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The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for students,...

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for students, but lacks a bit of firepower to be considered a strong all-around card. 

An all-rounder credit card for students would offer: 

  1. Low interest rates.
  2. Debt protection and credit-building tools.
  3. Cash back rewards.
  4. One or two perks.

But curiously, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card skips right over letters A and B, and instead piles on C and D.

Cardholders seeking a simple earning structure will like this card, as it offers a generous 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no annual fee to worry about. But, you’ll have none of the credit-building or debt-protection tools offered by its competitors. 

Overall, it’s all depends on what you’re looking for in your first credit card.

Key facts

  • Best for – Students building credit.
  • Signup bonus – N/A.
  • Cash back – Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • Intro APR – N/A.
  • Regular APR – 26.99% variable.
  • Perks and unique features – Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, Complimentary Concierge Service.

In-depth analysis of the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Let’s take a deep dive into the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. 

Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, every day.

That’s it. Clean and simple. 

At first, the lack of rotating spending categories with 5% cash back may seem stodgy, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good student credit card that offers 5% back on anything. 

And offering a blanket 1.5% cash back on everything has its advantages, too.

  1. First of all, it means that as a busy student, you won’t have to keep track of constantly rotating rewards categories. I’ve personally felt a mix of frustration and FOMO when I forget that I could’ve gotten 5% back on a big purchase if I’d just remembered to time the purchase right. 
  2. Second, credit card companies don’t offer 5% cash back out of the goodness of their collective hearts. They’re trying to encourage spending — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is problematic when you’re a student who’s trying to stick to a budget, build credit, and resist impulsive spending.
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That’s why the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s 1.5% cash back on all purchases is such a good fit for students — it manages to be highly rewarding without encouraging non-essential purchases. 

Bonuses

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card does not have a signup bonus. But like the card’s lack of rotating rewards categories, its lack of a signup bonus isn’t necessarily a glaring shortcoming. 

If you’re new to the world of rewards credit cards, you should know that signup bonuses aren’t automatic — they typically require you to spend a certain amount of money within a certain time window (typically thousands of dollars). 

That’s money many college students just don’t have!

APR

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s APR situation is, frankly, its biggest drawback. 

The card charges 26.99% APR on all purchases from day one.

If you’re new to credit card APR, here’s how it works. 

Let’s say you place $1,000 worth of charges on your card and are unable to pay it back after 30 days (though you wouldn’t do that because you know that you should pay off your credit card balance in full every month). Here’s how to calculate how much interest you’ll owe: 

  1. Divide your APR by 365, so 0.2699 / 365 = 0.00074.
  2. Multiply by your balance, so 0.074 x $1,000 = $0.74.
  3. Multiply by days in your billing cycle, so $0.74 x 30 = $22.20.

$22.20 may not sound like much, but credit card debt can snowball quickly. That’s why it’s more than a little disappointing that the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t have any safety nets to protect its young cardholders from debt. 

Annual fee

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card charges no annual fee, which is standard among student-focused rewards cards. 

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Other fees

Whenever you consider signing up for a credit card, you’ll want to familiarize yourself not just with the perks and bonuses, but the fees as well. After all, one big “gotcha” fee can wipe out months of hard-earned cash back rewards.

In the case of the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, the fees are pretty standard fare. 

  • Annual fee – $0.
  • Balance transfer fee – 3%.
  • Balance transfer APR – Varies by cardholder.
  • Cash advance fee – Greater of 3% or $10.
  • Late payment fee – $40.

Curiously, Capital One claims that they may offer new cardholders a promotional APR, without providing any further details. But I wouldn’t apply for this card with the intent of transferring a balance from your old card, since the promo may fall through and you’ll be hammered by 26.99% APR.

If you’re looking to save on interest through a balance transfer, consider MU30’s list of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards.

Unique perks and benefits

Things improve significantly with the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s perks and benefits.

In a somewhat surprising move, Capital One has positively loaded up its student rewards cards with special features typically reserved for top-tier cards with annual fees. 

  • No foreign transaction fees. Heading to Paris to meet with a friend? Don’t worry about getting nickel-and-dimed for every transaction — like many travel rewards cards, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge transaction fees for purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Extended warranty. Store and manufacturer warranties will automatically be doubled if you purchased the item using your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card (this perk doesn’t apply to cars, sadly!).
  • Credit limit raised after six months. Provided you make on-time payments, you’ll automatically be considered for a raise in your credit limit in as little as six months.
  • $0 fraud liability. If your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is ever stolen and used to make fraudulent charges, Capital One will not hold you liable for them (just be sure to report your stolen card ASAP!).
  • Autopay. Capital One lets you set up autopay so you never miss a full (or minimum) payment on your account. Consider this step to be essential!
  • Travel accident insurance. If you purchase a trip using your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, you and your dependents will automatically be insured for up to $100,000 for loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing while at the airport or on the plane. Pretty unlikely to happen, sure, but still nice to have.
  • Complimentary concierge service. Looking for tips on travel, dining, or entertainment? You can call up Capital One and get free guidance from their 24/7 concierge service.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services. If your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is ever lost or stolen, not only will you not be liable for fraudulent charges, but you’ll get an emergency replacement and a cash advance right away. 
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These perks may not be worth much on a daily basis, but on a particularly bad day, they can be extremely valuable.

For example, if your $1,000 TV suddenly dies out on you three weeks after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, not to worry, your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card will cover the replacement, as long as you used the card to make the TV purchase.

How much can you earn with the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card?

Normally, this is where I’d show you a big chart with various spending categories, percentages, and calculate how much you could earn in cash back depending on your lifestyle. But the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card’s rewards are so straightforward you can illustrate them with a simple slider.

For example, if you spend $1,500 monthly, you’ll earn back $22.50 in cash back per month or $270 per year.

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to redeem your points for cash back. You can also convert them to gift cards, use them to recharge your PayPal balance, or apply them to your Amazon purchases at checkout.