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Rotating categories in some cash-back credit cards can seem like you're playing a game of roulette. One month you’ll be at the movies flicking kernels of popcorn into your mouth with a smile on your face knowing you’re getting 5% back on purchases at the theater, but next month it's only at home improvement stores you can earn those cash-back incentives. What are you going to do at a home improvement store? You can barely handle changing a light bulb.
With the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card it doesn't matter where your purchases take you. You automatically earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, anywhere. And that cash back won't expire for the life of the account. That means you're good for milking some cash back from the movie theaters and, if you’re feeling brave enough, the home improvement store as well.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card best features include:
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is good for earning consistent 1.5% cash back without registering for quarterly promotions, which means it’s also your best bet if your purchasing habits don't fall into predictable patterns.
Because Capital One has reserved this version of its credit card for those with excellent credit, the bank can afford to load this account up with special benefits that stack up nicely against cards with annual fees and higher APRs. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you a full slate of member privileges, such as complimentary around the clock concierge assistance, extended warranty protection on your purchases and travel upgrades as part of your Visa Signature® benefits.
We have a hunger for "free" and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has plenty to feed that hunger. Not only does the card feature a $0 annual fee, there is no fee on all foreign transactions. This benefit should not be overlooked, as it is rare for a cash rewards card not to charge a foreign transaction fee. Many cash back cards charge an average of 3% on each foreign transaction made. With a modest 1.5% cash back reward rate, the $0 annual fee and 0% fee for foreign transactions helps to boost the benefits of this card.
What does this perk mean in terms of real savings? Think of it this way: For a family on a two-week vacation abroad, spending $300 per day on food, entertainment, souvenirs, transportation, etc., no foreign transaction would mean a savings of $126 on just that one vacation alone.
|Cash Back on Gas||Cash Back on Groceries||Cash Back on Other|
While the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a no-gimmick card with a straight-and-to-the-point cash-back rewards structure, you could earn quite a bit more cash back with a card that offer rewards in rotating categories of up to 5%. You might be someone who does shop a lot at home improvement stores, does a lot of grocery shopping or fills up on gas frequently, so a card that rewards those purchases at a higher rate could certainly benefit you.
Savvy spenders might want to consider carrying the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card alongside a card with rotating categories to make the most of rewards. Take the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example. It earns users 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all other purchases. A strategic plan would be to use this no annual fee card for dining, entertainment, and grocery purchases, and then to use the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card for everything else to earn 1.5% cash back instead of just 1%.
If you'd prefer not to juggle multiple cards though, 1.5% back on all purchases is still a good offer, especially because this card doesn't have an annual fee.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is somewhat of a sibling to the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card in terms of the rewards they both offer. Both allow cardholders to earn a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases, both offer new cardholders the chance to earn $150 cash back once spending $500 in the first three months, and neither comes with an annual fee. So how do these cards differ?
Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards are combinable with other Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, so this could be the better card for you if you’re already collecting points with another Ultimate Rewards® product.
The Capital One card, however, beats out Chase Freedom Unlimited® for those who travel abroad often by not charging foreign transaction fees.
To learn more about how these cards line up, check out our in depth Capital One® Quicksilver® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® comparison.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer are both great options for those who want straightforward cash back earning and no annual fee.
The big difference between the two cards is in the introductory bonus offers. The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer does not have an introductory cash back bonus offer, although it does have an 18 month 0% APR offer on balance transfers (then, 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)). This may or may not be a lesser offer than the Quicksilver card’s $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases during the first three months of card membership offer. For those looking for a bonus cash back boost, the Quicksilver card is a great option, but if a lengthy APR period is what you’re looking for, the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer offer may be worth more to you.
The cash back earnings rate of the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is a little higher with 1% cash back earned when you buy plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases for a possible total of 2% cash back on all your purchases (to earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time), while the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns a flat rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
For those who want to earn a possible effective cash back rate of 10% in the first year of card ownership, the Discover it® Cash Back deserves your attention. Like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Discover it® Cash Back has no annual fee, the ability to redeem cash back at any time with no minimum, and rewards that never expire as long as the account is open. The bonus for the Discover it® Cash Back is where it really sets itself apart. Cardholders can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 spent quarterly), and 1% on everything else. At the end of your first year, Discover matches all the cash that you’ve earned – effectively meaning you earn 10% cash back in those categories during your first year as a cardholder.
The quarterly bonus cash back earning does require activation though, and because the categories rotate, you have to pay attention to which category earns bonus cash back. For straightforward cash back earning without these extra steps, the uncapped 1.5% cash back earned by the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat.
It's hard to find a consistently stronger flat-rate cash-back credit card with no annual fee than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. This is a decent choice for the credit card user who wants an everyday card and doesn't want to have to keep up with rotating categories or even tiered reward levels. Plus, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card travels well with its lack of foreign transaction fees, which again, is a rare perk for cash back credit cards.