Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card review: A one-stop shop for no-nonsense credit building
“Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: A secured credit card with travel benefits that may convert to an unsecured account after excellent use” – Erica Sanberg
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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card Overview
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card, meaning you have to put down a cash deposit to secure your line of credit.
Secured cards like the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card 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.
If your credit score isn’t that great, you haven’t started building credit yet or your score falls anywhere under 600 on the FICO scale, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card could be exactly what you need to turn your situation around. It’s an especially smart option, even among the best secured credit cards because you can get started building credit with a security deposit as low as $49 and still get a decent credit limit. Typically, secured cards match your credit limit with your deposit, but Capital One gives you a boosted line of credit: Even with a deposit of just $49, you’ll get an initial line of credit of $200.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- No rewards for your spending, which might lessen the card’s long-term value if you want some kind of return for your credit-building efforts.
- The cash deposit required as collateral with this secured card cuts into its affordability and may lessen its appeal, especially for more frugal, credit-building-conscious consumers.
A deeper look into the current card offer
- 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
Current welcome offer
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus for new cardholders. Aside from a few outliers that do carry a welcome offer, like the Discover it® Secured Card, this is standard on secured credit cards. While a welcome offer is always a nice benefit on a new credit card, it shouldn’t be expected on these types of cards.
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t earn rewards for spending, which may be disappointing to potential cardholders. However, compared to other secured cards, the Platinum Secured is incredibly affordable, requiring a minimum deposit of just $49 to secure a $200 line of credit.
For credit-builders, this benefit may even be more valuable than a rewards program, as it should make it easier to keep your credit utilization low. Even if you don’t have much money to tie up in a security deposit, you can still get a decent credit limit and build credit with responsible card use.
Other cardholder perks
Unlike other secured credit cards, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card comes with quite a few cardholder perks.
- Automatic credit line reviews. Once you put down a cash deposit to open your card account, you will start with a credit limit as low as $200. However, Capital One automatically reevaluates your account after six months to see if you qualify for a higher credit limit. Additionally, by using your card responsibly and making on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your deposit as a statement credit.
- Personalized payment options. Capital One gives you the chance to pick your own credit card payment due date. This benefit 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 credit report.
- Travel benefits. The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card comes with some travel perks, including no foreign transaction fees and emergency card replacement
- Extended warranties. Cardholders also have extended warranty coverage for items purchased that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Rates and fees
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card 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. The card also carries an ongoing regular APR of 26.99 percent.
How the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card compares to other secured credit cards
Although a great card for a budding credit card holder or credit achiever because of its affordability, the Platinum Secured Credit Card may not be as beneficial to cardholders who have at least $200 available to open a secured card account. Cardholders who meet that requirement may qualify for a secured card that earns rewards, which can make credit building more favorable.
Also, the Platinum Secured card comes with a pretty hefty 26.99 percent APR, meaning that if you miss a payment you’ll be subjected to relatively high interest rates compared to other issuers.
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card comes with some serious benefits you don’t get with other secured credit cards. You’ll earn 2 percent cash back on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1 percent) and you may also qualify for an introductory rate on balance transfers for six months. The Discover it Secured Card, like the Capital One Platinum Secured Card, 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 while earning rewards.
However, earning rewards on your spending may not be important to you if your goal is building credit. Not only that, but rewards cards 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. The Capital One Platinum Secured Card displaces the rewards temptation and replaces it with a more easily accessible $200 line of credit for a low deposit of $49.
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card vs. Citi® Secured Mastercard®
When compared to the Citi® Secured Mastercard®, the Capital One Platinum Secured card has a relatively high regular APR, which could be intimidating people new to, or rebuilding, credit.
The Citi Secured Mastercard could be an ideal alternative for cardholders who aren’t motivated by rewards or cash back and who can put down at least $200 for the security deposit. Although it costs more than the Capital One Platinum Secured card to access the same minimum $200 credit line, the Citi Secured card comes with a lower APR, which can be beneficial to cardholders who may need to carry their balance from time to time.
Best cards to pair with the Capital One Platinum Secured card
A good card to pair with the Platinum Secured would be one that comes with a few perks or rewards relevant to your lifestyle and spending habits available for a low or no annual fee.
The Petal 2 “Cash back, no fees” Visa® Credit Card could be a great choice since it earns 1 percent cash back on all purchases right away and incentivizes good credit behavior by boosting that rate to 1.5 percent after 12 months of on-time payments. Plus, if you couple this card with the Platinum Secured card, the combined credit limit between both will give you more flexibility to keep your overall credit utilization low. The Petal 2 comes with a credit limit as low as $300 and as high as $10,000, giving you a total of at least $500 in available credit if you combined both cards.
To get a better idea of which cards may suit you, try out Bankrate’s Spender Type Tool, which can help you narrow down your options by giving you card recommendations based on your goals and spending habits.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card worth it?
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card 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. Be sure to keep the high APR in mind, though. As you build toward better credit, you’ll want to pay on time each month anyway, but the Platinum Secured card’s high APR can be a punishing drawback if you fall behind.