Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

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A fair choice for those with fair credit, but watch out for that APR.

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The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is just one step up from having a secured credit card. You don’t have to put any collateral down, but it really doesn’t offer much else. In other words, don’t get this card unless you have few other choices in front of you.

Review

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card can help those with just fair credit make lemonade out of lemons. If you make your first five payments on-time, you can get access to a higher credit limit, which in turn can help improve your credit score if you continue to pay your bill on time.

But if your primary goal is to build up your credit, you may be better off opening a secured card that offers some benefits, using that card until you’ve improved your credit and then moving on to a standard credit card with better terms.

The good news, if there’s any to be had, is if you make a late payment, this card carries no penalty APR. The bad news: The standard APR isn’t far off from the penalty APR most cards charge.

Who should get this card

This plain-vanilla credit card could be a good choice for those with thin credit files or fair credit history who don’t qualify for other cards. Although the standard APR is high, that won’t be an issue if you intend to pay off your balance every month.

Advantages
  • Unlike some secured credit cards, this unsecured card charges no annual fee.
  • You'll pay no foreign transaction fees if you use Capital One Platinum to make charges outside the U.S.
  • There is no balance transfer fee. Most cards charge 3% to 5% of the transferred balance.
Disadvantages
  • You'll earn no rewards with this card.
  • The APR is pretty high for an unsecured card.
  • Although there is no transfer fee, transferred balances are charged the same high APR as on purchases.

Fees and APR

  • This card charges no annual fee.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside the United States.
  • There’s no balance transfer fee, but balances transferred carry the same interest rate as the purchase APR.
  • Purchase APR is a variable 24.99%.

Extras and perks

The biggest benefit of this card is the ability to get a higher credit limit if you make your first five on-time payments in a row.

This card also comes with Mastercard Platinum benefits including car rental and travel protections.

Capital One’s free Credit Wise tool can be helpful in teaching consumers how spending affects your credit score and to monitor potential fraud.

How this card compares

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
Credit Needed

Average, Fair, Limited

Regular APR

24.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$39

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

As a rewards credit card, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card just doesn’t stand up to the competition. As a rewards card for a consumer trying to rebuild (or build for the first time) their credit, this card is worth a look.

There are numerous options other there if you have good credit to earn rewards at this level or higher without having to pay for the privilege. But there are few cards available to someone with fair credit that also offer a nice payday.

Discover it® Secured
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit from $200-$2500 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Credit Needed

Limited/Bad Credit

Regular APR

24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

10.99% for 6 months

If you have a bank account but limited or poor credit history, the Discover it® Secured is a terrific choice to help build your credit and earn cash-back rewards, too.

We also like that you can quickly graduate to an unsecured Discover card with just eight months of good payment behavior.

USAA® Secured American Express® Card
  • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit
  • It's not a debit or prepaid card
  • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with a security deposit
  • USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members
Credit Needed

Poor/Fair

Regular APR

11.90% - 21.90% Variable

Annual Fee

$35

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

If you or a loved one will be deployed soon, the USAA Secured Card American Express could prove a real help. Think about applying for this card before you head overseas so you can take advantage of the generous benefit offered active-duty military personnel.

The card has a special low APR for deployed members of the U.S. armed forces — much lower than standard credit card interest rates — and, unlike most other unsecured cards, offers travel and auto protections and extended warranty coverage.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.