Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt See more cards
Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
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 a credit limit increase if you make your first five payments on time. 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
- 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 average credit to be approved for this card. While FICO does not have a definition for “average” credit, it 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.
- 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 secured credit cards 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 exceptional benefit we think is worth mentioning:
- Travel accident insurance: If you, your spouse, or your dependents die or become disabled while you’re in transit on a trip you paid for with your card, you’re covered up to $100,000.
Capital One Platinum’s Other Features
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Extended warranties
- Lowest advertised price match
- Roadside assistance
- Travel assistance service
Capital One is rated fifth among 11 credit card companies in a 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. It scored 808 points out of 1,000, just below the industry average of 810.
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.
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.