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Capital One Platinum Credit Card vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Which card is better for building credit, the Capital One Platinum or Capital One QuicksilverOne?

Both the Capital One Platinum Credit Card and Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card are good cards to start establishing a credit history. 

There are a lot of similarities between these cards, but a couple of glaring differences -- namely the Platinum Credit Card's lack of rewards and the QuicksilverOne's annual fee. Despite the annual fee, the QuicksilverOne will be the better choice for more people because the annual fee is relatively low and the rewards program has the potential to outweigh any costs. You'll have to spend over $2,600* with the card in order to offset its annual fee.

Which card does it better?

Card feature Winner
Annual fee Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Annual percentage rate (APR) Tie
Rewards Capital One QuicksilverOne
Credit requirement Tie
Building credit Tie

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR28.49% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Average, Fair, Limited
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Annual Fee$39
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A
Balance Transfer APR28.49% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee $0 at this Transfer APR
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

5.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR28.49% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Average, Fair, Limited
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A
Balance Transfer APR28.49% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee $0 at this Transfer APR
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR None

Annual fee

Winner: Capital One Platinum Mastercard

The Platinum card is an obvious winner on upfront costs since it has no annual fee. If you don't plan to spend much on the card and prefer to keep it as an emergency credit card in case of unexpected expenses, this card will be lower maintenance overall. Still, for many cardholders, the QuicksilverOne's rewards program may be able to outshine its annual fee.

APR, or interest rate

Winner: Tie

Both credit cards feature an APR of 28.49% variable, which is relatively high, so it won't come down to the APR for which card is the better choice. That said, we recommend paying your credit card balance in full each month in order to avoid paying interest charges, and to show credit card issuers you have responsible habits. 

Rewards

Winner: Capital One QuicksilverOne

The clear winner when it comes to rewards is the QuicksilverOne card. It features 1.5% cash back for every purchase, plus 5% cash back for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. The Platinum card offers no rewards.

*However, you'll have to make sure that your budget allows you to spend $2,600 annually with the QuicksilverOne. That would have you breaking even with the card's annual fee, as 2,600 x .015 (1.5%) is $39. To turn a profit, you would need to spend more than that. If $2,600 in spending per year isn't something you're up for, then the Platinum card might be the better option.

Credit requirements

Winner: Tie

Both credit cards are designed to help people with limited or fair credit obtain stronger credit scores. As such, both cards have a recommended fair credit requirement. This typically means you'll need a credit score of 580 or higher.

Building credit

Winner: Tie

Both credit cards are intended to help improve your credit score through responsible use. That means using the credit card regularly and then paying it off on time each month. Both of these cards can be used to do so. Make sure you don't miss a payment and your credit score can improve in as little as a few months.

Both cards offer automatic credit limit reviews. Capital One will periodically review both credit cards for an automatic credit limit increase in as little as six months. A higher credit limit will lower your credit utilization as you'll have a larger amount of overall credit, and will therefore be using a smaller percentage of it. Again, a lower credit utilization will contribute to stronger credit scores.

No matter which card you choose, you can also access Capital One's CreditWise tool. You can use it to monitor your VantageScore 3.0 credit score from your TransUnion credit report to track your progress. Anyone can access CreditWise, not only Capital One cardholders.

The bottom line

While both credit cards can help you improve your credit score with responsible use, the Capital One QuicksilverOne is the card to pick. While it does require a $39 annual fee, it also offers 1.5% cash back for your purchases, which means if you spend at least $217 on the card each month, you'll essentially earn enough to cover the cost.

FAQs

Can I apply for both the Capital One QuicksilverOne and the Capital One Platinum card?

You could, but it wouldn't make sense to do so. Both cards are designed to do the same thing, which is to improve your credit by building a positive history of on time payments.

Should I close a credit card once my credit scores have improved?

No. If you've just gotten your credit score to a good spot, closing a credit card will have a negative impact on your credit because your credit utilization will go up and you'll lose the benefit of having an aging credit account on your credit report. In some cases, however, closing a credit card could be a good idea if it's difficult to manage multiple accounts or if the credit card has an annual fee and you're no longer using it.

What are the different credit score ranges?

The FICO score ranges are:

  • 300 to 579: Poor
  • 580 to 669: Fair
  • 670 to 739: Good
  • 740 to 799: Very good
  • 800 to 850: Excellent

Credit score ranges for VantageScore are:

  • 300 to 499: Very poor
  • 500 to 600: Poor
  • 601 to 660: Fair
  • 661 to 780: Good
  • 781 to 850: Excellent

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