Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Is Right for You?

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which Card Is Right for You?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

There are plenty of cashback cards on the market today, but the two that go head-to-head are the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit cards. Both have no annual fee and similar earnings rates, so we’ve broken down the pros and cons of each card in this guide.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is best for consumers who don't want to manage their rewards and those who never want to pay an annual fee. The card is also excellent for travelers since it has None foreign transaction fees. On the other hand, for people who may, down the line, want to use more than one card and earn travel rewards, we recommend the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Below, we highlight everything you need to consider when picking between the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and how you can get the most from each card.

How are the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® different?

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. Until recently, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card had the same earnings rate. However, on Sept. 14, 2020, Chase introduced a number of new bonus spending categories to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. You can now Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

The other key difference between the two is that you can pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited® with a Chase card that earns rewards transferable to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners as well as discounts on Ultimate Rewards purchases, can increase its rewards rate to 1.875% or more. The downside is that these other cards come with an annual fee.

Let’s take a look at the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® side by side.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Sign-up bonusOne-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account openingEarn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Rewards1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every dayEarn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
Annual fee$0$0
Foreign Transaction FeeNone3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Introductory APR0% intro on purchases for 15 months0% Intro APR for 15 months
Ongoing APR15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Credit RequiredExcellent/GoodExcellent/Good
Good For...
  • Consumers who want a hassle-free credit card
  • Those who are willing to manage their rewards to maximize value
  • People who already have a Chase card that earns them transferable rewards
Bad For...
  • Lower rewards potential
  • Annual fee if transferring points
  • Those looking for ease of use. This card requires some management to achieve maximum reward potential

Apply Now
  • On Capital One's Secure Website
Apply Now
  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Why choose the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card?

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great card for those who don't want to have to manage their points or rewards. You earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. You can even set up automatic redemption for set times throughout the year or when you accumulate a certain amount of rewards. There is no fuss with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and it's impossible not to maximize its earning potential when making purchases.

Opportunities to upgrade

Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you have to have Excellent/Good credit to be approved for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. However, Capital One offers the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card for those with average credit. This is a similar card to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card but has no welcome bonus and comes with a $0 annual fee. Over time, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card cardholders can upgrade their cards to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card if their credit improves. Meanwhile, Chase does not have a comparable cashback option for individuals with average credit.

Foreign transaction fees: None

If you are a world traveler, it might be more convenient for you to get the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has None foreign transaction fees, whereas the Chase Freedom Unlimited® incurs a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. However, if you’re pairing the Chase Freedom Unlimited® with another Chase that has no foreign transaction fee — such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — then it may be the better card for you. This is because your points can be more valuable when redeemed for travel, and you can use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card when traveling abroad.

Highlights

  • Easy to use
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Full Review

Why choose the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

On top of the solid 1.5% earnings rate, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® will yield higher rewards with its elevated spending categories. With Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. The card is an especially good choice for frequent travelers and diners.

In addition, the Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can normally only be redeemed for cashback rewards such as statement credits, gift cards and shopping at Amazon. However, if you have a Chase card that allows you to transfer your points to a variety of airline and hotel partners as well as discounts on Ultimate Rewards purchases, you can pool your points under that account and increase their earning potential to $0.0125 or more.

The downside of this option is that the cards that allow you to make these transfers, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, come with annual fees. If you already have one of these cards and are already paying the annual fee, then there is no harm in applying for the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Otherwise, you will have to consider if it is worth paying a $0 annual fee. We recommend checking out our full review of the card.

Highlights

  • Great cashback opportunities; Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • Full Review

The information related to Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).