Secured Mastercard from Capital One

Rebuild Your Credit With No Annual Fee

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The Secured Mastercard from Capital One is one of the best cards for rebuilding credit. If you don’t have a ton of money to put down as a security deposit, but you’re still trying to build up your credit score, this card is a good choice.

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

Overall Rating
3.0
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
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 (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $49
Allows upgrade to unsecured card Yes
Pay deposit in installments Yes
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
5.0
for Rewards
1.0
for Credit
1.5

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 Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

This card is best for people who can’t get approved for traditional credit cards and want to improve their credit scores. It also is good for people who don’t have a lot of money saved to put down for a deposit.

We also recommend this card for people who are able to pay their bill in full each month. This will help your credit score, and you’ll also avoid paying the high interest charges that come with this card.

Keeping your balances low saves you on interest, and it keeps your credit utilization ratio low, too. Utilization ratio shows how much of your total available credit has been used, and it is an important factor in your credit score.

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • Partial security deposit for some cardholders

  • Higher credit limit for on-time payments and larger deposits

Cons
  • High interest rate

  • Low maximum credit limit

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: You won’t have to worry about an annual fee with this card. And if you pay your bill in full and on time each month, you won’t have to worry about any other charges either, making this card totally free to use. 
  • Partial security deposit for some cardholders: Capital One may require you to put down one of three different deposit amounts ($49, $99, or $200) to get access to a $200 credit line. If you pay only $49 or $99, then your deposit is only partially secured, and you get the benefits of a bigger credit line for less money upfront. 
  • Higher credit limit for on-time payments and higher deposits: Make your monthly payments on time, and Capital One will automatically consider increasing your credit line after six months. This, too, can help increase your credit score by improving your utilization ratio. 

Cons Explained

  • High interest rate: The Secured Mastercard from Capital One has a relatively high-interest rate. That means you’ll pay a lot in interest if you carry a balance from month to month. On the flip side, if you pay off your charges in full each month, Capital One won’t charge you any interest at all. 
  • Low maximum credit limit: A $1,000 credit limit isn't much. You could get a higher credit limit with competing cards.

According to The Balance’s analysis of credit card interest rates, average credit card interest rates stood at 20.28%, as of January 2021. The average interest rate for secured cards was about the same 20.29%.

Secured Card Mastercard From Capital One's Excellent Perks

This isn’t a rewards card, but it does offer one perk under the general Capital One umbrella that you might find useful:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee: Use the card when traveling abroad and you won't pay extra in fees. Many competing cards charge a fee.

Secured Card Mastercard From Capital One's Other Features

  • Creditwise from Capital One
  • ATM location services
  • ENO assistant
  • Card lock

Customer Experience

Capital One has a decent reputation for customer service. In the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, it ranked fifth out of 11 national credit card issuers. It scored 808 points, just below the average of 810.

The company does, however, make it easy to work with them. If you have questions about your account, you can call customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Aside from your online account, you also can manage your account from a mobile app. You can even text a chatbot assistant named Eno to answer simple questions about your account.

Capital One also offers a free credit monitoring service called CreditWise. Anybody, even noncustomers, can sign up. The service provides details about your credit reports, shows you a credit score, and monitors your credit.

Security Features

If you’ve signed up for CreditWise, you’ll get alerts if your Social Security Number or other identifying information is found on the dark web. 

If you lose your card or otherwise want to prevent it from being used, you can lock it via the app. Capital One also offers free virtual credit card numbers for online transactions. 

Secured Mastercard from Capital One's Fees

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One doesn’t hit cardholders with a lot of fees. If you make your payments on time and pay off the balance in full each month, there won’t be any other fees or interest charges.

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CURRENT CARD
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
overall rating
3.0
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 (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Minimum Deposit to Activate $49
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. J.D. Power. "Customers Losing Faith in Credit Card Issuers as COVID-19 Pandemic Lingers, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Feb. 4, 2021.