Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Which Cashback Card is Right for You?

CREDIT CARDS - CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
See which of these two popular $0 annual fee cashback cards makes the most sense for you.
Updated April 24, 2024
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If you are looking for a low-maintenance credit card with straightforward rewards, both the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card cards are great options. These two are among the best cashback credit cards available today. There’s a lot to love about earning cash back on purchases, but there are a few key factors you’ll want to consider before choosing which card to apply for. 

Here are some key similarities and differences to help you decide which one might serve you best.

In this article

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Here is a high-level overview of some key benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards.


Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
Annual fee $0 $0
Early spend bonus Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Rewards rate Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases 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
  • Check
  • Statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Amazon.com
  • Travel through Chase Travel
  • Check
  • Statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Amazon.com
Intro APR
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable APR
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable APR
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 19.99% - 29.99% (variable) APR

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

Travel perks
  • 5% total cash back on qualifying Lyft rides
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Rental car auto collision damage waiver
  • 24-hour travel assistance
Other benefits
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership for three months
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Access to premier culinary, music, and sporting events
  • Complimentary concierge service
  • Access to Capital One Shopping to help you save while shopping online
Foreign transaction fee 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars None
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Learn More
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What both cards excel at

On the surface, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards excel in a lot of the same areas though they come from different card issuers. They’re both great cashback rewards cards for everyday spending, although their earning structures are a little different. 

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards provides cardholders with a flat-rate cash back structure while the Freedom Unlimited earns cash back from bonus categories. With either card, you don’t have to deal with rotating bonus categories and cashback rewards do not expire while your account remains open. There's also no minimum to redeem your cashback rewards.

Both cards also come with great early spend bonuses as well. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). 

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards early spend bonus is also very good. New cardmembers earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening with this card.

Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards allow you to redeem your rewards at a fixed value of 1 cent per point. Rewards across both programs can be redeemed in the form of a check or statement credit, applied against recent purchases, or for gift cards. You can even use credit card points on Amazon. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can also redeem rewards for tips through the Chase travel portal.

At a glance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards seem very similar because they both earn cash back. But although both cards earn cash back on all purchases, a few major differences set the Chase Freedom Unlimited apart from the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards.

3 important differences between the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Here are three very major differences between the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards:

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards redemptions

A big selling point for the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is the ability to redeem rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Chase Freedom Unlimited cardmembers have access to the Chase Travel portal.

Through the portal, you can redeem cash back for travel at the same fixed rate of 1 cent per point with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. In other words: up to 5% cash back = 5X Ultimate Rewards points = 5 cents on travel.

There’s even more rewards flexibility when you pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited with premium Chase travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. For example, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your rewards are worth up to 50% more when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Travel portal.

Plus, pairing with premium Chase cards allows for more lucrative redemptions, as cash back can be turned into Ultimate Rewards points and transferred to one of many Chase transfer partners

On the other hand, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards doesn’t offer the same reward flexibility. Rewards can only be redeemed as cash, checks, gift cards, or statement credits. Although you do have the ability to apply cash back against travel-related purchases, you don’t get access to a travel portal with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card.

2. Benefits sweeteners

Chase also offers some unique benefits that make the Chase Freedom Unlimited a very compelling card. We won’t list them all, but two specific benefits really stand out:

  • Big earnings with Lyft: 5% total cash back on qualifying Lyft rides.
  • DashPass membership: You can get three months of free DashPass membership, followed by a 50% discount on the regular rate for the next nine months (you can cancel at any time). DashPass typically costs $9.99 per month and offers $0 delivery fees at DashPass restaurants for orders over $12, as well as reduced service fees.

On the other hand, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards offers a couple of unique benefits that the Chase Freedom Unlimited does not:

  • No foreign transaction fees: This is a great benefit that’s certainly worth considering if you travel abroad frequently.
  • Premium experiences: Cardmembers get access to experiences such as culinary events, concerts, music festivals, and sporting events.

For more details, check out our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards review.

3. Additional savings with Chase Offers

The Chase Freedom Unlimited also gives cardmembers access to Chase Offers. With Chase Offers, cardmembers can earn statement credits for purchases from various merchants. You can view offers at any time in your online account or via the Chase mobile app.

Keep in mind, payments must be made directly with the merchant, so third-party delivery services such as DoorDash don’t count.

Chase Offers can be a great way to save on purchases. When you’re logged into your Chase account, simply click “Add to card” to add the offer to your card and to review the offer terms.

For more details, check out our Chase Freedom Unlimited review.

Which card should you choose?

Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards are great cards for regular, everyday purchases. Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a more compelling rewards structure and stronger overall benefits, foreign transaction fees might be a game-changer if you travel abroad often. However, because so many other credit cards have no foreign transaction fees, this may be a non-issue for you.

The bottom line: if you’re looking for a low-maintenance card with a simple cashback rewards structure, you might be happier with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards. It’s a card you can take anywhere, and you won’t have to stress when you’re traveling.

On the other hand, some key factors make the Chase Freedom Unlimited a more compelling cashback card. It offers bonus cashback categories, greater reward flexibility, an intro APR on purchases, and additional savings opportunities with Chase Offers and Lyft.

If you’re willing to take a more active role in managing your rewards, you’d likely be happier with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It’s an excellent choice if you’re under 5/24 rule and are eager to dive into the world of points and award travel.

FAQs

Which is better: Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards come from two different credit card issuers and provide different benefits. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance card that offers easy, flat-rate rewards on every purchase, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards may be your best choice. However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has much more lucrative earning opportunities, especially when combined with other premium Chase credit cards. If it matters, you should also know that the Freedom Unlimited is a Visa, while the Quicksilver Cash Rewards is a Mastercard.

What credit score is needed for the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

To qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll need to have a good or excellent credit score. But there are many other factors that will affect your approval odds, including debt-to-income ratio, credit utilization, and other credit history details.

What credit score is needed for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards?

Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll need a good or excellent credit score to be approved for this card. If approved, you’ll either receive a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature card, depending on your creditworthiness. Visa Signature accounts have credit limits of at least $5,000 and come with a few extra benefits that Visa Platinum accounts do not offer.

What’s the difference Between Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited?

The Chase Freedom is a cashback credit card that earns 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Due to this earning structure, it requires more maintenance if you want to maximize earnings. The Chase Freedom Unlimited does not have rotating categories; instead, it earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. Both cards offer the same redemption options and allow you to combine points with premium Chase travel cards.

Bottom line

If you are trying to compare credit cards, it should be clear by now that both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards are great credit card offers. These two are among the best cashback credit cards available today. But there's really no single "best" card for every person. Which card will be the smartest fit for you depends on your personal finances and your financial goals. Look at the strengths of each card and then compare it against your spending and lifestyle, and the right card for you should become clear.

Unlimited Cash Back

4.7

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Current Offer

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Kevin Dukes Kevin is a Los Angeles-based businessman, content creator, and life hacker. He credits much of his business success to an obsession with deal and travel hacking that puts extreme couponers to shame. Not only an expert in points, miles, credit cards, and travel rewards, Kevin is also well known in the lease hacking community for his deals on luxury and sports cars.

His work can be seen on his website, TheFlightBrothers.net, or at Leasehackr.com, where he is a moderator. The next time you’re driving around LA, you might even catch him playing “Instagram Husband” for his wife’s million followers.

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