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Capital One Platinum Credit Card review: An attractive unsecured option for credit-builders

Cardholders who want to build credit but don’t want to pay a security deposit or annual fee can find a happy – but limited – medium with the Capital One Platinum.

 /  10 min
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Snapshot

4.2

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

Bottom line

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a solid choice for people looking to build credit. You won’t earn rewards or have access to many perks, but it will help you learn to manage your credit effectively. But, beyond helping you to build your credit, this card doesn’t have much to offer.

  • Cost of membership
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
    Ease of building credit
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
    2 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
    3.8 / 5
Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Recommended Credit

N/A

Intro offer

Info

$0

Annual fee

29.99% (Variable)

Regular APR

Capital One Platinum Credit Card Overview

Whether you are graduating from a secured card or starting to build your credit history, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a great choice for building credit without distractions. You don’t earn rewards with the card, and it doesn’t offer many cardholder perks. However, it might be a smart option for people with fair credit who may not yet be eligible for the best rewards cards on the market today.

If approved, you can take advantage of this option to help improve your credit with no annual fee and without tying up money in a security deposit. With few entry barriers and low ongoing costs, the Capital One Platinum card is no doubt one of the best unsecured credit-building card options on the market.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • This card does not offer rewards.

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: $0
    • Ongoing APR: 29.99 percent (variable)
    • Balance transfer fee: $0 at the Transfer APR, 4 percent of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you
    • Late payment fee: Up to $40
    • Foreign transaction fee: None
    • (See Rates & Fees)

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Fair
    Credit-building features
    • CreditWise access
    • Automatic credit increases reviews after six months
    • 24/7 virtual chat assistance

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Emergency Card Services
    • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™
    • Fraud coverage for unauthorized charges

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

Capital One Platinum card pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Good chance of approval with only fair credit, or a FICO score as low as 580

  • Checkmark

    Automatic account review after six months to see if you qualify for a higher credit limit, which could keep your credit utilization ratio low

  • Checkmark

    No annual fee to offset each year

Cons

  • No rewards program, meaning even cards with a low rewards rate can be more valuable in your wallet

  • No intro APR offers that could temporarily save on interest, a feature typical for no-annual-fee credit cards

Why you might want the Capital One Platinum card

The Capital One Platinum card takes a low-fee, low-maintenance approach to building credit. Although it lacks rewards value, it is convenient for cardholders with average credit who prefer a no-frills card as they work towards a good credit score.

Credit building: Focused approach to building credit responsibly

If you’re building your credit score with a credit card, it’s crucial to understand how a card can help you improve your credit before you apply. The Capital One Platinum card won’t distract you with enticing rewards or welcome offers. Instead, it lets you focus on building credit and includes some great features to help you along the way. Here’s how it can help:

Automatic credit increase reviews

Capital One will automatically review your account for a credit line increase after six months of responsible card use. Since a higher limit makes it easier to keep your credit utilization low, this perk is especially useful for anyone who plans to hold onto the card long-term. If approved, a credit increase after an automatic review is a great alternative to opening an additional card and adding a hard pull to your credit report.

Unlimited CreditWise Access

While CreditWise gives you snapshots of your credit score from TransUnion and Experian, it’s also a great tool for finding out why your score fluctuates. It gives suggestions on how to increase your score and can alert you when there is a change to your report, such as delinquent accounts or credit inquiries.

Assistance with Eno

Eno is Capital One's virtual assistant that can help you keep track of recurring charges, put reminders on free trials and provide helpful spending insights. It also assists in keeping your card safe by alerting you of suspicious activity and duplicate charges. This way, nothing sets back your credit journey.

Minimal fees: A favorable pick for cardholders looking to skip extra costs

The Capital One Platinum card charges as few fees as possible. Although you’ll still pay for cash advances and late payments, the Platinum card does not charge foreign transaction fees or an annual fee. 

The card does charge late payment and cash advance fees, but these fees combined should be incentive enough to deter you from making late payments or withdrawing cash advances. Cash advances accrue interest from the transaction date, so you should avoid cash advances whenever possible. And making late payments could damage your credit score. Because the Capital One Platinum charges for both of these, it might help you stay on track when it comes to using your card, making payments and building credit.

(See Rates & Fees)

Perks: Thin but convenient perks make this card competitive

This card isn’t bursting with extra perks and benefits like you might find with other cards. It only includes fraud coverage for unauthorized charges, emergency card services and Mastercard ID TheftProtection™. However, these perks offer enough security if you’re trying to fast-track your way to good credit to qualify for better cards with more lucrative rewards rates, perks and benefits.

