Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Capital One Quicksilver vs Discover it Cash Back
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Capital One Quicksilver vs Discover it Cash Back

If you like Discover rotating categories, it's an easy choice. If not - our analysis will help you understand which card is better for you.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Table of Content

The Capital One Quicksilver and Discover it® Cash Back cards are designed for those who want to earn rewards on their every day spending.

However, the approach the issuers have taken for these rewards are different. So, here we’ll make a comparison between the cards to help you decide if one is a better choice for you.

Compare Side by Side

Discover it Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver
Annual Fee
$0
$0
Rewards
5% cashback on up to $1,500 in rotating category purchases each quarter when you activate the bonus category (then 1%), as well 1% percent cash back on all other purchases
5% percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.5% cash back on all purchases everyday.
Welcome bonus
All cash back earned at the end of the first 12 months is matched.
$200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
0% Intro APR
15 months on purchases and balance transfers
15 months on balance transfers and purchases
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
$0
Purchase APR
17.24% – 28.24% Variable
19.99% – 29.99% variable
Read Review
Read Review

Compare Rewards: Which Card Gives More?

While various areas of comparison are helpful to gain an appreciation for each card, putting the actual cash benefits into context can be tricky without a scenario comparison.

Since both these cards are intended for everyday spending, we’ll look at typical spending so you can see how much you could earn with similar spending.

The Discover It Cash Back card, which is one of the best Discover credit cards,  offers more than twice the cash back compared to the Capital One Quicksilver. However, the largest amount of cash back is with the groceries spending, but this higher percentage of cash back is only available for one year.

But, Discover does offer rotating categories that change each quarter and offer up to 5% cash back with a cap of $1,500. So, it could be at certain times of the year, you may be able to compensate for the lower shopping rate after the first year.

Spend Per Category
Discover it Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver
$12,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$360
$180
$5,000 – Restaurants
$50
$75
$4,000 – Hotels
$40
$60
$4,000 – Airline
$40
$60
$5,000 – Gas
$50
$75
Estimated Annual Value
$540
$450

* The Discover it Cash Back offers higher cash back on rotating categories up to $6,000/year. We assume full utilization, calculating the total amount under "U.S Supermarkets" category.

Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees

This first area of comparison and there are some similarities. Both cards have a cash bonus and you’ll need to meet the spending limit within the first three months after account opening.

However, there is one significant difference. Discover All cash back earned at the end of the first 12 months is matched. . This represents a further bonus of hundreds of dollars if you max out your purchases. If this is your main card, this will make this card far more attractive for you.

This is another area where there are similarities, but there are some subtle differences. The rates are quite similar with the 0% intro rate for almost the same period and there are no annual fees. However, while Capital One only charges 3% for balance transfers, Discover only has this rate for the first 60 days. Another difference is in the foreign transaction fees, as Capital One does not impose them.

So, if you’re planning on using your card abroad and plan to make balance transfers throughout the 0% intro period, you’ll find the Capital One Quicksilver more appealing.

Compare The Perks

While the Discover It Cash Back has no significant additional card benefits, Capital One does offer some with the Quicksilver. The main benefit is with Capital One Premium Experiences. This allows you to access “unforgettable experiences” that include five star meals and VIP tickets.

Here are the additional benefits you'll get on the Quicksilver card:

  • Complimentary Concierge Services: This personalized assistance is available for entertainment, travel and dining 24/7, 365 days a year.

  • 24/7 Travel Assistance: If you lose your card or it is stolen while you’re away from home, you can get an emergency replacement and access a cash advance. There is also travel accident insurance automatically included when you purchase your fare using your card.

  • Extended Warranties: You’ll receive free additional warranty  protection on eligible items you purchase with your card.

  • Capital One Shopping: This is an online shopping tool to automatically apply available coupon codes when you’re online shopping.

So, if you’re looking for benefits beyond the cash back rewards, you’re likely to find the Quicksilver a better fit.

Compare The Drawbacks

Of course, no credit card is perfect, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before you make your final card decision.

Discover it Cash Back

While the cash back in the specific categories is far higher than the Quicksilver, the basic rate is lower. So, unless you plan on making purchases in the higher tier categories, the Quicksilver is better.

