Key takeaways

  • The Capital One Platinum Credit Card comes with no annual fee but also without the frills you might find on cards for those with stronger credit.
  • Unlike other cards for those with fair credit, you won’t need to put down a security deposit to establish your line of credit.
  • Benefits like account alerts and credit monitoring can help you stay on track with on-time payments, which could lead to a higher credit limit after six months of responsible use.

If you have a fair credit score, it can be challenging to get your hands on an unsecured credit card without an annual fee. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is one card that accepts fair credit applicants without requiring an annual fee or a security deposit.

Though the Capital One Platinum card doesn’t come with the most exciting cardholder benefits, such as rewards or an intro APR offer, you’ll find a decent lineup of perks for those looking to build or rebuild their credit score with responsible card use.

Capital One Platinum credit-building benefits

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is an unsecured credit card focused on helping you boost your credit score with responsible spending and payments. Because the Capital One Platinum card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you can take advantage of its credit-building benefits — including credit monitoring — with no upfront cost.

Automatic credit line increase

Capital One automatically reviews your account after six months to determine if you’re eligible to receive a higher credit limit. So, even if you’re offered a low credit limit initially, you might see a higher credit limit as you work to improve your credit score by making payments on time and keeping debt low.

Reporting to the credit bureaus

Capital One regularly reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Assuming you’re handling your card responsibly, this reporting is a key way to increase your credit score, and prove to future lenders that you’re responsible with your finances. With an improved credit score, those future lenders could offer you better rate terms on auto or personal loans or even approve you for a rewards credit card.

Account alerts

You can set up alerts for notifications of purchases, bill payments and more either online or through the app. These alerts can help you keep track of spending and stay on top of statement due dates.

CreditWise credit monitoring

The Capital One Platinum card comes with unlimited access to CreditWise from Capital One. This feature not only provides access to your credit score, but also sends you updates and gives you the tools to track it over time. If you’re committed to improving your credit score, CreditWise can be a powerful way to support good credit habits.

Other card benefits

In addition to credit-building benefits, the Capital One Platinum card also offers the following:

Security and fraud liability protection

The card also comes with $0 fraud liability, emergency card replacement and security alerts that help you stay on top of fraud or unauthorized use. And if you’re a frequent online shopper, you can further protect your card from fraud with virtual credit card numbers from Eno, Capital One’s virtual assistant feature.

“Choose your own due date” feature

Capital One allows you to pick a monthly due date of your choice, which you can use to ensure your due date aligns with your paydays. You can also choose whether you want to pay online, by check or in person.

No fees for international use

You won’t pay foreign transaction fees when you make purchases in a foreign currency, whether you’re traveling abroad or just shopping online with a non-U.S.-based merchant, which can save you money while shopping abroad.

Maximizing the Capital One Platinum card

To get the most out of the Capital One Platinum card, use it responsibly to increase your credit score and credit limit over time.

  • Pay your bills on time: The most important factor that makes up your FICO score is your payment history. On-time payments can also help you earn a credit line increase faster.
  • Keep debt to a minimum: If you can pay off your balance in full each month, you’ll avoid high interest charges and fees that can reverse the work you’re putting into rebuilding your credit. It also keeps your credit utilization ratio low — which is an important factor to your credit score.
  • Actively use CreditWise: This credit-monitoring tool gives you detailed insight into where your credit stands, what’s affecting your current score and how you can actively continue improving it.

The bottom line

While you won’t find rewards or many perks with the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, it’s a decent card for building or rebuilding your credit score without distractions. It comes with no annual fee, and Capital One automatically reviews your account for a credit line increase after six months. Plus, you can take advantage of credit score monitoring to help you keep track of your progress — which makes this card worth it for those who are trying to build their credit.

Still, it’s only one of many cards for fair or average credit. By comparing your options, you might find another that’s a better fit with your budget and financial goals.