Capital One Quicksilver vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

Capital One Quicksilver vs Chase Freedom Unlimited - Which is the better carsh back credit card?

Capital One Quicksilver vs Chase Freedom Unlimited Side by Side Comparison

The Capital One Quicksilver card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card are similar. They identical rewards rates. This makes it even more difficult to decide which one is best for you. However, they do differ in a few of their features. This is what you’ll use to decide which card you prefer.

First, we’ll compare the cards at a glance and stack up their features. We’ll go into a short breakdown of the card’s differences as well. Our goal is to point out the main benefits and drawbacks with each card. This will give you a good idea on what card you should pick.

Comparing Capital One Quicksilver to Chase Freedom Unlimited
Capital One Quicksilver Chase Freedom Unlimited
Annual Fee None None
Balance Transfer 3-percent 3-percent
(Minimum $5)
Intro APR 0-percent
(First 15 months)
(First 15 months)
Other Benefits No foreign
transaction fee
$25 bonus for adding
an authorized user who makes a
$25 in the firs three months
Rewards Unlimited 1.5-percent
cash back
Unlimited 1.5-percent
cash back
Sign-Up Bonus $150 when you spend
$500 in the first
three months
$150 when you spend
$500 in the first
three months
Variable APR 16.24 to 26.24-percent 17.24 to 25.99-percent

Breaking Down the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

The Freedom Unlimited card is the slightly newer of the two cards. It appeared in early 2016 as a solid cash back rewards card. It’s great for everyday spending and purchases inside US banks. You can redeem these rewards through statement credits or gift cards.

So you don’t have to keep track of any confusing categories or reward tiers. It’s a straight 1.5-percent cash back reward. Use it at the grocery store, dining, gas stations, entertainment, and more.

This card does come with a foreign transaction fee, and this is a drawback of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. This means that you pay 3-percent of your purchase price for every item you buy through a non-US bank. It includes online purchases as well. So if you travel and use this card, it can stack up very fast. The total will appear on your statement next month.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is now offering 3% cash back the first year. At this time it negates the previous $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months. If you plan to spend a lot using the Chase Freedom Unlimited® then you will ultimately receive a larger cash back bonus. At CreditFast we believe that this new bonus structure is being tested so we are not at this time removing the previous sign-up bonus information. Please be aware that is a new bonus structure that can remain or revert back at any time. If you prefer this sign-up bonus structure consider applying now.

Chase’s 5/24 Rule

A second large drawback of this card is at 5/24 rule. It can exclude quite a few potential customers, or delay them from opening an account. The Chase 5/24 Rule appeared to stop credit card churning. It’s very simple and straightforward.

Basically, if you’ve opened five or more credit card accounts in two years, you have to wait. Chase won’t allow you to open an account, even if you pass their credit requirements. This can result in an unnecessary ding on your credit report. If you’re an authorized user on someone’s account, this counts toward your five card limit. Business credit cards count if they’re on your personal credit report. Visa or MasterCards that are store-branded also count.

If you apply and get a denial, this won’t count toward your limit. So this rule just isn’t Chase either. Some other credit card lenders also restrict the number of cards you can open in a two-year period. It does turn a lot of people away who don’t or can’t wait to open a card, myself included. However, not all Chase cards follow the 5/24 rule. If you’d like to know which Chase cards don’t use the 5/24 rule, our Chase 5/24 Rule article.

Breaking Down the Capital One Quicksilver Card

Next up is the Quicksilver cash back card. You get this card by upgrading from the Capital One Platinum card if you have fair credit or average credit. If you don’t quite have the credit to apply for the Quicksilver card, try the Platinum one first. This way, you can upgrade to the Quicksilver card when your credit improves.

This card also comes with an unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards rate on every purchase. It’s not as restrictive as the Chase Freedom Unlimited card though.  Also, there is no foreign transaction fee with this card. This means it’s an excellent choice for travel. You can use your card anywhere in the world with no excess fees.

Also, there are numerous fringe benefits for traveling that come with this card as well. For example, it gives cardholders concierge service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So you get travel booking assistance and priority or VIP access to events. These events include sporting events, golf outings, and concerts.

Cardholders with the Capital One Quicksilver card get access to CreditWise. CreditWise helps you monitor your credit. So you’ll be able to catch fraudulent activity and monitor your score from the app. This is an entirely free perk for cardholders with the Quicksilver card.

My Experience Upgrading From Platinum to Quicksilver

Personally, I started out with the Capital One Platinum card to build my credit. The Platinum card was solid, but it didn’t offer any rewards. I wanted a card that was good for travel outside of the United States too. So I quickly upgraded to the Quicksilver card once my credit reached high enough levels. I wasn’t disappointed either!

I traveled outside of the United States twice with the Quicksilver card. Truly I enjoyed that it was straightforward and easy to use. I earned rewards for every purchase I made while traveling with no foreign transaction fee. Overall, I’d recommend both the Platinum and the Quicksilver card for building your credit.

Which Card is Better on a Day to Day Basis Quicksilver or Freedom Unlimited?

Since these cards are so similar, it can be hard to decide between them. Neither has bonus categories or limits, and they both have a 1.5-percent rate. However, their rewards redemption is where you start to see a difference.

Capital One Quicksilver
You get unlimited cash back. You’re able to redeem it for a check, gift cards, or statement credits. There is no minimum redemption, and you can stack rewards as long as you’d like.

Chase Freedom Unlimited
With this card, you earn Chase Unlimited Rewards Points. They’re equal to a penny apiece, and you earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. You can redeem them for gift cards, statement credits, or deposits into your bank account. You’re also able to transfer these points to other Chase cards that offer Ultimate Rewards points. If you do this, the points are worth 25-percent more. You can use them for flights and hotels at a 1:1 ratio.

Which Card Wins?
They’re both solid options. The Capital One Quicksilver is better for people who shop both inside and outside of the United States on a routine basis. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is better if you have other Chase cards you can transfer your points to.

Which Card is Better for Travel?

Again, both of these cards are solid for rewards. You can even make them both work to travel with a little finagling. It all depends on your preference.

Capital One Quicksilver
You’ll get no foreign transaction fees and a variety of perks for traveling with this card. It’s also a Visa card. This means that you have a wider acceptance around the world when you travel with it. You can use it as much as you want without worrying about paying for it later in additional fees.

Chase Freedom Unlimited
This card has foreign transaction fees. However, you can convert your points to another Chase card that has Unlimited Rewards points. This could be useful if you don’t mind going through the additional steps of transferring the points over. It could save you on hotel and flight costs.

Which Card Wins? Capital One Quicksilver or Chase Freedom Unlimited?
The Capital One Quicksilver card is the clear winner in the travel category. Along with the various perks, no foreign transaction fee puts in a league above Chase. So it’s a great option for a low-frills travel card.

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Bottom Line: Capital One Quicksilver vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

Both cards are good options for people with decent credit. Chase Freedom Unlimited does toss in a few extra things for new cardholders. However, the Capital One Quicksilver is excellent for travel. Finally, it’s up to you to decide which card suits your lifestyle better and choose it.

Monica Kowollik


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