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These offers are no longer available on our site: Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card both offer cash back.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card stand out from the cash back pack.
But pit these two cards against each other, and the competition becomes tight.
After digging into the fine print and weighing other factors besides the cash back rate, we found that Chase Freedom Unlimited® squeezes past its rival as the better option.
Before diving into a comprehensive review of each card, let’s look at how they compare side by side.
At a glance: Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Sign-up bonus||$200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening||$200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening|
|Rewards||5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 5% back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent during your first year, 3% cash back on restaurant and drugstore purchases, 1.5% cash back on all other purchases||Unlimited 1.5% cash back|
|Intro APR||0% APR for 15 months on purchases||0% APR for 15 months on purchases|
|Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers||14.99% - 23.74%||14.99% – 24.99%|
|Balance transfer fee||5% (minimum $5) of the amount of each transfer||3% on amounts transferred within the first 15 months|
- The winner: Why we prefer Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Counterpoint: Why you might want the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card instead
- Heads up: What to consider when applying for a cash back card
- Bottom line: Is Chase Freedom Unlimited® right for you?
If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward and rewarding cash back card, it’s hard to beat Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
You’ll earn a $200 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And there’s no annual fee.
Credit card expert Jason Steele offers yet another reason to love the Chase Freedom Unlimited®: The cash back comes in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which could give you better value than straight-up dollars and cents.
Steele says Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be especially valuable when paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That’s because you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to one of those accounts and unlock greater rewards-earning potential.
With the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, points can be transferred to points or miles with airline partners or hotel programs, Steele says. “Points are worth 1.25 cents to 1.5 cents each toward travel reservations booked through Chase, depending on the card. This is how I personally use Chase Freedom Unlimited® .”
Even if you aren’t into traveling, Chase Freedom Unlimited® makes it easy to earn cash back on all of your daily purchases. Sure, you could earn more with its sibling card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, which offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. But if you’re looking for a simple way to earn cash back at a competitive rate, this may be where your search ends.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes out far ahead in terms of international travel. You’ll avoid foreign transaction fees with this card, whereas the Chase Freedom Unlimited® charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
If you plan on going abroad, it’s best to bring a card with no foreign transaction fees, or you may end up paying a lot more for your travel.
We generally don’t recommend using Chase Freedom Unlimited® abroad, as you’ll get hit with a 3% foreign transaction fee each time.
Interestingly, this fee doesn’t just apply to credit card purchases made in foreign countries. It can apply even if you make a purchase from home with a foreign vendor who runs the transactions in a currency other than the U.S. dollar. As the French would say, non, merci.
Everyone’s lifestyle and financial situation is unique, so you’ll have to figure out whether a cash back card is best for you. Do you travel regularly? If so, a travel rewards card might be a better option.
If you’re sure that a cash back card makes the most sense for you, the next step is to figure out whether you want one like the two presented here.
If you’re looking for a cash back card and know you’ll pay off your balance monthly, it’s hard to go wrong with either the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
If neither card seems right for you, don’t stress. While both are excellent cash back cards, they’re far from the only options out there.
Here are three more cash back cards that may fit better with your lifestyle and spending habits.
Other cash back cards to consider
|Citi® Double Cash Card||2% cash back (1% cash back on purchases and another 1% when you pay for the purchases)|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card||3% cash back on choice category (choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and furnishings) and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/choice category purchases each quarter); 1% on all other purchases|