum Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The better card for you will be the card you qualify for. The Capital One Platinum card is designed primarily for building credit and requires just a fair credit score. FICO defines a fair credit score as one between 580 and 669.
The Quicksilver card requires good or better credit. FICO defines a good credit score as one between 670 and 779. If your credit score falls within these parameters, the Quicksilver card is better than the Capital One Platinum card because it earns 1.5% cash-back on every purchase, while the Capital One Platinum card does not earn rewards.
After at least 6 months of positive history from card approval, you may receive a higher credit limit and possibly an opportunity to upgrade the card.
Capital One may post a credit increase or upgrade offer to your online account or send you an email with the offer.
The initial credit limit could be as low as $300. After 6 months of positive history, you could receive a higher limit.
The initial credit limit could be as low as $1,000. After 6 months of positive history, you could receive a higher credit limit.
After at least 6 months of positive history, you may receive an offer from Capital One to upgrade. Watch your email and online card account for these offers.
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