Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver

Cash back credit cards let you earn a percentage of rewards based on your spending, but the way they dole out cash back varies from card to card. For example, some cards offer bonus rewards in categories that change each quarter, while others offer a flat rate of cash back for each dollar you spend. There are even cards that take on a hybrid approach, offering a flat rate of rewards on regular spending and bonus rewards in specific categories you may spend a lot in, like groceries or gas.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card are two cash back credit cards that take a unique approach when it comes to how they award points. In this guide, we hope to help you compare them so you can decide which one would be best for your wallet.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Quicksilver

Features Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Quicksilver card

Capital One Quicksilver

Rewards rate
  • 1.5% cash back on all regular purchases
  • 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5% back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • For a limited time, you’ll also earn 5% back on up to $12,000 spent on groceries your first year (excluding Target and Walmart purchases)
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Welcome bonus $200 bonus when you spend $500 within three months of account opening $200 bonus when you spend $500 within three months of account opening
Annual fee $0 $0
Foreign transaction fees 3 percent of each transaction None
Introductory APR offer 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74% 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49%
Major cardholder benefits
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranties
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Secondary auto rental coverage
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranties
  • 24-hour travel assistance

Earning points

When it comes to earning rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited will definitely leave you better off. Both credit cards offer a flat rate of 1.5% back on all regular purchases, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited also lets you earn 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases. You’ll even get 5% back on the first $12,000 you spend on groceries your first year (excluding Target and Walmart).

Since most people spend at least some money on groceries, dining and drugstore purchases each year, the Chase Freedom Unlimited will almost certainly leave you with a bigger rewards haul over time.

Redeeming points

When it comes to redeeming your rewards, you’ll have several options with either card. The Capital One Quicksilver lets you redeem your rewards for cash back or gift cards, but you can also apply your rewards as a statement credit to your account. In addition, you can now use Capital One rewards from this card to cover purchases made through PayPal or Amazon.com.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited lets you cash in your rewards for cash back, statement credits, merchandise, gift cards and travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you have a premier travel rewards credit card from Chase like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can even pool all your Chase points in one account for discounted travel redemptions or transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners.

Bonus perks

Both of these cash back credit cards come with a surprising number of benefits for a card with no annual fee. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, for example, you’ll get purchase protection against damage or theft, as well as extended warranties on items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty. You’ll also get travel perks like travel and emergency assistance services and secondary auto rental coverage. One big standout benefit also comes in the form of trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $1,500 per covered person and up to $6,000 per covered trip.

The Capital One Quicksilver comes with a slightly less generous suite of benefits. As a cardholder, major perks you’ll enjoy include travel accident insurance, extended warranties and 24-hour travel assistance.

Annual fee, foreign transaction fees and authorized users

Neither of these cash back cards charge an annual fee, which is good news. However, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card could be a better option if you travel abroad. Where the Chase Freedom Unlimited charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the United States, the Capital One Quicksilver doesn’t charge this fee.

Also, be aware that either card lets you get free authorized user cards for your account.

Introductory APR offers

If you want access to a low introductory APR for a limited time, both cards are worth looking into. The Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74%.

The Capital One Quicksilver also offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, and then a variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49% when you carry balance from month to month.

Bottom line

If you’re considering a new cash back credit card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver are both good options. However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is probably better if you spend a lot in everyday categories like dining and drugstores, or if you have a travel credit card from Chase, as well. This card is also a good option if you want to pay down your purchases with a low APR for a limited time.

On the flip side, the Capital One Quicksilver is geared toward users who want to earn rewards on their spending without any foreign transaction fees.

Before you sign up for a new credit card, it pays to compare all the top rewards credit cards on the market today.

Source: creditcards.com

Can I impose a minimum transaction of $10 for card purchases?

Dear Your Business Credit,

I want to request that the minimum for credit card use is at least $10. Is it legal? – Suet

Dear Suet,

Yes. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 permits businesses to impose a minimum purchase amount of up to $10 for credit card use, but the minimum must be the same for all credit card issuers and payment card networks.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Elaine a question.

Rules for imposing a minimum transaction

Additionally, the card processing networks have their own set of rules for imposing a minimum transaction amount.

There are some rules related to this that are important for you and your staff to understand. For instance, with Visa cards, its merchant instructions say you can’t impose the minimum transaction on people who use debit cards. That may seem simple enough, but if a customer presses the credit key when swiping a debit card and your staff thinks it was a credit card transaction, you could end up breaking the rules. As Visa pointed out, “it can get complicated if your staff doesn’t know how to differentiate between a credit card and debit card.” (The link above will point you to a page where Visa explains the difference.)

And while you are not obligated to disclose you have a minimum transaction, Visa says being clear about it is a best-practice that will help you to avoid confusion among your customers.

Mastercard has published similar rules. In its rules, Mastercard doesn’t allow merchants to set a minimum transaction for some of its cards but not for others, depending on the issuer. American Express has a similar policy.

processing fees for credit cards can eat up the profits on selling an item, as I’m sure you’ve figured out.

However, you have to weigh the potential financial benefits of refusing small transactions against the fact that not accepting the cards will inconvenience some of your customers. Many people conduct almost all of their transactions electronically these days and don’t carry much cash. If you turn them away when they are in a pinch, they may decide to take their business elsewhere in the future.

charge a very small purchase, then it may not be worthwhile to say no to them. What difference does it make if you don’t keep the profit on one can of soda a month? Where credit card processing fees can really add up for small merchants is in stores that do a high volume of transactions, such as gas-station convenience stores.

Other options for cutting transaction costs

To avoid having to turn people away, some merchants incentivize customers to buy more. For instance, you could run a classic, buy-two-get-one-free promotion or something along those lines, or offer an attractive discount if customers buy a large size of a product you sell.

Consumers make many decisions based on emotion, including where to shop. The more welcome they feel, the more likely they will be to spend their money with you.

Source: creditcards.com

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