Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Juan Ruiz
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You have to hand it to Capital One — the card issuer is consistent at keeping things simple. You won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on most of the issuer’s cards, but you will find simplicity in the earnings structures, solid good-value redemption options, and enough travel and shopping benefits to add value to cardmembers holding 1 or more Capital One cards.
Today we’re focusing on 2 popular Capital One cards that have similarities when it comes to earning rewards and benefits, but when we look closely and compare the cards side by side, you may find a winner.
Join us as we look closely at the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card to determine which might be the better card for you.
While our featured cards are very similar, there are some earning level and benefit differences. Here’s a close-up of how the cards stack up against each other.
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome Bonus||Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.||Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.|
||Cash-back, a statement credit, shopping at Amazon or via PayPal, gift cards|
|Travel Benefits and Protections||
|Shopping Benefits and Protections||
|Annual Fee||$95 (rates & fees)||$0 (rates & fees)|
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.
Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.
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.
Welcome bonuses provide an immediate opportunity to jump-start your earnings when you’re first approved for your new card. While the amount of the welcome bonus can vary depending on the current card offer, you’ll be required to hit a minimum spending level within a specified period after card approval to qualify and receive the bonus.
Always check for the current offering before applying for any card and keep track of the date you were approved to be sure to complete the required spending before the deadline.
A 50,000-mile welcome bonus is generally worth $500. You may be able to leverage your miles by transferring these rewards to travel partners for greater potential value. We’ll talk about this option shortly.
With either of our featured cards, you’ll find a simple earning structure that ensures you’ll earn rewards on every purchase you make. You won’t have to keep track of any specific bonus category earning, just use your card for every purchase, every day, and earn rewards.
|Capital One Venture card||$95 (rates & fees)||
|Quicksilver card||$0 (rates & fees)||
The Capital One Venture card earns a higher level of rewards than the Quicksilver card, but it also charges an annual fee (rates & fees). If you’re spending $20,000 each year, you would earn $400 worth of Capital One miles (when conservatively valued at 1 cent each) on the Capital One Venture card or $300 in cash-back on the Quicksilver card. Taking into consideration the annual fee, you would be approximately $5 ahead on the Capital One Venture card after spending that amount.
However, by leveraging airline and hotel partners, you may be able to redeem Capital One Venture card miles for greater value than 1 cent each, making it the better card for travel redemptions.
Each of our featured cards offers different redemption options. Here are the choices you’ll have for redeeming your Capital One miles earned on the Capital One Venture card and cash-back earned on the Quicksilver card:
Redeem Capital One miles for gift cards, shop at Amazon, or redeem your rewards via PayPal. You may also use your miles for a statement credit for any purchase (not recommended). Values vary and can be less than 1 cent per mile.
Cash-back is the most liquid form of rewards and is easy to redeem. You’ll receive the best value for your rewards when you request a check or a statement credit. However, you can also use your rewards (values vary) to shop at Amazon, redeem via PayPal, or purchase gift cards.
Since travel benefits and protections are included at no extra charge, any value you receive is a plus. Here are some of the modest travel benefits and protections you can expect on the Capital One Venture card and the Quicksilver card:
Here is a sampling of shopping benefits and protections you’ll find on our featured cards.
The Quicksilver card, when issued as a Mastercard, will also include price protection. Purchase an eligible item with your card, and if you find the item advertised for less within 120 days from the purchase date, you could receive up to $250 per claim, for up to 4 claims per 12-month period.
Both of our featured cards recommend an excellent credit score (740 to 850). Capital One adds its own criteria to clarify that to qualify, an applicant “has never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan, not been more than 60 days late on any credit card, loan, or medical bill in the last year, and has had a loan or credit card for 3 years or more with a credit limit above $5,000.”
Of course, the higher your score, the more likely you will be approved, but you can also find out in advance if you have card offers available to you. Potential card offers, including Capital One card offers, can be found by using the CardMatch tool. Using the tool is simple, risk-free, and no hard inquiry is done on your credit history. Enter some basic information and any offers waiting for you will be revealed.
Capital One also has its own version of the prequalification tool, but it requires you to submit more information than the CardMatch tool.
You’ll also want to know where your credit stands by obtaining a recent copy of your credit report and checking it for accuracy.
Capital One has a large collection of card offerings. To review some of the best Capital One cards available, we’ve put together this overview for comparing card options.
Capital One does a great job of offering credit card options for nearly every consumer and all levels of credit history. Depending on your objectives and spending habits, you may want to consider additional cards that could also be a fit for your situation.
Here are a few recommendations for alternatives to our featured cards.
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of our favorite travel rewards cards because it earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points and comes with a long list of travel benefits. Travel benefits like primary car rental insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay coverage, and baggage insurance mean you’ll travel with peace of mind.
You’ll also receive good value at redemption time, when points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via the Chase travel portal. Or, transfer to Chase travel partners for even greater potential value.
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card that earns flexible rewards on every purchase you make, you’ll want to consider a card from Chase’s Freedom line. Either card partners well with Chase premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® to deliver up to 50% more in value when redeeming transferred Ultimate Rewards points for travel.
Not sure which Freedom card is best for you? No worries, as we’ve done the legwork and offer our comparison of the Freedom Unlimited card and Freedom Flex card.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
We like the everyday earning potential of the Amex Gold card. And while the card does have a moderate annual fee, U.S. supermarket purchases alone can net 100,000 Membership Rewards points each year (up to $25,000 in purchases with 4x earnings; 1x thereafter), which would be worth $2,200, by our valuations.
The card functions quite nicely as an everyday earning card, but also offers 3x earnings on airfare purchased directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, as well as flexible redemption options for travel.
While our 2 featured cards are similar, if you can accomplish the initial 1-year or 3-month minimum spending requirements, it may be worthwhile to secure the Capital One Venture card with its larger welcome bonus over the Quicksilver card. Check out this Capital One Venture 100k welcome offer to find out more.
However, on an ongoing basis, if you do not plan to spend more than $20,000 per year on the Capital One Venture card, the Quicksilver card could be a better choice for you.
Either card could serve you well, but if you have excellent credit, comparing travel rewards cards for the best fit makes sense.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
The Capital One Venture card currently comes with a much higher welcome bonus than the Quicksilver card. If you are able to complete the required minimum spending amount needed after card approval, the Capital One Venture card will generate initial greater earnings than the Quicksilver card.
Always check for the current offers before applying for any card, as offers do change periodically.
Capital One miles do not expire as long as your card account is active.
Capital One miles are not frequent flyer miles. However, you can transfer these miles to airline partners and use those airline frequent flyer miles to purchase award tickets.
You can use Capital One miles to purchase travel at the rate of 1 cent in value for each mile via Capital One Travel.
The Quicksilver card comes with car rental insurance. The MasterRental coverage is applicable when you pay for your rental car in full with your eligible card and decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver coverage.
You will receive secondary coverage in your country of residence, requiring you to first file a claim with any other applicable insurance prior to card coverage being applied.
If you have no car insurance or your insurance does not cover you out of the country, coverage for collision, loss of use, and limited towing will be primary.
Additional terms and conditions apply.
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