Platinum Mastercard from Capital One Review

Improve average credit with no annual fee.

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If you’re looking to build up your credit, the Platinum Mastercard from Capital One is a good option. The ongoing APR is on the high side, which is typical for a “credit builder” card, but it also offers a decent collection of cardholder perks, which isn’t typical for this kind of card. We especially recommend this card if you can pay off your balance in full and on time each month so that you can avoid the high interest.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Overall Rating
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
for Fees
for Rewards
for Credit

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior Persona
    Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt See more cards
    Debt Warrior
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

If you’re trying to improve your credit score, this card may help. It can sometimes be difficult to get approved for a credit card if you don’t have good credit, but you may qualify for this card even if your credit is only considered “fair.”

It offers a few features that can help you build credit, such as an automatic credit limit increase in as little as six months. This adds positive payment information to your credit report, while decreasing your credit utilization ratio if you’re carrying a balance on any of your credit cards. Both of these activities—paying on time and lowering the percentage of credit that you’re using—are some of the best ways to improve your credit score.

  • No annual fee

  • Accepts applicants with fair credit

  • Quick access to a higher credit limit

  • High interest rate

  • No rewards, sign-up bonus, or introductory APR

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: You won’t pay any fees to keep this card from year-to-year. As long as it doesn’t tempt you into debt, keeping it open indefinitely can help increase your credit score.
  • Accepts applicants with fair credit: You only need fair credit to be approved for this card. It says so right on the CapitalOne website. Experian defines “fair” credit as a score between 580 and 669. 
  • Quick access to a higher credit limit: Cardholders will automatically be considered for a credit limit in as little as six months. Making on-time payments and raising your credit limit may also help your credit score, as long as you keep your balance low.

Cons Explained

  • High interest rate: This card has a high interest rate if you carry a balance from month-to-month. This might provide enough motivation for you to pay off your balance each month, but if it doesn’t, you could end up paying a lot of money in interest.
  • No rewards, sign-up bonus, or introductory APR: Many other cards offer these features, but not this one. Instead, if you’re interested in a rewards card or one with an intro deal, use the Capital One Platinum to build up your credit, so you’re more likely to be approved for one of those other cards later. 

The biggest reason to get this card is if you’re still working to build your credit, so that you can qualify for a better credit card or better loan terms later on. The Platinum Mastercard from Capital One can help you do this, as long as you use the card responsibly.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

The best way to utilize the Platinum Mastercard is to use it as a tool and be intentional with how much you spend. The purpose of this card is to build credit, and the two best ways to do so are to make on-time payments and keep your credit utilization below 30% at all times.

To begin, take your credit limit and find out what 30% of it is. For example, if your credit limit is $1,000, you never want a balance of more than $300 on the card at a time. You can have a bill on autopay on your credit card (assuming it's less than 30% of your limit) and then immediately pay it off when the payment processes.

Capital One Platinum’s Excellent Perks

The Capital One Platinum card isn’t meant to be a travel card packed with perks. However, it does offer one great perk we think is worth mentioning:

  • No foreign transaction fee: If you like to travel a lot this can save you tons of money. It's rare that this type of card has no foreign transaction fee.

Capital One Platinum’s Other Features

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranties
  • Lowest advertised price match 
  • Travel assistance service

Customer Experience

Capital One is rated third among 11 credit card companies in a 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. It scored 815 points out of 1,000, just below the industry average of 809.

The company does offer a couple of features that make your experience better, though. A unique account feature lists all monthly recurring transactions, so you can easily scope out any charges for subscriptions or services you're no longer using and cancel them.

Capital One also offers CreditWise, a tool that, among other things, gives you access to your credit score and monitors your credit report for changes. That’s valuable information when you’re trying to build credit.

Security Features

CreditWise also scans the “dark web” and lets you know if your Social Security number ends up somewhere it shouldn’t.

Anyone can sign up for CreditWise without applying for a Capital One card, so even if you decide not to get the card it still may be worth using the tool.

Capital One also offers security and account alerts through Eno, its text-based assistant. You can lock your card if you lose it or if it’s stolen to immediately prevent anyone from using it until you can report it stolen. Finally, Capital One offers virtual credit card numbers you can use while shopping online, so you don’t have to share your real credit card number over the internet. 

Capital One Platinum’s Fees 

The Capital One Platinum card doesn’t come with a lot of fees—and none of them are out of line with industry standards.

Next Steps
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See how this card stacks up to the competition
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
overall rating
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Experian. "What Are the Different Credit Scoring Ranges?" Accessed January 7, 2021

  2. J.D. Power. "2021 US Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed Oct. 7, 2021.