Capital One Platinum Credit Card vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Which is best for you?

For many, a credit card without an annual fee is the best way to go if they won’t use it often enough to break even. If you share a similar view, then the Capital One Platinum Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card are solid options worth considering. Both are simple products that won’t cost you anything to keep, assuming you repay your outstanding balance in full each month.

Despite sharing some similarities, these two cards are actually designed to serve very different cardholder needs. The Capital One Platinum offers a potential pathway for accessing higher credit; the Capital One Quicksilver, on the other hand, is all about getting cash-back rewards. So when choosing between these two cards, it’s important to factor in your credit level and overall financial goals.

At a glance comparison

The basics reveal just how different these two cards are — the Capital One Platinum doesn’t come with spending rewards, while the Capital One QuickSilver gives you cash back on every purchase.

Platinum from Capital OneQuicksilver from Capital One
Annual Fee$0$0
Rewards RatesNone1.5% cash back on every purchase
Sign Up BonusNone$150 cash bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months; 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
CreditsNoneNone
Lounge AccessNoneNone
Authorized User Fee$0$0

Standout features

Capital One Platinum

  • Build better credit by accessing a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time.
  • Enjoy the latest fraud protection strategies such as shopping with virtual card numbers, plus $0 liability for unauthorized transactions.
  • Take advantage of tools for easier card management, such as account alerts and Autopay.
  • Helpful cashflow management gives you the ability to change credit card payment due date to one that suits you best.
  • You can use the Capital One Mobile App to manage your account anywhere, anytime.
  • Great card for international travel as Mastercard is widely accepted and there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Utilize 24-hour travel assistance services like emergency replacement card or a cash advance if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Handy roadside assistance for auto emergencies like jump-starting, towing and changing tires.
  • Extra protection with travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • Extended warranty on big-ticket items made on the credit card.
  • Monitor your credit level through CreditWise to ensure you’re aware of any changes.

Quicksilver from Capital One

  • Flexible redemption allows you to receive rewards as cash back, a statement credit or gift cards. There are no minimum redemption requirements, and rewards do not expire for the life of the account, so you can redeem when it suits you.
  • Great card for international travel as Visa is widely accepted and there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Extra protection with travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services like emergency replacement card or a cash advance if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Handy roadside assistance for auto emergencies like jump-starting, towing and changing tires.
  • Extended warranty on big purchases made on the credit card, providing peace of mind.
  • Latest fraud protection strategies such as shopping with virtual card numbers, plus $0 liability for unauthorized transactions.
  • Monitor your credit level through CreditWise to ensure you’re aware of any changes and can take action if necessary.

The case for the Capital One Platinum

The Capital One Platinum is great if you have average or fair credit but would like to improve your credit profile.

Boost your credit limit, fast

Having average credit often means getting low limits on credit products even when you’re approved for them. What makes Capital One Platinum’s offering so appealing is that you can extend your credit line after making just five monthly payments on time, so you can build your credit for the future and get more out of your card, fast.

Seriously low fees

With no annual, foreign transaction or balance transfer fees, this card delivers outstanding value. But bear in mind that your credit limit might not be big enough for you to transfer existing balances, and the 26.99% variable APR is high, so balance transfers may not make financial sense.

Useful Mastercard benefits

While there isn’t a glamorous rewards program, you still get useful Mastercard benefits like extended warranty, roadside assistance and travel accident protection. Given the lack of foreign transaction fees and Mastercard’s acceptance worldwide, the Capital One Platinum is handy for international travel.

The case for the Capital One Quicksilver

If you’ve got excellent credit level though, the Quicksilver might be more appealing because it edges out the Platinum on several fronts.

Effortless rewards

Unlike the Capital One Platinum, the Quicksilver card has a cash rewards program. Your 1.5% cash-back rate applies to all purchases, with no caps or limits. You’ll feel like you’re getting something back for your spending. There is more certainty with cash rewards too, as you know exactly how much your benefits are worth.

Welcome offers to sweeten the deal

The Quicksilver also has the edge if you have a big purchase coming up or if you have an existing credit card balance to transfer. It gives you 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, which can potentially save you a lot of interest over 15 months (though there is a 3% balance transfer fee). Of course, the $150 cash bonus is attractive too.

Lower APR

Ideally, you’ll repay your outstanding balance in full each month, but when this isn’t possible, Quicksilver’s lower APR range is 15.74%–25.74% means you’ll pay less interest compared with the Capital One Platinum.

In a nutshell

If you already have excellent credit, then Capital One’s Quicksilver makes a lot more sense. You’ll get 0% introductory APR, a cash bonus and a lower purchase rate. The clincher? A cash rewards program where you get 1.5% cash back for every purchase.

But those with fair or average credit will do well with the Capital One Platinum. With useful Mastercard benefits and the option to access higher credit, it’s a practical card to have for long term gain.

Kristie Kwok

Kristie Kwok is a finance content writer with in-depth knowledge of the banking industry from her previous work experience in banks such as UBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. She is a qualified accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Accounting and Finance.