Journey Student Rewards from Capital One vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card [2024]: The Quicksilver is Better

CREDIT CARDS - CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
The Capital One Quicksilver is the better choice in most situations. But if you can’t qualify for the Quicksilver, consider the Capital One Journey.
Updated May 12, 2024
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Editor's note:
The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is no longer available for new applications. For college students looking to build credit and earn rewards, check our recommendations for the best credit cards for students.

We prefer the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card over the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One because it provides more earning potential and benefits. The primary reason you might choose the Journey Student Rewards over the Quicksilver is if you have a fair credit score and don’t qualify for the Quicksilver.

In this Capital One Journey vs. Quicksilver credit card review, see how these cards stack up against each other so you can decide which one is better for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • We recommend the Capital One Quicksilver over the Journey Student Rewards because it has higher rewards earning potential, a welcome offer, and more benefits.
  • The Capital One Journey likely makes sense only if you can’t qualify for the Quicksilver.
  • You typically need a fair credit score to qualify for the Journey, while the Quicksilver typically requires a good or excellent credit score.
  • The Quicksilver has a $0 annual fee.

Capital One Journey vs. Quicksilver comparison

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Card type Student/Cash back Cash back
Credit card issuer Capital One Capital One
Credit card network Visa Mastercard
Welcome offer None Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Earning rate 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)
Redemption methods
  • Statement credit
  • Mailed check
  • Capital One Travel
  • Previous purchases covered
  • Gift cards
  • Statement credit
  • Mailed check
  • Capital One Travel
  • Previous purchases covered
  • Gift cards
  • Amazon.com
  • PayPal
Intro APR N/A 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable))

0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)); Balance transfer fee applies

Travel perks
  • Capital One Travel
  • 24-hour travel assistance services1
  • Travel accident insurance
  • 24/7 concierge service
  • Capital One Travel
Other benefits
  • CreditWise alerts
  • Extended warranty protection
  • CreditWise alerts
Foreign transaction fee None None
Credit needed Fair Excellent, Good
Read full review Read full review

Our verdict

  • The Capital One Quicksilver is the better option overall because it has a welcome offer, a higher rewards rate, and more benefits. Choosing the Capital One Journey over the Quicksilver likely makes sense only if you can’t meet the Quicksilver’s credit score requirements.

Capital One Journey benefits and drawbacks

Pros Cons
  • Low credit score requirements
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No welcome offer
  • Low earning potential

The Capital One Journey makes sense if you don’t have at least a good credit score and can’t qualify for better rewards credit cards. This is often the situation for many students, which is why the Journey is more suited for students and not for people who already have higher, established credit scores.

The Journey card has no welcome offer and the earning potential is quite low.

You can earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Read our Journey Student review.

Tip
Note that student credit cards typically don’t provide high credit limits, but you can be considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with the Capital One Journey. Credit card issuers typically look for responsible use of the card as well as other factors when determining your eligibility for a credit line increase.

Capital One Quicksilver benefits and drawbacks

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • Has a welcome offer
  • Simple rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Limited bonus categories

The Capital One Quicksilver makes sense if you want a stress-free, $0-annual-fee cash back credit card. It doesn’t have foreign transaction fees and provides 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

You can also earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

The Capital One Quicksilver doesn’t have many bonus categories, so it doesn’t make sense if you want to earn elevated rewards on specific, everyday categories, such as gas stations or grocery stores.

Read our Capital One Quicksilver review.

What both cards excel at

The Capital One Journey and Quicksilver Cash Rewards share a few similar perks and benefits:

  • Cash back: Both cards provide opportunities to earn cashback rewards on your eligible purchases.
  • Redemption options: The redemption options are largely the same on both cards, including cash back, travel, covering past purchases, and gift cards.
  • No foreign transaction fees: You don’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees with the Capital One Journey or Quicksilver.

5 important differences between the Journey and Quicksilver cards

The primary differences between the Capital One Journey and Quicksilver Cash Rewards include:

1. Welcome offer

The Capital One Journey doesn’t typically have a welcome offer, while the Quicksilver Cash Rewards does. With the Quicksilver, you can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

This could be a quick and easy way to earn some rewards on purchases you were already planning on making after becoming a new cardholder.

Winner: Capital One Quicksilver because it provides a welcome offer.

2. Earning potential

The Capital One Journey provides 1% cash back on all purchases and 1.25% cash back each month you make an on-time monthly payment; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

The Capital One Quicksilver provides 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

Both cards are part of the Capital One cashback rewards program, but the Quicksilver simply has the better earning potential with its 1.5% cashback rate on every purchase, every day.

Winner: Capital One Quicksilver because it provides a better rewards rate.

3. Credit requirements

As a student credit card, the Capital One Journey has lower credit score requirements. You typically need only a fair credit score for the Journey, while the Capital One Quicksilver generally requires a good or excellent credit score. Keep in mind that credit scores are guidelines and not a guarantee of approval when you apply for a credit card.

Winner: Capital One Journey because the credit score requirements are lower.

4. Introductory APR offers

The Capital One Journey doesn’t have any intro APR offers.

The Capital One Quicksilver has two intro APR offers:

  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable))
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)); Balance transfer fee applies

The Quicksilver makes more sense than the Journey if you will be making large purchases or want to do a balance transfer and take advantage of intro APR offers.

Winner: Capital One Quicksilver because it provides intro APR offers.

5. Perks and benefits

The Capital One Journey doesn’t provide loads of perks and benefits, though you do get access to the Capital One Travel portal and credit report changes with TransUnion or Experian with CreditWise.

The Capital One Quicksilver has those same benefits, but also provides:

  • Extended warranty protection to help protect eligible purchases
  • 24-hour travel assistance services if your card is lost or stolen
  • A 24/7 concierge service for different travel needs, such as booking a restaurant reservation or finding concert tickets
  • Travel accident insurance for covered travel losses

Winner: Capital One Quicksilver because it provides more benefits.

Which credit card should you choose?

When you should choose the Capital One Journey

  • You’re a student (not a requirement, but it’s one of the best credit cards for students)
  • You have a fair credit score
  • You want to earn cashback rewards

When you should choose the Capital One Quicksilver

  • You have a good or excellent credit score
  • You want to earn cashback rewards
  • You want a simple rewards rate without many bonus categories
  • You want to earn an early spend bonus
  • You want a $0 annual fee

What factors to consider before choosing

The Capital One Journey and Quicksilver Cash Rewards are similar credit cards, but the Quicksilver is the better option if you want to earn more rewards and have more benefits.

You might choose the Capital One Journey if you don’t have a good or excellent credit score, which is typically what you need to qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver. This is why the Journey is suitable for students — they might be building credit history and can’t yet open credit cards with higher earning potential and more benefits.

FAQ

Is the Quicksilver card worth it?

The Capital One Quicksilver is one of the best cash back credit cards because of its simple rewards rate and $0 annual fee. New cardmembers can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Capital One Journey vs. Quicksilver: bottom line

We recommend the Capital One Quicksilver over the Capital One Journey because it has a better rewards rate, a welcome offer, and more perks and benefits. The Capital One Journey could make sense if you can’t qualify for the Quicksilver, but, otherwise, it’s worth going for the Quicksilver instead. Both cards include access to the Capital One mobile app and Capital One Travel.

For more options, compare credit cards to discover the right credit card offer for you.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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