Capital One Platinum Credit Card review: A fair card for a fair credit
Why you can trust Bankrate
At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry — regardless or where you are in your journey — and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
- Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options.
- Consistently provide up-to-date, reliable market information so you\'re well-equipped to make confident decisions.
- Reduce industry jargon so you get the clearest form of information possible, so you can make the right decision for you.
At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.
We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.
Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.
How We Make Money
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate.com. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states were it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Overview
The Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t let you earn rewards or score any meaningful cardholder perks, but it is available for consumers with fair credit who may not be eligible for the best rewards cards on the market today.
Keep in mind that a “fair” credit score is any FICO score that falls between 580 and 669, which puts consumers in a range where they can get approved for a limited number of unsecured credit cards. The Capital One Platinum gives those pursuing a credit card for fair credit the chance to improve their credit and prove their creditworthiness so they can move up to a better credit card later on.
Best of all, the card is available with no annual fee and does not require you to tie up money in a security deposit just to get started. With a low entry barrier and low ongoing cost, the Capital One Platinum card is no doubt one of the best unsecured credit-building card options on the market.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- This card has no rewards structure, so you won’t be rewarded for your spending.
- Some of the perks and benefits one might expect from a card for fair credit are missing from this card.
A deeper look into the current card offer
- 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
Current welcome bonus and rewards
The Capital One Platinum doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus or any rewards for your regular spending, which is typical among credit cards for fair credit.
Other cardholder perks
You’ll likely notice that the Capital One Platinum is fairly light on benefits, but you do get some perks that can help you improve your credit standing over time. This card also comes with a surprising number of insurance protections and travel perks considering there’s no annual fee.
Even though the Capital One Platinum’s initial credit limit can be as low as $300, Capital One also says it’ll automatically review your account after six months to see if you qualify for a higher credit limit. You’ll also enjoy unlimited access to CreditWise from Capital One, which lets your monitor your credit score and track it over time.
This card comes with $0 fraud liability, emergency card replacement, security alerts, virtual card numbers from Eno and no foreign transaction fees.
You’ll also get extended warranties on eligible items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty when you pay with your credit card.
Rates and fees
The Capital One Platinum doesn’t charge an annual fee, but watch out for the 26.99 percent variable APR rate you’ll pay on purchases if you choose to carry a balance. A 3 percent cash advance fee (minimum $10) can also apply if you use your credit card to get cash out, and you could also be liable for a late payment fee up to $40 if you pay your bill beyond its due date.
How the Capital One Platinum compares to other credit cards for fair or average credit
If you’re looking at credit cards available with only a fair credit score, you’ll probably find that you have a decision to make. You can either opt for a bare-bones unsecured credit-building card like the Capital One Platinum card and pay no annual fee, or you can try for a card available with fair credit that also offers rewards on some of your everyday spending but requires you to put up a modest annual fee for the privilege. The latter can make a lot of sense—if you put a decent amount of spend on the card, you can easily cover the annual fee and actually earn money while building your credit just by using the card for your everyday spending. Here are a few of our favorite alternatives to the Capital One Platinum card:
Capital One Platinum vs. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Reward Credit Card
The Capital One QuicksilverOne is an alternative Capital One credit card to consider if you want rewards. The QuicksilverOne earns 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply) and a respectable 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, but if you stick with the Platinum you’ll forgo earning rewards altogether. However, QuicksilverOne cardholders will have to pay an annual fee ($39), where the Capital One Platinum skips the annual fee.
For such a low-cost card, the QuicksilverOne’s rewards rate is generous. A QuicksilverOne cardholder earning rewards can easily cover the cost of the annual fee and even earn some extra cash back. In fact, a cardholder would only need to spend $2,600 in a calendar year to recoup the cost of the Quicksilver One’s annual fee.
Both cards carry similar minimum initial credit limits—$300—which may make it difficult to keep credit utilization low (an important factor to consider when trying to build your credit). Bearing in mind their comparable credit score requirements and interest rates, a cardholder who had a similar budget and could afford the annual fee would likely do better—and have a bit more cash in-hand—with the Capital One QuicksilverOne.
Capital One Platinum vs. Petal 2® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
The Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card might be a better choice for people with limited credit histories than people with past financial mistakes to correct. As a credit-building tool, the Petal 2 is a great option for establishing credit history for the first time—especially for people who have a solid income and financial history but are still working to build their scores up. That’s because the Petal 2, unlike the Capital One Platinum, considers your credit score and alternative financial data like bill payment history in evaluating your application.
Where the Petal 2 really pulls ahead is in rewards earnings. Petal 2 cardholders will earn 1 percent cash back on purchases to start (up to 1.5 percent back with 12 on-time monthly payments). Platinum cardholders will forgo earning rewards altogether. With its potentially lower APR (13.24 percent to 27.24 percent variable) and no annual fee, the Petal 2 likely comes out ahead for most cardholders.
Best cards to pair with the Capital One Platinum
If you can’t choose between the two, the Capital One QuicksilverOne is a great card to pair with the Capital One Platinum. The QuicksilverOne presents cardholders the opportunity to earn rewards in the form of unlimited 1.5 percent cash back while they build their credit. The combined credit limit of the Capital One QuicksilverOne and the Platinum cards would give a cardholder more flexibility and the opportunity to keep their credit utilization low.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Capital One Platinum worth it?
The Capital One Platinum is a smart option to consider if you need a card for fair credit but you’re adamant about sticking to a no-annual-fee credit card. If you sign up, you would be smart to use your card responsibly and wisely, keep a low balance and always pay your credit card bill early or on time. If you take those steps, you’ll be on your way to a better credit score and a more lucrative rewards credit card in no time.