Capital One Venture vs. Quicksilver: Which Is Better - Miles or Cash Back?

The right Capital One card for you depends on how you like your rewards.
Last updated Sep 18, 2020 | By Ben Walker
Man weighing the options

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In a world filled with credit card choices, it’s not always easy to determine which one is the best fit for your wallet. You have options for the best travel credit cards, the best rewards credit cards, and the best cashback credit cards, but how do you know which one to choose?

With Capital One, there are two main cards vying for your selection: the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Both of these Capital One credit cards earn lucrative rewards and offer plenty of value, but which one comes out on top? Let’s look at how they stack up against each other and see which card better suits your needs.

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Capital One Quicksilver vs. Venture Rewards

This Capital One Venture vs. Quicksilver comparison will help you understand the fees associated with each card and what to expect when it comes to earning rewards. We’ve also highlighted their notable benefits and extensive redemption methods.

Every financial situation is different, which is why these cards have been designed to offer specific rewards and benefits that aren’t necessarily the same. As you go through the table, think about how one reward structure might fit you better than the other. Or take note of any benefits you could take advantage of.

Capital One Quicksilver Capital One Venture Rewards
Annual fee $0 $95
Early spend bonus Earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Earning rate 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day 2X miles on every purchase, every day
Redemption methods Cardholders can redeem points for:
  • A mailed check
  • A statement credit
  • To cover recent purchases
  • Gift cards
Cardholders can redeem miles for:
  • Flights, hotels, and car rentals through CapitalOne.com or Rewards Center
  • Using Purchase Eraser on purchases made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents, and timeshares
  • A mailed check, a statement credit, or for gift cards
  • Transfers to more than 10 hotel and airline loyalty programs
Intro APR 0% for 15 months on purchases N/A
Travel perks
  • Travel accident insurance: Insurance for covered losses when you charge entire travel fares to your card.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services: You can receive an emergency replacement card and a cash advance if your credit card is lost or stolen.
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit: Receive up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
  • Car rental insurance: Eligible car rentals paid in full with your card can be covered for collisions or theft.
  • Travel accident insurance: Insurance for covered losses when you charge entire travel fares to your card.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services: You can receive an emergency replacement card and a cash advance if your credit card is lost or stolen.
Other benefits
  • Extended warranty: Receive additional warranty protection on eligible items purchased with this card.
  • Extended warranty: Receive additional warranty protection on eligible items purchased with this card.
Foreign transaction fee None None
Credit needed Excellent Excellent

What both cards excel at

Both cards offer excellent value with their rewards and benefits. And with their early spend bonuses, you can really jumpstart your rewards earning in the first few months of card ownership. In addition, a few of their built-in benefits have big similarities.

With each of these credit cards, you can redeem your rewards for cash. This helpful option can come in the form of a mailed check or a statement credit. If you’re not interested in gift cards or travel redemptions, it’s essential to have a straightforward alternative to use your rewards on.

Both cards offer four of the same benefits: travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services, no foreign transaction fees, and extended warranty coverage. The first three benefits can be useful if you’re traveling, and the extended warranty perk is great to have when you’re making purchases.

Repairing electronics and other items can be a costly ordeal, but extended warranties may help reduce or eliminate those costs. Since the coverage can extend the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible items, you can potentially save a lot of money with this benefit.

5 important differences between the Capital One Venture Rewards Card and the Capital One Quicksilver

Overall, the Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One Quicksilver are very different cards. You earn travel rewards with one and cashback rewards with the other. Both cards offer unique benefits, and one may be a better fit for you than the other.

Here are the biggest differences between the Capital One Venture vs. Quicksilver:

1. Annual fees

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $0 annual fee, and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a $95 annual fee. If you’re looking for a no annual fee credit card, the Capital One Quicksilver is the clear winner in this matchup.

However, most credit cards that come with an annual fee typically have increased benefits, possibly in the form of a larger early spend offer and/or more perks. To decide which credit card is better for you, factor in other characteristics as you compare cards.

2. Early spend bonuses

With the Capital One Quicksilver, you can earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. With the Capital One Venture, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

With these welcome bonuses, the better deal depends on your financial situation. If you can spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, then 50,000 miles is worth much more than $150 cash back. Because Venture miles are worth 1 cent per mile, 50,000 miles would be worth $500.

3. Rewards earning

You earn 1.5% cash back with the Capital One Quicksilver and 2X miles with the Capital One Venture. Both of these rates are unlimited, and you’ll earn them with every purchase. There’s no obvious winner here because it depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your rewards.

For straight rewards value, the Capital One Venture is the better choice. For example, let’s compare a $1,000 purchase on each card. With the Capital One Quicksilver, you would receive $15 worth of cash back for the $1,000 purchase. With the Capital One Venture, you would receive 2,000 miles, which is worth $20 toward travel redemptions.

For even more value with the Capital One Venture, you can earn 5X miles if you use the Capital One Travel portal to book hotel stays and rental cars. However, if you aren’t interested in travel rewards and don’t want to worry about an annual fee, the Capital One Quicksilver may be the better option.

