Do You Know the Difference Between These 2 Nearly Identical No-Annual-Fee Cards?

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Do You Know the Difference Between These 2 Nearly Identical No-Annual-Fee Cards?

KeithDo You Know the Difference Between These 2 Nearly Identical No-Annual-Fee Cards?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Capital One Quicksilver

  • If you’re planning to apply for a no-annual-fee card, the Capital One Quicksilver and Chase Freedom Unlimited are both great choices.
  • You can (and should) keep a no-annual-fee card forever because it increases your length of credit history, which can potentially boost your credit score!
  • The Capital One Quicksilver is ideal if you only plan on keeping one rewards card in your wallet.  And it’s great for overseas purchases because it has no foreign transaction fees.
  • If you’re planning to apply for more rewards cards in the future, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the way to go.  Because you can combine points with other cards to increase their value for travel redemptions.

Keith:   Deciding between the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited?  I keep both of these no-annual-fee cards in my wallet, so hopefully I can help you make the right choice!

At first glance, the cards appear very similar.  The sign-up bonuses have the same value ($150 cash back).  And with both cards, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.  But there’s one MAJOR difference that can make the Chase Freedom Unlimited far superior!

Chase Freedom Unlimited Vs Capital One Quicksilver
The Capital One Quicksilver and Chase Freedom Unlimited Are Both in My Wallet, but One Card Gets Significantly More Use!

Let’s take a closer look at the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Capital One Quicksilver.

Capital One Quicksilver Offer

Link:   Capital One® Quicksilver® Card

Link:   Our Review of the Capital One Quicksilver Card

 

The Capital One Quicksilver card comes with a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll also get perks like:

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Travel accident insurance – Insurance for death or dismemberment at no extra charge when you purchase airfare using your card
  • Auto rental insuranceSecondary collision and theft insurance for you and all additional drivers on your agreement
  • Extended warranty – Additional warranty protection when you purchase items with your card
  • Price protection – Get reimbursed the difference if the price drops on eligible items within 120 days of purchase
  • NO annual fee
  • NO foreign transaction fees

According to Capital One, this card is good for folks with excellent credit.  Excellent credit, as defined by Capital One, means you haven’t been late on any bills, you’ve never declared bankruptcy, and you have an established credit history.

Redeeming the cash back you earn with this card is extremely easy!  You can request a check or statement credit, any time, with no minimum redemption amount.  Or you can set-up an automatic redemption, for example, $25 per month.  Whatever makes sense for you!

Chase Freedom Unlimited Vs Capital One Quicksilver
Earning Straightforward Cash Back Is Never a Bad Thing!

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott has the Capital One Quicksilver Card.  He likes how simple it is to get your cash back.  He recently requested a check for ~$18.  Some other cash back cards by other banks won’t give you your money until your balance reaches a $25 or even $50 threshold!  So in this way, Capital One Quicksilver is great.

I agree with Scott.  And it’s nice that this card has occasional promotions to save money.  Prior deals have included a promotion with Uber and a 50% discount on monthly Spotify subscriptions.  Unfortunately, there are no current active deals on the card.  But we’ll be sure to let you know if we hear about any!

Chase Freedom Unlimited Offer

Link:   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Link:   Our Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

When you sign-up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll earn $150 cash back (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

You’ll also get:

  • $25 bonus (2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points) when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months of opening your account
  • 1.5% cash back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) per $1 you spend on all purchases with NO limit 
  • No annual fee

The points you earn with this card are worth 1 cent each for cash back, gift cards, or travel through the Chase portal.  But they can be worth MUCH more depending on what other cards you have in your wallet.

Note:   Chase will NOT approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase business cards and these other business cards) in the past 24 months.

Here’s Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited Can Be Far Superior to the Capital One Quicksilver Card

Link:   Chase Points Are Most Useful Points for Budget Travelers OR First Class Jetsetters

Link:   How to Easily Earn Tons of Travel Points With These 3 Cards and Just ONE Annual Fee

On their own, the points you earn with the Freedom Unlimited can are only worth 1 cent each for cash back or towards travel.  But these same points have a lot more potential if you carry around other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

You can move points from the Freedom Unlimited to another eligible Chase card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Ink Business Preferred.  This way, your points are worth 25% more toward travel through the Chase portal.  And if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, points will be worth 50% more when you book airfare, hotels, or rental cars through the Chase travel portal.

So 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points linked to your Chase Freedom Unlimited account are normally only worth $500 in rewards if it’s the only card you have.  But combining the points to another Chase card can make the same points worth $625 or $750 in travel!

I use the Chase Freedom Unlimited for most of my everyday purchases that don’t fall into a bonus category with one of my other Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards.  Then, I have the option to move points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve account where they’re worth 1.5 cents each toward airfare, hotels, and more through the Chase travel portal.  This strategy effectively means I’m getting 2.25 cents per $1 spent on the Freedom Unlimited, which is a great deal! (1.5 points per $1 in earning + 50% bonus when combining to Sapphire Reserve and booking travel through Chase portal)

Chase Freedom Unlimited Vs Capital One Quicksilver
Increase the Value of the Points Linked to Your Chase Freedom by Pairing the Card With Another Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Earning Credit Card! Then, Use Points to Save on Airfare Through the Chase Portal!

Even if you’re not planning to apply for another Chase card for several months, it could still make sense to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited now.  Then, build up your points balance until you have the ability to combine points with another card.

Plus, when you have the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Business Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can transfer points directly to travel partners, like Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest, United Airlines, and many others.


When you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners to book award travel, you can get incredible value for your points.  For example, on multiple occasions, I’ve transferred 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines to book Business Class award seats.  The same seats were selling for more than $1,000 if you paid cash.  So I got 4 cents per point worth of value (25,000 points / $1,000 airfare cost).

International Travelers Might Prefer the Capital One Quicksilver

If you’re only planning to open one no-annual-fee cash back credit card and travel abroad frequently, you might be better off with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card.  This card does NOT charge any foreign transaction fees!

Chase Freedom Unlimited Vs Capital One Quicksilver
The Capital One Quicksilver Is a Better Option for Overseas Purchases Because It Has No Foreign Transaction Fees!

Unfortunately, the Chase Freedom Unlimited adds a 3% fee for each transaction in US dollars when you make purchases abroad.  That said, this particular perk isn’t a deal breaker if you carry multiple credit cards.  For example, I have 7 credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees in my wallet.

Bottom Line

Folks looking for a no-annual-fee card can’t go wrong when choosing between the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver.  I keep both of these cards in my wallet!

You can earn straightforward cash back with both of these cards.  If you’re planning to expand your portfolio of rewards credit cards in the future, the Chase Freedom Unlimited can be a much better option!

That’s because you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Freedom Unlimited and move them over to your Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Business Preferred, or Chase Sapphire Reserve account.  This increases the value of your points when booking travel through the Chase portal.  And having one of these other Chase cards gives you the ability to transfer points directly to travel partners, like Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest, United Airlines, and many others!

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months

Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Yep, I have both of them too :). (But I only got the Quicksilver because it came out before the Freedom Unlimited did. I should really probably remember to use the Quicksilver once in a while so it doesn’t get canceled – thanks for the reminder! These days I just keep it in a drawer, and take it out and stick it in my wallet if I’m ever traveling internationally, as a backup card in case something happens to my CSR.)

Author

Thanks for commenting! I’m in the same boat as you. Another reason I like the Quicksilver is they approved me with a huge credit limit (~$50,000). So not using it helps me keep my credit utilization really low.