Different kinds of credit cards cater to different types of customers. Some cards, for example, are easy to qualify for and are designed to help you build credit. Others are intended instead to maximize rewards — but may be restricted to customers with top-notch financial credentials.
The Capital One Platinum Card is one of the first types, designed for those with fair credit who want a card with no fees. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card is one of the second, offering great cardholder perks but only to borrowers with good or excellent credit.
It's important to explore all your options to see which card meets your needs, so let's take a close look at each to find out whether the Quicksilver vs. Platinum is the better choice for you.
Capital One Quicksilver vs. Capital One Platinum
Both the Capital One Quicksilver and the Capital One Platinum Mastercard charge no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. But that's where the similarities end. Here's what you need to know about the key features of each of these two cards.
Capital One Quicksilver
Capital One Platinum
|Early spend bonus||Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening||Earn consideration for a higher credit limit as soon as 6 months after account opening|
|Earning rate||1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day||N/A|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 months||N/A|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
|Credit needed||Good, Excellent||Fair|
|Learn how to apply||Learn how to apply|
What both cards excel at
The Capital One QuickSilver is a $0-annual-fee card, and it charges no foreign transaction fees. This makes it affordable for use both at home and abroad. The Capital One Platinum also has no foreign transaction fee and a $0 annual fee.
The Capital One Quicksilver also offers several convenience features that make shopping and using your card simple. This includes Eno, the Capital One Virtual Assistant that's available 24/7 to answer questions and that monitors your card to provide you with alerts, as well as Tap to Pay.
The same convenience services are available with the Capital One Platinum. The Platinum card comes with Eno, and Tap to Pay, so you can use a virtual assistant to get alerts and use your card for contactless transactions.
5 important differences between Capital One Quicksilver vs. Capital One Platinum
Although both cards offer similar benefits, there are important differences between the Quicksilver and the Platinum related to qualifying requirements; new cardmember bonuses; rewards; interest costs; and the credit building tools each card offers. You need to consider these differences when you compare credit cards.
1. Credit requirements
The Capital One Platinum card is designed to help cardmembers build credit over time with responsible use. Fair credit borrowers might qualify for this card, which makes it a great option if you don't have much of a credit history or if you have a fair credit score. You can also find out if you're pre-approved for this card without damaging your credit score. Typically, when you apply for a new card, you get a hard inquiry on your credit report that doesn't drop off for two years. Too many inquiries hurts your score, so you don't want to waste a hard inquiry on a card you can't qualify for.
The Quicksilver, on the other hand, is targeted towards borrowers with good to excellent credit. The qualifying requirements for this card are much more stringent, so this card is likely a better fit for people who don't need help improving their credit.
The Capital One Quicksilver provides 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day, and there's no limit to how much cash back you can earn. While the Quicksilver's earning rate isn't as generous as what you might get with other cards, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, it offers a simple, easy rewards program. You don't have to worry about activating bonus categories, or keeping track of what types of purchases earn you extra rewards.
The Platinum card, on the other hand, doesn't offer a rewards program at all. Although this is common among cards that help you improve your credit score, some credit-builder cards do provide at least some points, miles, or cash back.
If you’re interested in earning rewards, the Quicksilver is your best option out of the two cards. Learn more in our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards review.
3. New cardmember bonus
When you sign up for the Quicksilver, you can earn a one-time $200 cash back early spend bonus. Although you have to fulfill spending requirements — specifically, charging $500 worth of purchases on your card in the first 3 months after opening the account — this is still a reasonably generous bonus.
By contrast, there's no new card member bonus for the Platinum card.
4. Introductory interest rate
As a new card member, you'll be eligible for a 0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 months with the Quicksilver card. After the introductory rate expires, your regular interest rate on the card will increase to the card’s regular variable APR.
The Platinum card doesn't offer an introductory APR; instead, the standard interest rate applies right away.
