Quicksilver or Chase Sapphire: Which is Better for Cash Rewards?

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Updated on Monday, April 4, 2016

Quicksilver or Chase Sapphire

Just because a card is targeted towards travelers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it for your wallet. That being said, just because you travel a few times per year doesn’t mean a travel rewards card is the best option for you.

Today we’ll be comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is heavily marketed towards those with wanderlust, to the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns cashback rewards on every single purchase. The best option for you will ultimately come down to where you spend the bulk of your money.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. There are no rotating categories, so you don’t have to register in order to actualize your rewards. You can earn a One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is currently running a huge signup bonus incentive. Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

You earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. When you redeem for cashback, these points are worth one cent each. However, if you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, you get a 25% discount, effectively making each point worth 1.25 cents. They can be even more valuable if you use them to transfer to certain frequent traveler programs, where you get a 1:1 conversion. For example, 1,000 points would be worth 1,000 miles.

This card’s annual fee: $95.

Pros & Cons

Ultimately, the better deal lies in which card best matches your spending habits and whether you want to travel with your rewards. Let’s dig into the pros and cons of each.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Pro: Higher points for cashback. When you redeem for cashback, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card‘s 1.5 cent per point redemption rate is higher than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s 1 cent.

Con: Spending habits may not be optimized. If you travel or dine out a lot, Sapphire will earn you 2 cents for every $1 you spend, allowing you to effectively get 2% cashback in those categories when you redeem your points for statement credit. If you have the same habits with Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll only see 1.5% back in your pocket.

Pro: Less expensive. If you plan on holding this card in your wallet, the fact that it has no annual fee makes it more attractive.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Pro: Sizeable bonus. 80,000 points equates to $800 in cash, making this signup bonus larger than Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card‘s sign-on bonus.

Con: Large minimum spend. While the incentive is large, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also has a pretty hefty minimum spend. If you don’t have $4,000 in regular purchases during the first 3 months, it isn’t a good idea to open this card. A good deal is only a good if you’re not spending more than you normally would in order to qualify.

Pro: More value if you’re a traveler. If you’re a traveler, each point could be worth 1.25 cents or more. Even if you don’t want to redeem for travel, you can earn double points for the money you spend on travel and dining out.

Con: More expensive. Interest fees are not waived for the first year, and on your one-year anniversary, you’ll find yourself paying a $95 annual fee. You would have to spend $9,500 per year on everyday purchases to make this card worth the fee, or $4,750 per year on travel or restaurant spending, if you redeem your points for statement credits.

When to Use Both Cards

Strategically using these cards together can optimize the amount you’ll see in cash back. Putting travel spending and restaurant purchases on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will earn you .5 cents more per dollar you spend than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. If you’re just after statement credit rewards, on every other purchase, you’ll earn more if you charge to your Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. But if you’re looking to travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better bet.

You have to take the annual fee into account, too. If you’re going to keep your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card open for more than one year, that $95 fee will cut into your rewards, making this dual-card approach appropriate for the first year only.

Other Cash Back Card Options

Want to earn 2 cents back per dollar you spend on every single purchase, regardless of if you’re spending on travel? With Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. for double rewards back on every single dollar you spend. Unlike Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, this card has a $0 annual fee to eat away at your rewards after year one.

If you’re willing to put in the work to optimize your spend, Nusenda Credit Union’s Platinum Cash Rewards Card offers 1% cash back on every purchase, and 5% cash back in revolving categories. For example, you get 5 cents back per dollar on gas and groceries from January to March, and 5% cash back when you spend on movies, restaurants and entertainment from April to June. Better yet, you don’t have to register for these categories like many other 5% cash back cards.

Cash Back Winner

This competition isn’t clear-cut. It’s all going to come down to your spending habits. If you spend a significant portion of your budget on travel and dining out at restaurants, your best option for the first year will be Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If those aren’t areas where you typically put a lot of your money, then Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is the way to go.

The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards prior to publication.

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