Nearly any credit card can help build credit, but some cards are better than others at helping you get started. After all, many of the best credit cards are geared toward individuals with excellent credit — a standard that’s difficult to achieve when you’re starting from scratch.

If you’re hoping to improve your credit score but need a leg up, a card like the Capital One Platinum Credit Card can help. Read on to learn why this card is ideal for building credit, plus steps you can take to maximize its benefits.

How to improve your credit score with the Capital One Platinum

To make the most of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, you’ll want to prove your creditworthiness with responsible use of your card. The steps below can help you achieve the best results.

  • Always pay your bill on time. The most important factor that makes up your FICO score is your payment history. With that in mind, you should strive to always pay your card’s bill early or on time and never miss a payment.
  • Keep debt at a minimum. The second most important factor that makes up your FICO score is how much you owe in relation to your credit limits, known as your credit utilization. To score well in this category, you should strive to keep your credit utilization ratio at 30 percent or less. If you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, this means you would keep your revolving balance below $300 at all times.
  • Seek out credit line increases when eligible. With the Capital One Platinum card, this may be as soon as six months. By increasing your credit limit, you make it easier to keep your credit utilization ratio in check.
  • Monitor your credit score over time. You can use the Capital One CreditWise program to monitor your credit score and progress over time. If there’s a problem with your credit that causes your score to drop, this tool will let you know right away.

Credit-related benefits of the Capital One Platinum

The Capital One Platinum is light on traditional cardholder benefits but heavy on credit-building prowess. Here are the main card features that can help you build credit:

Get prequalified without an impact to your credit score

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card makes it possible to get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, meaning it will gauge your approval odds without any impact to your credit score.

Capital One Platinum automatic credit limit increase

Cardholders can qualify for a Capital One Platinum credit limit increase in as little as six months. If you make monthly payments on time and keep debt at a minimum, you’ll likely be rewarded with more available credit on your account.

Account alerts

Capital One customers can set up account alerts that notify them when a purchase is made, when a payment is due and more. These alerts can help you track your spending and make sure you never miss your payment’s due date.

Free credit score

The Capital One CreditWise program can help you monitor and track your credit score progress over time. This program is entirely free to use.

Additional card benefits

Other benefits of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card include no foreign transaction fees, emergency card replacement services and 24/7 customer service. You’ll get security alerts and a card lock feature that allows you to “freeze” your credit card if it’s lost, missing or stolen.

With that being said, it’s worth noting where the Capital One Platinum falls short. This card doesn’t offer any rewards, including ongoing rewards for spending or a sign-up bonus. Once you’ve improved your credit score with the card and established good credit habits, you may want to consider upgrading to a card that offers more long-term benefits.

What credit score do you need for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card?

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is available for individuals with fair-to-good credit scores. “Fair credit” typically means any FICO score in the 580 to 669 range.

However, Capital One explains their approval odds further by saying this card is available to consumers who have defaulted on a loan in the past five years or have limited credit history. This card may also be available to students, people who are new to the United States or those who have only been authorized users on someone else’s credit card.

Capital One Platinum frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  • Your credit limit can vary depending on your creditworthiness, income and other factors. Capital One does not list a maximum credit limit for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.
  • Capital One does not disclose a Capital One Platinum credit limit cap. According to the card’s terms, Capital One will determine your credit limit after reviewing your application and ability to pay.
  • You can apply for a Capital One Platinum credit limit increase through your online account. This guide to Capital One credit limit increases explains the process.

The bottom line

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is made for building credit. If you want to get started on a journey to better credit, you should take the time to see if you’re prequalified and review all the card details to decide if it’s right for you.

In the meantime, consider other credit-building cards as well, including credit cards for fair credit and bad credit. You can even consider other Capital One credit cards for fair credit, including the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.