Comparison: Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cards
For a long time, it was pretty normal to see cash back credit cards offering 1% on most purchases. Then travel reward credit cards started becoming more and more popular and 1% became a lot less exciting. Then Capital One® released their Capital One® Quicksilver® Card and they tried to separate themselves from the crowd. They began offering 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
In early 2016 Chase decided they wanted a piece of the action and announced they were releasing the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. This card would also offer 1.5% cash back on anything and was the perfect complement to the other cards in the Chase Portfolio. Let’s take a look at the features for each of these cards and find out which one might be best for you.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase has had one of the more popular cash back cards for quite some time with the Chase Freedom® card. It offers cardholders 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter. The only drawback for a lot of their customers is that you need to opt-in to the different categories each quarter. That’s something that some people don’t want to hassle with.
Since its release, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been a hit. The reason is because it offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase that you make. That makes this a much simpler and more rewarding card to use for most.
In addition to its generous reward potential, new cardholders will also receive a $150 signup bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of opening your account. While this isn’t the highest signup bonus available right now, it is very good for a card that doesn’t include an annual fee.
When it comes time to redeem your cash back you have a few options available. You can redeem for cash back right into your checking or savings account. You can also opt to use your cash back to shop on Amazon.com or redeem for gift cards to your favorite restaurants and retailers. If you have a love for travel, then you can book your travel plans through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform.
If you are looking for a card that has a low introductory APR, then this is a great choice. For the first 15 months you will receive 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period is over it will move to a variable 19.24%-27.99% depending on your creditworthiness. If you transfer a balance then there will be a fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater.
The card also offers a few different protection benefits like purchase protection. If your purchase is damaged or stolen within the first 120 days, you can receive up to $500 per claim ($50,000 per account). You will also receive price protection, which means if you purchase something with your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card and find it priced less somewhere else, you can receive the difference, up to $500.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is another of the top tier cash back cards available. When you sign up you will receive a $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months of being a cardholder.
It was also one of the first cards to offer a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase. That means there are no bonus categories to keep track of and no rotating categories each quarter that you need to opt-in to.
As long as your account stays active and in good standing, your cash back will never expire. You can also redeem at any time and there are no thresholds that you need to meet.
Just like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card has very few fees to worry about. There is never an annual fee and no foreign transaction fees if you are planning to use your card outside the United States. If you are planning a balance transfer within the first 15 months, then you will be charged a fee of 3% of the balance you are transferring. There is no fee after the intro period.
There is the same 15 month 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period is over the rate will change to a variable 19.24%-29.24% depending on your creditworthiness.
Because the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card is a Visa Signature® card, you will receive all of those benefits as well. Benefits include travel savings and complimentary room upgrades at hotels, consumer protections, 24/7 concierge service, and more.
How Do These Cards Compare?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has the advantage in several different areas. Both cards offer the same signup bonus of $150. They also both offer a 0% introductory APR for 15 months. This can be a real benefit if you are planning to make a large purchase and want time to pay it off gradually.
Both of these cards offer their cardholders 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has a few more redemption options. Instead of just cash back into your bank account, you can also book travel, shop on Amazon.com, or request gift cards.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Card does have a couple of benefits that are superior to the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. For example, if you are planning to travel outside the United States, there is no foreign transaction fee with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has a 3% fee.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Card also comes with all the benefits you get from Visa Signature®, which is something you won’t get with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card.
The Bottom Line
For anyone looking for a cash back card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card card are two of the best. They both have very similar features, including 1.5% cash back on every purchase that you make. While the differences are not significant, they could help you decide which card is best for you.
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.