If you’re looking for additional card benefits, the Discover It Cash Back is outshined by the Quicksilver, as it has limited perks.

Capital One Quicksilver

While one of the attractive features of the Quicksilver is its simple reward structure, it is also one of the drawbacks. Aside from the introductory bonus, you cannot max out your rewards with strategic purchase planning, you’ll simply earn the same rate on all your purchases.

Considering the limited rewards potential, and the need for excellent credit, this card does have quite high interest rates. There are other cards that offer greater rewards for similar rates including the Discover It Cash Back.

Compare Redemption Options

One of the most attractive things about the Capital One Quicksilver (and Capital One overall) is its flexible redemption options. You can:

  • Shop with your rewards. You can redeem your rewards with Paypal or pay for your Amazon.com purchases at checkout.
  • Gift cards: Capital One offers a variety of gift card options for popular retailers.
  • Statement credit or check: You can also redeem your rewards for cash in the form of a check or statement credit with no minimums.

The Discover It Cash Back card also has several redemption options. In addition to redeeming your rewards with no minimums, you can:

  • Receive as statement credit
  • Deposit cash into your bank account
  • Pay for Amazon and PayPal purchases using your rewards at checkout.

Alternatively, you can pick from Discover Charitable Partners and  donate cashback points to charity.

How to Maximize Cards Benefits?

If you want to make the best use of your Discover it Cash Back card, there are some tips to help you:

  • Check the bonus categories: Discover releases the calendar for the full year, so you can check what category will offer the greatest rewards each quarter. This will allow you to plan your purchases to maximize rewards.
  • Maximize the Bonus Categories: Each quarter it is a good idea to max out the bonus cashback offerings as much as possible, up to the $1,500 cap on purchases for the quarter.

  • Avail of the Signup Bonus: The signup offer sees your rewards getting doubled in the first 12 months, something which should be maximized.

If you want to make the best use of your Capital One Quicksilver card, there are some tips to help you:

  • Book your fares with your card. This will allow you to receive travel accident insurance free of charge.
  • Check for eligible purchases. Eligible items can qualify for additional warranty protection when bought with your card.
  • Activate Capital One Shopping: This tool will apply coupon codes as you’re doing your online shopping, which could save you a great deal if you’re a frequent shopper.

Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?

Discover it Cash Back
Capital One Quicksilver
App Rating (iOS)
4.9
4.8
App Rating (Android)
4.6
4.7
BBB Rating (A-F)
A+
A
WalletHub
4
3.5
Contect Options
phone
phone/chat
Availability
24/7
24/7

Satisfied cardholders report that the Capital One Quicksilver card offers good rewards for your everyday spending. You don’t need to worry about categories or time limits for your purchases, as all purchases attract the same cash back. You can also get cash back on your purchases abroad without incurring foreign transaction fees.

Negative reviews report complaints about the high interest rate on this card. Considering the card offers a flat rate of cash back, the Discover It offers far greater rewards for similar rates.

Satisfied cardholders praise the reward match of Discover it Cash Back in the first year. Borrowers also report that this card has a user friendly app and dedicated Identity Theft Solutions center that can help you should you suffer from any fraud.

Negative reviews report account closures with little to no communication. This is obviously terrible customer service when cardholders are unaware for the reasons for the account closure.

Bottom Line

Both cards offer rewards for every day spending with no annual fee. However, the reward structure is different and this will influence which card is a better choice for you.

When You Might Want the Discover it Cash Back?

The Discover It Cash Back is a decent choice if:

  • You’re happy with only getting higher cash back rates in certain categories
  • You will be able to spend high amount in the first year to maximize your cash back
  • You’ll not frequently make purchases abroad.

When the Quicksilver Card Wins?

The Capital One Quicksilver Card is a solid choice if:

  • You don’t want to bother with spending categories or caps
  • You intend to book travel fares using your card to qualify for perks
  • You’re not sure how you want to spend your cash back and want multiple options

Compare Discover It Cash Back

While the Discover it Cashback offers higher rewards on rotating categories, the Chrome card offers flat rate on gas & restaurants. Which is better?

Here's our comparison: Discover it Cash Back vs Discover it Chrome

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Picture of Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.