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Capital One Platinum benefits guide

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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, then you’ll likely be interested to learn 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 to use the card.

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

Capital One Platinum card benefits

Capital One Platinum Credit Card highlights

  • Rewards rate: None
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 26.99 percent variable APR

The Capital One Platinum 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 it responsibly, you can work towards 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 don’t need to pay an annual fee to use the Capital One Platinum credit card. This credit card is one of the few unsecured, credit-building and no-annual-fee cards available for those with a fair credit score.

As great as not paying an annual fee is, this card does come with higher rates and fees. If you pay your bill after its due date, you run the risk of paying up to a $40 late payment fee. And if you carry a balance, the card includes a 26.99 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 rack up.

Additionally, one of the noteworthy Capital One Platinum benefits 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 26.99 percent variable APR and have to pay a cash advance fee of either $10 or 3 percent of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

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 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 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.

For those who have no credit history or a bad credit score, it’s often necessary to start with a secured credit card. In order to qualify for this card, you need to have a FICO credit score of at least 580. The Capital One Platinum is one of the only no-annual-fee, unsecured credit card options available at this credit level. Because the card is unsecured, you don’t have to put up money as a security deposit to use this credit card—which you would with a secured credit card.

Although your credit limit can improve over time, you’re likely to start off with a low limit. Capital One doesn’t disclose what their minimum starting credit limit for the Capital One Platinum is, so you’d need to apply and be approved for this card to discover what your credit limit would be. 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 high of a 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 that 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 to avoid paying high interest charges and late fees. You should also make use of the unlimited CreditWise credit monitoring tool that comes with this card 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, if used responsibly, this card can help you build your credit score, which can help you qualify for a better card, like a rewards credit card, down the line. Because this credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee, you can take advantage of the credit-building benefits and other services it offers at no cost to you. If you have a fair credit score, this card is a solid option to consider as long as you keep a low balance and always pay your bill in full and on time.

Written by
Jacqueline DeMarco
Personal Finance Writer
Jacqueline is a contributor for Bankrate and has worked with more than a dozen financial brands, including LendingTree, Credit Karma, Fundera, Chime, MagnifyMoney, Student Loan Hero, ValuePenguin, SoFi and Northwestern Mutual, providing thoughtful content to give readers insight into complex topics that they likely didn’t learn in school. You can learn more about her work and connect with her on LinkedIn or at JacquelineDeMarco.com. Sometimes she’s even interviewed about her career and running a freelance writing business.
Edited by
Associate Editor