Bank of America® Cash Rewards vs. Capital One® Quicksilver®

June 29, 2016, Written By Jason Steele
Bank of America® Cash Rewards vs. Capital One® Quicksilver®

When looking for a cash rewards credit card, it can be quite a challenge to find the right balance between earning a high rate of return on most purchases, and a larger bonus for certain purchases. A card that offers higher rates of return for certain types of purchases will typically have a lower rate of cash back for all others, compared to card that has no bonus categories.

To choose the best card for their individual needs, applicants must try to estimate how much they will spend on the featured bonus categories, and calculate whether these rewards will outweigh a slightly lower rate of return for other purchases. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver card are great examples of these two competing methods of earning cash back.

Let’s take a look at how these cards work, and then see which one is right for you:

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card is an outstanding cash back card. It offers 1% cash back on all purchases, but 2% on transactions made at grocery stores and at wholesale clubs, and 3% on a category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, home improvement/furnishings or drug stores. These increased payouts are applicable on up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter. Cardholders can update their choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile banking app or Online banking, or do nothing and the category stays the same. If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can receive a 25% – 75% rewards bonus on every purchase. New customers can earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening an account. In addition, new applicants will get 12 billing cycles of 0% APR on both new purchases and balance transfers. The balance transfers must be completed within 60 days of account opening, and a 3% balance transfer fee applies. The card has an APR ranging from 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR on purchases, depending on your credit worthiness. The card has no annual fee but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee on transactions made outside of the United States.

This card also includes numerous benefits such as online banking, account alerts, and Digital Wallet technology that allows you to use your mobile device, and then shop in-store or in-app using Apple Pay™, Android Pay® or Samsung® Pay. Cardholders can also enable optional overdraft protection to help prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts, by linking your eligible Bank of America checking account to your credit card, although transfer fees may apply.

Capital One® Quicksilver®

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The Capital One Quicksilver card offers customers the same rewards on all purchases with no limits, 1.5% cash back. Rewards never expire, and you can redeem your rewards in any amount and at any time. New applicants also receive a $150 cash bonus when they use their card to spend $500 on new purchases within the first three months of account opening.

This card also offers new applicants 15 months of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. After the promotional financing period expires, the standard interest rate of 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) for purchases will apply, and the rate you receive will be based on your creditworthiness when you applied.

This card also offers several valuable benefits including a complimentary concierge service that is available by phone 24 hours a day, and includes special access and preferred seating at popular sporting events, premier golf outings, and concerts. Cardholders also enjoy extended warranty coverage that adds a year to the manufacturer’s warranty of eligible items. As a Visa Signature card, it also offers shopping discounts, travel savings and access to special events.

There is no annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

Which card is right for you?

Depending on your purchase patterns, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card  may be a stronger offer, especially considering the addition of 3% cash back on the category of your choice and a slightly higher early-spend bonus. For many Americans the combined categories of grocery stores wholesale clubs, and one other category will make up a large portion of their monthly budget. Unfortunately, the bonus cash back for this card is limited to the first $2,500 spent each quarter.

But with the Capital One Quicksilver, most cardholders are likely to do just as well earning 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits. Other advantages of the Capital One Quicksilver card include having no foreign transaction fees and the ability to earn free rides though Uber’s new loyalty program.

Both of these cards represent different paths to the same goal, earning as much cash back as possible from your purchases.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 29, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Jason Steele

jasonsteele
Jason Steele is a freelance journalist and an expert on the credit card industry. He contributes to several of the top personal finance sites, and his work is syndicated to mainstream outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
View all posts by Jason Steele