Capital One Quicksilver vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which is best for you?

We could all use some extra cash each month in our wallet, couldn’t we? When monthly cash back is combined with a generous one-time cash bonus, that’s even better! Points that you earn on every purchase can be redeemed for cash used for savings, splurges or everyday necessities.

Cash rewards cards like the Quicksilver from Capital One and the Chase Freedom Unlimited will help you to stretch your budget a bit further every month. And like most cards, you automatically receive additional budgeting and security tools with your new account. You can manage your finances more effectively by using online apps and alerts that come with these cards.

At a glance comparison

It’s essential to view the underpinnings of credit cards, like fees, rewards and bonuses that come with each. Take a look.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit CardChase Freedom Unlimited
Annual Fee$0$0
Rewards RatesUnlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign Up Bonus$150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first three months.$150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in your first three months.
CreditsNoneNone
Lounge AccessNoneNone
Authorized User FeeNoneNone

Standout features

The Capital One Quicksilver card has a host of excellent features:

  • Instant purchase notifications —  Receive push notifications each time a new purchase is approved on your account, allowing you to always be up to date with your finances.
  • Premier experiences — Get access to intimate dinners, select cuisine and unique chef partnerships with exclusive cardmember events. You’ll also get early access to VIP sports and music events across the country.
  • Virtual card numbers from Eno® — Use virtual card numbers to pay for purchases and keep your actual card number private. Also, lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it’s misplaced, lost or stolen.
  • No foreign transaction fees — There are no fees added for making a purchase outside of the United States, which can save you big on your next trip.
  • Travel assistance services 24-hours — If your card is lost or stolen, you can get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance so your journey doesn’t have to come to an untimely end.
  • Travel accident insurance — Get automatic insurance for a covered loss at no extra charge when your credit card is used to purchase your fare.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has its own set of standout perks: 

  • Protection Credit Journey — Receive free unlimited access to your credit score. 
  • Purchase protection — New purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim or $50,000 per account.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage for rental cars — When you get a rental car with your card and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver, most cars in the United States and abroad are covered. In the United States, this coverage is secondary, meaning that your personal auto insurance policy pays out first in the event of a loss, and this coverage will take care of any amount not covered by your primary insurance.
  • Redeem rewards points at Amazon — If you link your Chase Freedom Unlimited card to your Amazon account, you can instantly redeem your points to pay for all or part of your Amazon order.
  • Points for gift cards — Redeem points for a variety of gift cards and certificates through the Chase portal. Occasionally, Chase promotions reduce the number of points needed to redeem gift cards.
  • Book travel — Use rewards points by booking through the Chase Travel Portal. If you happen to also own a premium Chase card, you can transfer points earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to that other card and take advantage of higher value redemption options.

The case for the Capital One Quicksilver card

The cash bonus for this card isn’t quite as high as the Chase Freedom card, but the long list of other perks is significant. For example, there are no foreign transaction fees (Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% fee). Other travel-related perks like travel assistance and travel accident insurance are appealing and practical, especially if you find yourself in a challenging situation away from home.

If you’re a sports or music enthusiast, you can find offers through the Quicksilver account that may not be available elsewhere. The same goes for culinary experiences for individuals who love great dining options.

Are you hoping to transfer balances from other credit cards that carry high APR rates? If so, do it on this card in the first 15 months for the 0% introductory APR plus a 3% fee. After that, there is a variable APR of 15.49% – 25.49%. Chase Freedom Unlimited’s introductory offer for balance transfers is the same 0% APR plus a 3% fee, but transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening. 

The case for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

At first glance, the Chase card might not seem like it has as much to offer compared to the Quicksilver card, but take a closer look. First, you get an additional $150 bonus cash for hitting the $500 level of purchases within the first three months.

Several benefits of this card relate directly to the points you’re earning. Amazon shoppers can enjoy the ease of using their points through a linked Amazon account. The value of points may be increased when used for gift cards through special promotions, and if you own a separate premium Chase card, you can transfer points to make them more valuable, especially when booking through the Chase Travel Portal. Frequent travelers shouldn’t overlook the potential savings of Chase’s auto rental collision damage waiver coverage for theft and damage to a rental car.

In a nutshell

Both cards offer a $0 annual fee and a 0% APR for the first 15 months. After that, the Capital One Quicksilver card has a variable APR of 15.49% – 25.49% and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has a variable APR of 16.49-25.24%. The cards even offer identical sized cash bonuses of $150. So, you really need to drop into the finer points of each to make a final choice. If the sports, music and dining experiences caught your eye, the Capital One Quicksilver is likely the card for you. Versatility in how you can use your points might attract you more to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

Both have extended warranty protection on eligible items purchased with the credit card, protect you against unauthorized charges made with your card or account information and offer account alerts for added security. The APR for unpaid balances after the first 15 months is nearly identical, too.

No matter which of these two cards you choose, you’ll also have the benefit of 24/7 customer service representatives.

Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge is a business and marketing writer from Ashland, Ohio. His writing has been published in Fast Company, Zapier, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a host of other publications. He has a degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before launching his own business, he worked as an auditor at a bank.