Capital One® Quicksilver VS. Discover it® (4 Key Differences)

By: Linsey Knerl • July 7, 2016

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If you have taken good care of your credit, you may be in the position to choose between the Capital One® Quicksilver and the Discover it® credit cards. Both offer some very attractive perks, but which one is best? Since your decision may come down to picking between VISA or Discover, the following differences will be important to consider.

1. Differences in the Issuing Banks

While both cards are offered to those with a very good to excellent credit history, the banks that service them are not alike. Capital One is a Fortune 500 bank that has been expanding its financial offerings over the years to become one of the largest banks in the U.S. It continues to grow its consumer programs with the Capital One® Quicksilver VISA card, a popular offering for those wanting flexible cash-back benefits.

Discover, while growing in acceptance and versatility, is still not accepted by some retailers. It does, however, offer a unique advantage with its “Cash Over” service, which lets customers add $20-80 to the balance of their purchase at participating retailers to receive as cash back (eliminating the need to stop at an ATM or bank.)

2. Differences in Cash-Back Offers

While the details of certain bonus and new-customer offers can change, both cards offer cash back for all purchases. The Quicksilver card gives 1.5% on all purchases, regardless of category.

The Discover it® card, on the other hand, offers a minimum of 1% on all categories, with some special categories earning 5% on a changing basis.

Both cards claim to give you the option to redeem at any time for any amount.

3. Differences in Standard Card Member Benefits

Capital One® Quicksilver customers will receive the traditional protections that VISA account holders currently enjoy, as well as additional VISA Signature perks. These currently include fraud protection on 100% of unauthorized purchases and extended manufacturer’s warranty protection. Certain travel upgrades may be free for members, as well.

Discover has its own benefits, such as Purchase Protection, which gives up to $500 of coverage on items damaged for most reasons (including accidents) within 90 days of their purchase. Discover will also overnight a replacement card at no cost to you, if your card should become lost or stolen, and generally allows each account one late payment without penalty or increase in interest rate.

4. Differences in Mobile App Offerings

Capital One’s Wallet App lets customers keep record of receipts on the go – before ever leaving the store – so that keeping track of purchases is easier than ever. Detailed retailer info and transaction info is displayed in an easy-to-read format, and up to 25 gift cards can be “digitized” for simpler purchasing without carrying around stacks of plastic. Capital One also provides its own version of a credit score for free.

Discover’s own mobile app does the traditional banking tasks of seeing balances and activity, but also includes a clever “freeze” feature, which allows you to temporarily disallow new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers in the event you lost your card or suspect fraud. App users can also view their FICO Credit Score for free, as well as view and redeem partner offers and Cashback Bonus rewards.

Final Thoughts

While the differences may be significant, both the Capital One® Quicksilver and Discover it® cards seem to be competing in the market by continually offering innovative benefits for card members. In addition to special new-member offers, such as special balance transfer rates and introductory promo perks, both the Quicksilver® credit card and the Discover it® credit card would make a good addition to any credit card user’s toolkit.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

About the Author

Linsey Knerl

Linsey is a finance blogger, author and public speaker with a passion for helping everyday families earn more and live better. In addition to covering the credit card industry in depth on CardRates, she shares her expertise for parents who want to start budget-friendly businesses from home at 1099Mom.com.