Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Capital One Quicksilver: Chase Freedom Unlimited Can Offer More Value for Most

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Our Pick
Good for Flat Cash Back Plus Bonus Categories
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Rewards rate:

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service. 1.5% on all other purchases.

Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
Good for Flat Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rewards rate:

Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site
  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.99% – 26.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Rewards rate:

    Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service. 1.5% on all other purchases.

  • Intro offer:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.99% – 27.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Rewards rate:

    Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Flexible, hybrid rewards structure made up of tiered categories and flat cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Valuable first-year bonus
  • Competitive intro APR period can be useful for paying off large purchases over time
Cons
  • Not a great choice for international travelers — you’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Travel bonus rewards only apply to travel booked through Chase
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Welcome bonus
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 months (17.99% – 27.99% variable APR thereafter); 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Cons
  • No higher-earning bonus rewards categories
Additional Card Details
Additional Card Details
  • 0% introductory interest offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after account opening, variable APR of 17.99% – 26.74% interest thereafter; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary 3-month subscription to Doordash’s DashPass, followed by 50% off DashPass for 9 months (activate by 12/31/24)
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
Additional Card Details
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then a variable APR of 17.99% – 27.99% based on creditworthiness
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards don’t expire as long as the account is open
  • Unlimited 1.5% rewards
  • Multiple redemption options
  • Access to Capital One Experiences
NextAdvisor’s Take

The Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver cards both offer at least 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, in addition to valuable welcome offers and introductory 0% APRs for no annual fee. But the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes out ahead thanks to additional tiered cash back bonus categories and a few added benefits.

Cash back credit cards are a great way to save on everyday spending, and flat cash back cards offer maximum simplicity with savings on every purchase. Two cards in this category, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card*, offer 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is, in fact, NextAdvisor’s current pick for the best cash back credit card, thanks to features like a 15-month introductory period on purchases and balance transfers in which you will not be charged interest on any balance you may carry, then a variable APR of 17.99% – 26.74%. It also carries an intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. The Capital One Quicksilver, also offers a 15-month intro period with no interest on purchases and balance transfers, then 17.99% – 27.99% variable APR after.

The “best” credit card for you, after all, is the one that helps you achieve your personal finance goals, and offers the most value for  your purposes. And with either card, you should exercise the same financial discipline, paying your balance off each month after the introductory period to avoid paying the hefty interest that credit cards charge.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver at a Glance

These two no-annual-fee cards do have some similarities, but also a few important differences.

Chase Freedom UnlimitedCapital One Quicksilver
Annual Fee$0$0
Welcome OfferEarn an additional 1.5% back on everything you buy, up to the first $20,000 spent in the first year.$200 after spending $500 within three months of account opening
Cash Back Earning5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025; 3% cash back on dining and drugstores; at least 1.5% cash back on other purchasesat least 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Other BenefitsComplimentary 3-month subscription to Doordash’s DashPass followed by 50% off DashPass for 9 months (activate by December 31, 2024)None
Foreign Transaction Fee3%Does not charge foreign transaction fees

Bonuses Comparison

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a potentially more valuable bonus, but your earnings are spread out over the first year. You’ll earn an additional 1.5% back on everything you buy, up to the first $20,000 spent in the first year. That’s worth up to $300 in added cash back value.

The Quicksilver’s welcome bonus is equal to $200 after spending $500 in your first three months of account opening.

Rewards Comparison

In terms of rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited outshines the Capital One Quicksilver. Both cards are cash back cards, meaning you’ll earn cash back on your purchases as opposed to points that you can redeem for travel.

The Freedom Unlimited earns 5% cash back on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, including hotels, flights, and car rentals, among others. Through March 2022, it also earns 5% cash back on Lyft rides. You’ll also earn 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% cash back on everything else.

Conversely, the Capital One Quicksilver only earns at least 1.5% cash back on purchases.

APR Comparison

Both cards offer an introductory 0% APR period for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a variable APR rate of 17.99% – 26.74%. The Capital One Quicksilver has a variable APR rate of 17.99% – 27.99%.

Fee Comparison

Neither the Chase Freedom Unlimited nor the Capital One Quicksilver carries an annual fee. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% foreign transaction fee, while the Capital One Quicksilver does not charge foreign transaction fees.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.99% – 26.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
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Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Intro offer:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.99% – 27.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site
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Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

  • Intro offer:
    $200 cash rewards
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% Variable APR
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Wells Fargo’s secure site See Rates & Fees.

Deciding Between the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver

There are some major similarities between the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver. They are both cash back-earning cards and do not carry an annual fee.

That said, there are some areas where one outshines the other and vice versa. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a better earning rate, with 5% cash back on travel (and on Lyft rides through 2022), plus 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on everything else. You’ll also get an extra rewards boost if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Pro Tip

If you have a Chase Sapphire card, you can convert the cash back from the Chase Freedom Unlimited into Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for travel.

That’s because if you convert the cash back from the Freedom Unlimited into Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it will yield a value of 1 cent per point. However, you can transfer points earned with the Freedom Unlimited to your Sapphire Reserve for a value of 1.5 cents per point, or to the Sapphire Preferred for a value of 1.25 cents per point, when redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

The Capital One Quicksilver offers 1.5% cash back on everything, but it also does not charge a foreign transaction fee. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so depending on your international travel habits and goals, this could be a consideration for you.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider your spending habits to determine which card would be a better fit for you. The Chase Freedom Unlimited’s wide bonus categories could sway you in its favor, while the Capital One Quicksilver’s lack of foreign transaction fees might be what decides it for you.