These perks are also a nice security blanket for first time cardholders who might be wary of the risks associated with using credit cards. In 2023, credit card fraud was the number one reported instance of fraud to the Federal Trade Commission, with over 114,000 reports. Mastercard’s ID TheftProtection can help if you’re ever the victim of identity theft and, along with $0 fraud liability for unauthorized charges in the event your card is lost or stolen, Capital One can send emergency card replacements and cash advances (if you have available credit).

Why you might want a different card for average credit

Although this card's low maintenance features might be attractive, it lacks value when it comes to rewards, a welcome offer and its ongoing APR. It’s a great card for building credit because it curbs distractions like earning rewards, but responsible cardholders could benefit from the value and security of rewards cards for average credit.

Rewards: Lacks basic rewards for your purchases

Other cards in this credit score range offer rewards for purchases. The rates aren’t stellar and don’t compare well with the rewards rates of cards for good credit, but this is an area where the Capital One Platinum card fails to measure up to the competition. The Capital One Platinum doesn't earn  rewards, but other cards may typically earn up to 5 percent back for eligible purchases and at flat rates of up to 1.5 percent back. These other rewards cards for fair or average credit have the edge because earning just a fraction back for your spending is a great way to minimize costs.

Rewards can also be a great incentive to pay on time, as some issuers will only reward for paid balances. Or they may increase rewards rates for cardholders who demonstrate responsible card use. However, rewards can tempt cardholders to run up large balances on cards just to earn more back. If you’re new to credit cards, you might want to focus on building credit without distractions — which the Capital One Platinum is perfect for.

If you’re a responsible cardholder with a demonstrated history of on-time payments for all of your debts, rewards may not be much of a distraction and the Capital One Platinum may lack value for you. However, if you’re new to credit cards, then you might want to focus on the importance of building credit — which the Capital One Platinum is perfect for.

Welcome offer: No welcome offer for first year spending

Like rewards rates, welcome offers are a great way to earn a chunk of money back for your spending. Cards in this credit range don’t have the highest welcome offers available, but many come with decent bonuses for everyday spending. Cardholders can earn up to $200 with some cards for fair credit, like the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®. You won’t need to do any extra spending, either. You just need to open a Rewards Checking Plus account and make three debit transactions within 60 days.

Using a credit card makes overspending easy, and chasing a welcome offer that may normally be out of reach is an example of irresponsible card use. If you can manage the requirements, welcome offers can be a nice addition to your new credit card. But if you feel you may overspend to attain a welcome offer, then you should look at a basic card without an intro offer like the Capital One Platinum. This card can help you build credit so that you may eventually qualify for higher-caliber cards with competitive welcome offers.

High APR: Carrying a balance will accumulate large interest charges

This card’s APR is a sky-high 29.99 percent (variable), which is on par with the typical penalty APR on many other cards (See Rates & Fees). If you’re building credit, it’s a great idea to avoid carrying a balance at all. It will only make your credit journey more difficult because you’re utilizing more of your credit than you can pay off monthly. A balance you carry will accrue interest, hinder your score over time and make paying your balance more difficult. But if you tend to carry a balance on your card, then you might want to consider a card with a lower APR.

How the Capital One Platinum compares to other credit cards for fair or average credit

If you’re considering credit cards for fair credit, you’ll probably find a limited number of options. You can opt for a bare-bones unsecured credit-building card like the Capital One Platinum card and pay no annual fee, or you can try for a card that offers rewards on everyday spending but requires you to pay a modest annual fee. If you don't overspend, a rewards card can be the better option. Depending on how much you spend with your card, you might be able to  cover the annual fee and earn money while building your credit.

Image of Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Image of Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$39

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Image of Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1% - 1.5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info

Who is the Capital One Platinum card right for?

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Capital One Platinum worth it?

The Capital One Platinum is a smart option if you need a card for fair credit but want a no-annual-fee credit card (See Rates & Fees). If you are approved, be sure to use your card responsibly, keep a low balance and always pay your credit card bill early or on time. If you take those steps, you’ll be on your way to a better credit score and a more lucrative rewards credit card in no time.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by
Brendan Dyer
Associate Editor, Credit Cards

Brendan Dyer holds a Master of Fine Arts in Journalism from Western Connecticut State University and worked previously as a content editor for Regional News Network, a hyper-local TV news station contracted by Verizon FiOS1 News. As a national service volunteer, Brendan exercised a passion for helping underserved communities and demographics through direct, community service. He constantly seeks to apply his expertise as a journalist to the field of personal finance with the goal of helping people navigate the complexities of the credit card industry.

Edited by Former Senior Editor, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former Editor, Credit Cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.