Secured credit cards can give you the chance to build up your credit score when you can’t find a better alternative. These cards let you secure your own line of credit with a cash deposit as low as $49, and they report your credit balances and payments to the three credit bureaus. Over time, this reporting can help you build your credit scores with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

There are many popular secured credit cards to choose from, including the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card. But, when it comes down to it, is the Capital One Platinum Secured really worth it?

This overview will explain the pros and cons of this card, who it’s best for and other details you should consider as you make your decision.

When is the Capital One Platinum Secured worth it?

First off, it’s important to know about some of the major benefits of the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card. One major upside is the fact that, unlike other secured cards that require higher security deposits, this card lets you begin building credit with a minimum security deposit as low as $49.

Your initial credit line will be at least $200, which is relatively low. However, this gives you the chance to build credit with responsible use, and you can qualify for automatic credit line reviews in as little as six months. If you come into more cash before then, you can also see your credit limit go up by increasing your security deposit (up to $1,000).

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and you can eventually get your security deposit back and upgrade to an unsecured card. In fact, this issuer says you can eventually upgrade to the unsecured Capital One Platinum Credit Card, which is for consumers with fair credit.

Best of all, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card lets potential customers get preapproved online without a hard inquiry on their credit reports. For all these reasons, this card is perfect for people who need the chance to build credit but want to make the process as seamless as possible.

When is the Capital One Platinum Secured not worth it?

While this card offers a lower minimum security deposit than some other comparable cards, there’s one major downside. The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card does not offer any rewards on your spending, whereas others do.

Examples of secured cards that offer rewards include the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured. Neither one of these cards charges an annual fee, yet you get to earn 1 to 5 percent back on purchases you charge.

In fact, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured lets customers earn a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all their purchases. Meanwhile, the Discover it Secured offers 2 percent cash back on up to $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter (then 1 percent back), as well as 1 percent back on all other purchases. Discover even doubles all the rewards each cardholder earns the first year through its Cashback Match program.

Another downside of the Capital One Platinum Secured is its high variable APR, which currently comes in at 28.49 percent. If you plan to carry a balance on this card, this sky-high APR can cause you to pay considerably more for everything you purchase.

Should you get the Capital One Platinum Secured?

Consider getting the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card if you don’t care about rewards and want the lowest minimum security deposit you can find. This card can also be a good option if you plan to pay your balance in full each month.

If you want rewards or a lower APR, on the other hand, you should look at secured credit cards from other issuers. There are plenty of credit cards for bad credit to consider, so wait to apply until you have time to compare several options side-by-side.

The bottom line

To learn more about this card and how it works, make sure to read our Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card review. Also read over our Capital One Platinum benefits guide, which explains the limited perks that come with both the secured and unsecured versions of this Capital One credit card.

While this secured credit card may not seem like the best card out there, it can actually be a valuable tool to build credit when you can’t seem to get approved for any other type of credit card. The fact the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card lets you put down as little as $49 is another major plus, especially if you’re short on cash. And remember — this security deposit is fully refundable when you close or upgrade your Capital One account in good standing.

With some patience and plenty of responsible credit use, you can use this card (or another secured credit card) to improve your credit score over time.