Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver: Which is Best for You?Updated: April 5, 2019

Whether you like to optimize your credit card rewards or keep them as simple as possible, a flat cash back credit card is a smart addition to your wallet. Using one will ensure your purchases always earn a good amount of rewards, and they often come with a variety of other helpful features. The only downside is that it’s difficult to settle on which one to choose, as there are so many worthy options available. To help you decide which one you should go with, we’re comparing two first-rate flat cash back cards, Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, in a number of categories. While at first glance these cards may appear to offer the same thing, small differences, such as Chase Freedom Unlimited’s enhanced redemption options and Capital One Quicksilver’s abundance of perks, may win you over to one side or the other. To find out how these cards stack up against each other, and which one emerges as the stronger contender, keep reading.

Best intro offer: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a $150 intro bonus if you spend $500 in purchases within 3 months of opening your account, which is like getting a 30% cash back rate on the first $500 you spend! The spending requirement on the bonus is easy to meet and the bonus amount is comparable to other cash back cards with no annual fee. Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t offer a traditional intro bonus, but it does offer a year-long special offer, which you can read about in the next section.

Best cash back rewards: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited takes this category because it offers special cash back rewards for the first year. You’ll earn 3% cash back on purchases for the first year you have the card (up to $20,000 spent) — that’s up to $600 cash back! After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. On the flip side, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and has a traditional intro bonus. While there are some differences with the cards’ cash back rewards, there are also some similarities with the two cards: your cash back rewards will never expire, and you can redeem them at any time, which leads to our next category …

Best redemption options: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Even though Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card earn the same amount of cash back, Chase Freedom Unlimited’s redemption options blow Quicksilver away. Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders can redeem their cash back for statement credit, electronic deposit into a checking or savings account, gift cards, travel or products and services.

What’s really amazing about Chase Freedom Unlimited is that, if you have other Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, you can combine your rewards together and take advantage of the redemption options on those other cards. Since some Chase cards give you a bonus when you redeem points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred which gives your points 25% more value when you use them for travel through Chase’s online travel portal, that feature has the potential to be a huge advantage. If you want to potentially boost your rewards value even more, you can take advantage of another redemption option that the Chase Sapphire Preferred has and transfer your rewards to a travel program.

By comparison, Capital One Quicksilver’s fairly standard redemption options aren’t that exciting, letting you redeem cash back for statement credit, a mailed check or gift cards. One convenient capability is that Capital One will let you set up automatic redemptions that trade in your cash back for statement credit once your earnings hit a certain threshold that you specify, but that’s the only redemption aspect that makes it stands out.

Best intro APRs: Tied

Intro APR is another category where the cards are deadlocked, as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited possess essentially the same 0% intro APR period. With both cards you’ll benefit from a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, letting you enjoy your card for over a year without having to worry about interest. Their balance transfer fees are similar as well, with Capital One Quicksilver charging 3% of each transfer and Chase Freedom Unlimited charging 3% of each transfer or $5, whichever amount is greater.

Lowest annual and foreign transaction fees: Capital One Quicksilver

Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card should equally please because both cards charge no annual fee. If you plan to take your card with you when you travel internationally, though, Capital One Quicksilver is the better choice. Many credit cards charge fees of 3% to 5% on purchases made outside of the United States, but Capital One Quicksilver has no foreign transaction fees, so you won’t have to deal with pesky surcharges when you buy things in other countries. Meanwhile, Chase Freedom Unlimited charges a 3% foreign transaction fee of each international purchase.

Best added perks: Capital One Quicksilver

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with Visa Signature benefits, which grant cardholders a slew of extra features. Among the perks provided are price protection and extended warranties on purchases, shopping discounts at premium retailers, car rental coverage for damage and theft, travel upgrades and savings, lost luggage reimbursement, complimentary concierge service and emergency card replacement. You’ll also have access to security features provided by Capital One, including zero liability protection, free credit scores through CreditWise, the ability to lock your card using a mobile app and Eno virtual card numbers, which generate proxy credit card numbers that you can use to make online purchases while keeping your real card number to yourself.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited also has a number of perks, but it can’t compete with Capital One Quicksilver in terms of sheer quantity. Freedom Unlimited’s Chase benefits include purchase protection against damage and theft, extended warranties on purchases, zero liability protection and free credit scores through Credit Journey. Those are all useful, but with the exception of purchase protection, they’re also all features Quicksilver has.

Best overall: Capital One Quicksilver

This is a close call, but for most consumers the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s range of redemption options aren’t quite as valuable as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card’s $0 foreign transaction fees and multitude of extra perks. However, if you already have a Chase credit card and the idea of being able to pool your rewards appeals to you, Chase Freedom Unlimited also has great cash back rewards, no annual fee and 0% intro APR period, so it’s still a fantastic choice.

If these cards aren’t quite for you and you want to see something different, have a look through our reviews of cash back cards.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.