4. Redemption options

If you look at the redemption options on both cards, the Capital One Venture has more choices than the Capital One Quicksilver. They both share cashback and statement credit options, but you can also use Venture miles for travel redemptions and transfer them to Capital One transfer partners. Transfer partners include popular airlines like Air Canada, Emirates, and JetBlue.

One of the best redemption options on the Capital One Venture, though, is the Capital One Purchase Eraser. With the Purchase Eraser, you can make travel purchases on your card and then use your miles to erase those purchases within 90 days. It’s a flexible method of using your points on a wide range of travel-related purchases, including airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, and public transportation.

5. Travel perks

As a cashback credit card, the Capital One Quicksilver isn’t known for its travel perks. Still, it comes with two helpful benefits: travel accident insurance and 24-hour travel assistance services. Although if you’re a frequent traveler, the Capital One Venture would be more beneficial.

Added benefits like credit card rental car insurance and a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit let you save a great deal of time and money while traveling. The rental car insurance can help you avoid paying extra money each day for insurance through a car rental agency. And you can save up to $100 on TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. These programs can also get you through airport security screenings much faster, which is always a nice bonus.

Which card should you choose?

Both the Capital One Venture and Capital One Quicksilver can provide amazing value for different circumstances. If you’re budget-conscious and want a stress-free credit card experience, consider the Capital One Quicksilver. This card has a $0 annual fee, and you earn the same unlimited cashback rate on every purchase you make. With no annual fee to offset, there are no hard calculations to make. As soon as you start making purchases, you’ll start to profit with the cash back you’re earning.

If you like to travel, the Capital One Venture might be the better option. With this card, there’s a little more to think about. Because there’s a $95 annual fee, you have to make sure you’re getting enough value out of the card each year for it to be worth it.

Here are a few ways to calculate the card’s value and justify the annual fee:

  1. Calculate value on the welcome offer. At the time of writing, the early spend offer is worth 50,000 miles, or $500 toward travel. With that bonus alone, you can justify paying the annual fee for multiple years and still come out on top. And that’s without adding in the miles you earn from purchases or the value of built-in benefits.
  2. Calculate your spend. To offset the $95 annual fee in purchases alone, you’d have to spend $4,750 in the year. That would net you 9,500 miles, which is equal to $95 toward travel redemptions.
  3. Calculate the value of benefits. Certain benefits by themselves may easily offset the annual fee as well. Getting up to $100 fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry negates the $95 annual fee for one year. Your card’s car rental insurance can help you avoid paying for insurance from a car rental agency, which can sometimes be hundreds of dollars.

As you can see, there are various strategies to offset the Capital One Venture’s $95 annual fee. You can even use a combination of all of these methods and still come out well on top. As long as you travel now and then, you’ll likely find enough value with this card to make it worth it. Even better, you can earn miles toward future travel on every purchase you make.

The earning on the Capital One Venture is as simple as the Capital One Quicksilver, it’s just a matter of preference when it comes to redemption options. Are you looking to travel more or get cash back on every purchase? If you can answer that question, you can see which card would be better for you.

Capital One Venture vs. Quicksilver FAQs

Which is better: Capital One Venture or Quicksilver?

If you’re interested in traveling more with fewer travel expenses, the Capital One Venture could be an ideal choice for you. You can earn valuable miles on every purchase and then redeem them toward future trips. If you’re more interested in earning cash back on every purchase, the Capital One Quicksilver may be a better option.

Is the Capital One Quicksilver a good card?

With 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day, the Capital One Quicksilver is one of the best cashback credit cards available. Because you earn cash back on every purchase, you can use this card for everything. It’s straightforward and low-stress, which makes it easy for you.

Is the Capital One Venture card worth it?

The Capital One Venture card is worth it if you like to travel and can find enough value to offset the $95 annual fee. You can do this by earning the 50,000-mile welcome bonus (worth $500 toward travel), earning travel rewards from everyday spending, and using the card’s valuable benefits. Benefits include travel insurance, extended warranty coverage, and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement.

If you want to avoid an annual fee altogether, consider the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. This card has a $0 annual fee, but you can still earn Venture miles and redeem them toward future travel. Plus, you also get benefits like travel insurance and extended warranty coverage.

What credit score do you need for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card?

You would likely need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. A FICO score in this range would fall between 670 to 850. The final say on whether you’re approved would still be up to Capital One, though.

What credit score do you need for the Capital One Quicksilver?

You typically need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Capital One Quicksilver. This would likely require a FICO credit score between 670 to 850. Capital One still has the final say on who qualifies, though.

Bottom line

If you’re looking into Capital One credit cards, it’s important to compare the Capital One Venture vs. Quicksilver. As two of Capital One’s most popular credit card offerings, these cards have lucrative earning potential and plenty of benefits.

The right one for you depends on your spending habits and lifestyle. If you want to earn travel rewards for future vacations, the Capital One Venture is a prime candidate for you. But for straight cash back on every purchase, you can’t go wrong with the Capital One Quicksilver.

Earn Cash Back Twice

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee