Secured Mastercard® from Capital One review

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Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Best for consumers with bad credit

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
26.99% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

 
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Best for building credit

  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 26.99 percent variable APR

 The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is a secured credit card, meaning you have to put down a cash deposit to secure your line of credit. However, secured cards like the Secured Mastercard from Capital One are significantly easier to get approved for than unsecured credit cards, making them a thoughtful alternative if you need to build credit from scratch or rebuild your credit after having made mistakes in the past.

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One can be an especially smart option among secured credit cards since it doesn’t come with an annual fee, and you can get started building credit with a security deposit as low as $49. Your initial line of credit may be as low as $200, but keep in mind that the goal with this card is building credit so you can improve your credit score and upgrade to a better credit card later on. Also, note that the deposit is held as collateral against what you borrow and that you’ll get it back once you pay off and close your account.

If your credit score isn’t that great or you haven’t started building credit yet, the Secured Mastercard from Capital One could be exactly what you need to turn your situation around. Keep reading to learn how this card works, who it’s best for and how it compares to secured credit cards from other issuers.

Secured Mastercard from Capital One current sign-up bonus

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One doesn’t offer a welcome bonus for new cardholders, nor does it offer any rewards for ongoing spending.

Benefits

Unlike other secured credit cards, the Secured Mastercard from Capital One comes with quite a few cardholder perks. The main benefits you should know about are included below.

Automatic credit line reviews

Once you put down a cash deposit to secure your line of credit, you will start out with an initial line of credit as low as $200. However, Capital One promises to automatically reevaluate your account after six months to see if you can qualify for a higher credit limit. Capital One will monitor your account, and as you use it responsibly by doing things like making on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your deposit as a statement credit.

Personalized payment options

With the Secured Mastercard from Capital One, you get the chance to pick your own credit card due date. This can be helpful for budgeting purposes or in instances where you might prefer to pay your credit card bill on a certain day of the month or right after payday.

Credit score alerts

You’ll get access to CreditWise® from Capital One, which will automatically alert you to changes on your TransUnion or Experian credit reports.

Travel benefits

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One comes with a surprising number of travel perks, including no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services and secondary auto rental coverage.

Extended warranties

Cardholders will also receive extended warranty coverage for items purchased that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Rates and fees

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One doesn’t charge an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees. However, you will pay a 3 percent cash advance fee (minimum $10) if you choose to use your credit card to get cash out at an ATM. Up to a $40 late payment fee can also apply if you pay your credit card bill past its due date.

How the Secured Mastercard from Capital One compares to other secured credit cards

Features Secured Mastercard from Capital One Discover it® Secured Credit Card

 

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

 

Rewards None Earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each quarter (then 1 percent) and 1 percent back on other purchases

Discover will also match all the rewards you earn after the first year

None
Annual fee $0 $0 $0
Minimum deposit required Minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 required Minimum security deposit of $200 required Minimum security deposit of $200 required
Introductory APR None Intro 10.99% APR on balance transfers for 6 months, followed by the standard variable APR None
Regular APR for purchases 26.99% variable APR 22.99% variable APR 22.49% variable APR

As you can see, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card comes with some serious benefits you don’t get with other secured credit cards. You’ll earn rewards on your purchases for starters, but you can also qualify for an introductory rate on balance transfers for six months. The Discover it Secured also comes with no annual fee, so it’s an easy option to consider if you need to build credit with a secured credit card.

Then again, earning rewards on your spending may not be important to you if your goal is building credit. Not only that, but rewards tend to incentivize people to spend more on their cards overall, and that may be the opposite of what you’re hoping to accomplish with a secured credit card.

Not only that, but you’ll notice that the Secured Mastercard from Capital One requires a much lower security deposit amount to get started when compared to the Discover it Secured and the Citi® Secured Mastercard®. This factor can be important if you need to build credit but you’re short on cash to put down as collateral.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Secured Mastercard from Capital One worth it?

The Secured Mastercard from Capital One is an excellent option if you need to start building credit right away, and this is especially true if you need to get started with the lowest deposit amount possible. Getting approved is possible even if you have bad credit, and you can get the chance to prove your creditworthiness and earn a higher credit limit over time.

Pros

  • Start building credit with a cash deposit as low as $49, and get your security deposit back when you close your account in good standing
  • Easy approvals if you need a credit card for bad credit
  • Your credit movements will be reported to the three credit bureaus, which can help boost your credit score over time
  • No annual fee
  • Qualify for important benefits like travel accident insurance, extended warranties and secondary auto rental coverage

Cons

  • No rewards for your spending
  • Cash deposit required as collateral