Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver: Two great credit cards with no annual fee

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Showdown: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited? They are both great credit cards with no annual fee and earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Both cards come with a $150 sign-up bonus after meeting the minimum spending requirements. But there’s one major difference that can make the Chase Freedom Unlimited far superior.

If you’re looking for credit cards with no annual fee, you’ve got choices. (Photo by ImageFlow/Shutterstock)

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver: Great Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

Capital One Quicksilver

The Capital One Quicksilver card comes with a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three 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 insurance – Secondary 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 at any time with no minimum redemption amount. Or you can set up an automatic redemption of, for example, $25 per month. Whatever makes sense for you.

Million Mile Secrets team member Scott has the Capital One Quicksilver Card. He likes how simple it is to get your cash back. In the past, he’s requested a check for only ~$18. Some other cash back cards 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.

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, these are no longer available and 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

The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with a $150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. You’ll also earn 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on all purchases as long as you have the card.  The card has no annual fee.

The points you earn 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 five or more cards from any bank (not counting Chase business cards and small business cards from most, but not all, of  the major banks) in the past 24 months.

Upside of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

On their own, the points you earn with the Freedom Unlimited are only worth 1 cent each for cash back or toward travel — but your Chase points value skyrockets if you carry around Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards with an annual fee.

You can transfer Chase points from the Freedom Unlimited to another eligible Chase card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. This way, your points are worth 25% more toward travel through the Chase portal. 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 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points linked to your Chase Freedom Unlimited account are normally only worth $600 in rewards if it’s the only card you have. But combining the points to another Chase card can make the same points worth $750 or $900 in travel.

Plus, you can convert your points into airline miles or hotel rewards by redeeming your points with Chase transfer partners like Hyatt, Southwest, United Airlines and many others. This is the best way to use Chase points. For example, Million Mile Secrets team members have booked Hyatt hotels in the past that would’ve cost $600+ per night for only 15,000 points. That’s a value of 4 cents+ per point!

International Travelers & Small Spenders Might Prefer the Capital One Quicksilver

If you’re only planning to open one credit card that gives cash back with no annual fee and you travel abroad frequently, you might be better off with the Capital One Quicksilver Card. This card does not charge any foreign transaction fees. Unfortunately, the Chase Freedom Unlimited adds a 3% fee for foreign transactions, but the fee isn’t a deal-breaker if you carry multiple credit cards.

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. Some of the MMS team even have both cards.

You can earn straightforward cash back with both of these cards, but, 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 Preferred, Chase 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.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.