If you have a fair credit score, you know how challenging it can be to get your hands on an unsecured credit card without an annual fee. If this sounds familiar, you’ll likely be interested in learning more about the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, which accepts a fair credit score, doesn’t charge an annual fee and doesn’t require a security deposit.

Although the Capital One Platinum card doesn’t come with the most exciting cardholder benefits, it does have a solid lineup of perks and credit-building benefits.

Capital One Platinum card benefits

Capital One Platinum highlights

  • Rewards rate: None
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 30.49 percent variable APR

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is an unsecured credit card that can be used to build your credit score. You must have a fair to good credit score (580 to 740) to qualify for the Capital One Platinum credit card, but if you use the card responsibly, you can work toward having a better credit score.

Because the purpose of this card is to build credit, it doesn’t come with any flashy perks or benefits. That said, this unsecured credit card does come with some helpful features that make managing and building credit easier, such as an automatic account review after six months to see if you qualify for a higher credit limit. The Capital One Platinum card also comes with credit monitoring via CreditWise and basic card protections.

Rates and fees

The good news is you won’t need to pay an annual fee to use the Capital One Platinum credit card. However, as great as not paying an annual fee is, this card does come with higher rates and fees. If you pay your bill late, you run the risk of paying up to a $40 late payment fee. And if you carry a balance, the card includes a 30.49 percent variable APR. That’s why, when using this card, it’s important to only make purchases you can afford to pay off right away or your interest charges will quickly add up.

Additionally, one noteworthy Capital One Platinum benefit is that you can take out a cash advance with this card. Generally, financial experts don’t recommend taking out cash advances unless you’re in a true financial emergency, as credit card issuers tend to charge high APRs for cash advances. With the Capital One Platinum card, you will have a 30.49 percent variable APR and have to pay a cash advance fee of 3 percent (minimum $3) of the amount of each cash advance.

If you can pay your balance on time and in full each month, and avoid taking out cash advances, you can use this credit card to boost your credit score for free.

Travel benefits

You won’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees when you make purchases outside of the country, which can save you money while shopping abroad. Other helpful travel benefits associated with this card include $0 fraud liability, emergency card replacement, security alerts and virtual credit card numbers from Eno.

Purchase protections

Another benefit of using a credit card to make purchases — aside from building a better credit score when you pay your bills in full and on time — is that many credit card issuers, including Capital One, offer extended warranties on eligible items when you make a purchase with your credit card. The Capital One Platinum credit card offers this benefit, which can come in handy.

CreditWise credit monitoring

If your goal is to improve your credit score, you’ll appreciate that the Capital One Platinum credit card comes with unlimited access to CreditWise from Capital One. This feature provides you with your credit score and the tools to understand it and track it over time. If you’re committed to improving your credit score, this is a powerful tool to utilize in addition to practicing good credit habits.

Capital One automatic account review

If you practice good credit habits with the Capital One Platinum card, your credit score is likely to increase over time, along with your credit limit. While you may be offered a low credit limit when you first open your credit card account, Capital One will automatically review your account after six months to see if you are eligible to receive a higher credit limit.

Is the Capital One Platinum a good credit card for those with fair credit?

If you have a fair credit score and want to improve your credit score, the Capital One Platinum card may be a good fit for you. In order to qualify for this card, you’ll need to have a FICO credit score of at least 580.

The Capital One Platinum is one of the best no-annual-fee, unsecured credit card options available at this credit level. For those who have no credit history or a bad credit score, it’s often necessary to start with a secured credit card. Because the Capital One Platinum card is unsecured, you won’t have to put up money as a security deposit to use this credit card like you would with a secured credit card.

Although your credit limit can improve over time, you’re likely to start off with a lower credit limit. To discover what your credit limit would be, you’d need to apply for and be approved for this card. However, similar unsecured credit-building cards usually offer starting credit limits of at least $300. It’s not a guarantee that the Capital One Platinum card will come with that credit limit, but it gives you a general idea of what your credit limit could be.

How to maximize Capital One Platinum benefits

To get the most out of the Capital One Platinum card, you should only make purchases you can afford to pay off when your monthly bill is due. Paying your credit card bill on time and in full each month is the best way to improve your credit score and avoid paying high interest charges and late fees. You should also make use of Capital One’s CreditWise credit monitoring tool to gain more insight into how you can improve your credit score.

The bottom line

While the Capital One Platinum credit card doesn’t come with any flashy benefits, this card can help you build your credit score if used responsibly. Building your score can help you qualify for a better card, like a top rewards credit card, down the line.

Additionally, because this credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you can take advantage of its credit-building benefits and other services at no cost to you. Overall, this card is a solid option to consider if you have at least a fair credit score and are able to pay your bill in full and on time.