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Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card: Build Credit While Earning Cash Back

Few secured credit cards come with rewards -- but this one offers a competitive cash-back rate.

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
CNET’S PICK
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
Learn More

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
29.99% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1.5% – 5% 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, everywhere
Rewards Rate
5%
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
1.5%
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere

Our take

If you have a limited credit history, you might feel like your credit card opportunities are just as limited -- but that isn’t always the case. The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card* offers competitive cash-back rewards while providing opportunities to take your credit score to the next level. 

This secured credit card requires a minimum deposit of $200, but offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, along with free tools like CreditWise that help you better plan and track your credit-building progress.

If you qualify, we think the Quicksilver Secured is a great choice for credit-builders -- here’s what to know before you apply.

Pros

  • Rebuild credit through responsible use

  • 1.5% cash back -- a rare perk for a secured card

  • Could qualify for an automatic credit limit increase in as little as six months

  • Possibility to be upgraded to an unsecured credit card

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Requires a security deposit to fund your credit line

  • No welcome bonus

Refundable security deposit

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card requires a minimum security deposit of $200. This deposit gets you access to a $200 credit limit, and you can increase your limit by depositing more before activating your card. The maximum you can contribute will fall somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on your creditworthiness. 

Your initial credit limit will match your initial security deposit, which is fairly standard for secured credit cards. After as little as six months of responsible credit use, Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher credit line with no additional security deposit required. 

When you make a deposit on a secured credit card, your deposit is held as collateral against your future ability to pay your debts. If you use your secured credit card responsibly without overspending or falling behind on payments, Capital One may refund your security deposit and graduate you to an unsecured credit card. If you pay off your balance and close your card before you earn back your deposit through good behavior, you’ll be refunded your deposit at closing.

Cash back rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, as well as 5% on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Finding a secured credit card with a good cash back rate is rare -- many secured credit cards don’t offer any rewards, and very few secured cards can match the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Card’s flat 1.5% cash back. 

In fact, the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Card offers the same cash back potential as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card*, a traditional card that doesn’t require a security deposit, which means that you’ll earn just as much with your secured card as you might with a standard credit card. 

Unfortunately, the secured Quicksilver card doesn’t come with as many perks as the standard Quicksilver card. There’s no welcome bonus, for example, or introductory APR, but that’s standard among secured cards.

However, your unlimited 1.5% cash back should give you plenty of opportunity to earn, redeem and save -- especially with Capital One’s flexible cash back redemption options. Whether you turn your cash back into a statement credit, a gift card or apply it to cover a recent purchase, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your rewards.

Credit-building opportunities

Secured credit cards are good credit-building tools on their own -- but you might build your credit even faster if you sign up for CreditWise, the free credit monitoring service offered through Capital One. 

Through CreditWise, you’ll get free on-demand access to your credit score and credit report as well as alerts when there are changes to your credit report. It also provides a simulator that shows you what certain actions -- such as paying down debt or getting a credit limit increase -- might affect your credit score. This can help you make better financial decisions and be strategic about building credit. CreditWise is available for everyone, not just Capital One cardholders.

Capital One also offers the ability to see if you’re preapproved for certain cards with no effect on your credit.

Applying for a new card typically requires a hard credit inquiry that can temporarily lower your score by a few points, which is why you don’t want to apply for too many of them at once.

Though Capital One still requires a hard inquiry when you officially submit your application, its preapproval feature can keep you from applying for cards you won’t be approved for and dinging your credit score as a result. If your credit score is on the line between fair and good, you may even find yourself preapproved for better, nonsecured cards than you were expecting. Preapproval, however, doesn’t guarantee you’ll get approved for a card.

Additional card fees

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card does not charge an annual fee. You won’t pay any foreign transaction fees either, making this card an excellent choice if you plan to travel abroad.

Alternative cards

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer any cash-back rewards -- but if you’re looking for a no-frills secured credit card with an extremely low security deposit, it’s one of your best options. It’s also the only Capital One card explicitly geared toward rebuilding credit, so may be easier to qualify for than the Quicksilver Secured. 

You can open a Capital One Platinum Secured card with a minimum deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. All cardholders get a minimum credit limit of $200, with the opportunity to raise your credit limit by making a higher deposit. In as little as six months, Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher credit limit -- and if you use your secured card responsibly, Capital One could refund your deposit and upgrade you to the Capital One Platinum Credit Card*.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card* offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, you’ll get access to Discover’s Cashback Match, one of the best welcome bonuses available for both secured and unsecured cards. Depending on your spending habits, you could earn more cash back rewards with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card than you could with the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Card -- so do the math before you apply.

Like the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a minimum $200 security deposit, with the opportunity to contribute a higher deposit in exchange for a higher credit limit. After seven months, Discover will review your account to see if you’re eligible to get your security deposit back and graduate to an unsecured credit card.

How Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card compares to other cards

CNET’S PICK
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
Learn More

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
29.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1.5% – 5% 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, everywhere
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Learn More

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

6.6/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
29.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
N/A This card doesn’t offer cash back, miles, or points
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Learn More

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

8/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
Cashback Match™ Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Annual fee
$0
APR
28.24% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1% – 2% Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically.; Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

FAQs

If you have less-than-perfect credit, a secured credit card is one of the best ways to build credit quickly. Secured credit cards are easier to qualify for than standard credit cards, and are a good option if you’re new to credit

However, you may want to consider other credit cards, such as starter credit cards or student credit cards, before applying for a secured credit card. You can also try applying for a credit card through your bank or credit union, especially if you’ve been managing your checking account or savings account responsibly.

An easy, low-risk way to build credit with a secured card is to use it for small purchases and pay off the entire balance every month. Some people put a monthly streaming service on their secured card, for example, and then set up credit card autopay to ensure they never miss a monthly credit card payment.

Establishing a record of on-time payments is the best way to build your credit. Keeping your balances low -- whether by spending less or paying off your card multiple times a month -- is another good strategy, as is increasing your credit limit. All of these activities help you build a positive credit history, which can have a positive effect on your credit score.

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent secured credit card, especially for people who want a secured card that offers cash back rewards. In fact, CNET ranks the Capital One Quicksilver Secured card as one of today’s best credit cards for bad credit -- and when you pair the card with credit-building tools like Capital One’s CreditWise, you have even more resources to help you build your credit score quickly.

*All information about the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Platinum Credit Card, and the Discover it Secured Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Nicole Dieker has written about personal finance for nearly a decade. In addition to CNET, her work has appeared on Bankrate, CreditCards.com, Vox, Lifehacker, Popular Science, The Penny Hoarder, The Simple Dollar and NBC News. Dieker also spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog.