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 Nov 5, 2021 | By Ben Walker
Man weighing the options

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In a world filled with credit card choices from a variety of issuers like Citi, Chase, Amex, and more, it’s not always easy to determine which one is the best fit for your wallet. 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 credit card offers are from the same credit card issuer, 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.

In this article

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 Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards
Annual fee $0 $95
Early spend bonus Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Rewards rate 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases
Redemption methods Cardholders can redeem points for:
  • A mailed check
  • A statement credit
  • To cover recent purchases
  • Gift cards
Cardholders can redeem Capital One 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 15 hotel and airline loyalty programs
Introductory APR 0% for 15 months on purchases, then 14.99% to 24.99% (variable) 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 application fee 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, Good Excellent, Good

Learn how to apply Learn how to apply

What both cards excel at

Both of these Capital One credit 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, redeeming your rewards for cash is possible. 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. You can learn more about this card by reading our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card review.

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 $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. With the Capital One Venture, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

With these welcome bonuses, regardless of whether it's a cash bonus or a miles bonus, the better deal depends on your financial situation. If you can spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, then 60,000 miles is worth much more than $200 cash back. Because Venture miles are worth 1 cent per mile, 50,000 miles would be worth $500.

You can learn more about this card by reading our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.

3. Rewards earning

You earn 1.5% cash back with the Capital One Quicksilver and up to 5X miles with the Capital One Venture. Both of these cards offer flat-rate and unlimited rewards that you’ll earn 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. Travel partners include popular airlines like Air Canada and Emirates.

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, this Mastercard 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 and its Visa benefits 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.

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

Intro Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 60,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases

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 powerful cashback 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. In addition, if you're looking for an introductory interest rate, this would be the card for you.

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 60,000 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 60,000-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, and they will likely look at a variety of factors in determining your chances of approval and your credit line.

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, and they may look at factors beyond your credit history when evaluating your approval and your credit limit.

Bottom line

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? 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 card for you from any issuer depends on your spending habits and lifestyle. If you want to earn with a travel rewards card 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.

Unlimited Cash Back

Intro Offer

Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 early spend bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

Drawbacks

  • No bonus reward categories
  • No options to redeem rewards for travel
Card Details
  • Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, every day
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 24.99% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 24.99% (variable)

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.