5. Credit building tools
Both the Quicksilver and the Platinum Card provide access to Creditwise via the Capital One website or mobile app. Creditwise is a useful personal finance tool that allows you to see your credit score an unlimited number of times, monitor your credit profile, and use features designed to help you build credit. And it's free to use, even if you don't have a Capital One card.
Only the Platinum Card offers automatic credit line reviews, though. Once you've become a cardholder, Capital One will review your financial situation after six months and you could potentially be granted a credit line increase. A higher credit line not only gives you more borrowing power, but it might also help raise your credit score by making it easier to maintain a favorable credit utilization ratio.
The Quicksilver card doesn't come with automatic credit line increases, so if you want more borrowing power, you'd have to call and request it.
The Platinum Card could be your best option out of the two if you have fair credit and you’re looking for a card that offers automatic credit line increases. Learn more in our Capital One Platinum Card review.
Which card should you choose?
The best credit card for you will depend upon your unique financial situation. If you have good credit and can qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card, it's likely a better option than the Capital One Platinum Card.
With the Quicksilver, you'll benefit from access to a rewards program, which Platinum card doesn't offer. You'll be eligible for a new cardholder bonus the Platinum card wouldn't provide. And you'll get cardholder perks the Platinum doesn't offer including travel accident insurance, an introductory APR, and an extended warranty on eligible products.
If your credit is only fair, though, the Platinum could be a good option to help you build credit. The process of automatic credit reviews after six months to see if you're eligible for a credit limit increase is a major benefit of the Platinum card for people trying to build credit.
Which is better, the Capital One Quicksilver or the Capital One Platinum?
The Capital One Quicksilver could be better suited for those with good to excellent credit than the Capital One Platinum. That's because it offers rewards when the Platinum Card doesn't, and it also provides better cardholder perks.
The Platinum, however, is likely a better option for those with fair credit who will not qualify for the Quicksilver. The card is designed to help you get access to an increasing line of credit over time as your financial credentials improve.
What credit score do you need for the Capital One Quicksilver?
Capital One indicates that you need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Quicksilver. Although the company doesn't specify a minimum credit score, you’ll likely need to meet the following parameters to qualify:
- No record of payments that were more than 60 days late during the past year
- At least a three-year history of having a loan or credit card with a minimum $5,000 limit.
- No past bankruptcies or loan defaults in the past five years.
Generally, a good FICO credit score falls within the 670-739 range. Any score exceeding this lands in the very good to excellent range.
What credit score do you need for the Capital One Platinum?
Capital One's Platinum card is available to borrowers with "fair" credit. Capital One doesn't specify exactly what credit score the company considers to be "fair" credit. However, it defines fair credit as:
- Defaulting on a loan in the past five years OR
- Having a personal credit history that is shorter than three years long
Generally, a fair FICO credit score falls within the 580-669 range.
What is the credit limit for the Capital One Platinum?
The minimum credit limit on the Capital One Platinum card is $300. However, you may be eligible for a larger credit line depending on your financial situation.
Does Capital One offer automatic credit line increases?
The Capital One Platinum card, and certain other Capital One Cards, offer automatic credit line reviews. That means Capital One will look at your financial credentials after six months without you having to ask them to.
However, you aren't guaranteed a credit line increase when they review your credentials. You could potentially earn one if you've shown you're a responsible customer that makes monthly payments on time.
The bottom line
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Credit Card are both good options that cater to people in very different situations.
If you have a limited credit history or average credit, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card may also be worth a look. This card does come with a small annual fee of $39, but cardholders can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — a perk that the Platinum card doesn't offer.
Those with good or excellent credit might want to consider the Citi Double Cash Card. Like the Quicksilver, this credit card offers a $0 annual fee and flat-rate cashback rewards — cardholders get up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. And while you won't earn a sign-up bonus with the Citi Double Cash, it does offer a generous 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months.
If you're interested in looking at options from other credit card issuers, check out our picks for the best cashback credit cards on the market.