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Who should get the Capital One Platinum Card?

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If you’re someone who’s struggled with credit in the past, then you already understand how difficult it can be to rebuild your credit. The most difficult part of the credit building process can be securing new credit accounts.

Enter the ​​Capital One Platinum Credit Card. This Capital One unsecured credit card has higher approval odds for those with a fair to good credit rating. However, this card may not be ideal for everyone—even those with lower credit scores. Here’s more information about who should get the Capital One Platinum credit card.

What does the Capital One Platinum card offer?

Quick highlights:

  • 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

As you can see, there aren’t many bells and whistles, like a welcome bonus or any type of rewards. However, the value of this card is more about what it can help you do (build credit), as opposed to what it can give you (cash back). In this case, the card helps you build or rebuild credit if you are starting off with a lower credit score.

Additional card benefits

Lower credit scores welcome

One of the main draws of this card is your higher approval odds with a lower credit score. You can get approved with this card even if you’ve got fair to good (580 to 740) credit. What’s more is that the Capital One Platinum Credit Card lets potential customers get preapproved without a hard inquiry on their credit reports.

Although you will start out with a credit limit on the lower side, the good news is that Capital One offers automatic credit line reviews with a minimum of six months of on-time payments. A higher credit limit can help you reduce your credit utilization ratio, which has a positive impact on your credit score.

Few fees

Unlike many credit-builder products, this card has virtually no fees. There’s no annual fee, foreign transaction fees or security deposit since it’s an unsecured credit card. As long as you don’t carry a balance, then you can avoid interest charges, too. The 26.99 variable APR for this card can cause your interest charges to mount quickly, so paying off your balance each month will keep the cost of card ownership low.

Credit-building, monitoring and protection features

The fact that you can get this card with a lower credit score means that you are already dealing with a card working to preserve and increase your credit score. Capital One cards also give cardholders access to its CreditWise program, which offers a free credit score and score monitoring.

Additionally, the Capital One Platinum card gives you emergency replacement cards, $0 fraud liability coverage, virtual card numbers from Eno and security alerts that help you spot fraudulent transactions made with your card.

Consumer protections

The Capital One Platinum card offers extended warranty protection on eligible items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty when you pay with your credit card.

Who should get the Capital One Platinum card?

This card is ideal for someone who wants to build their credit—whether you are new to credit or have bad credit due to some life circumstance. In fact, even if you have defaulted on a loan in the past five years, the Capital One Platinum card will still consider your application.

Whether you’ve already passed the test with a secured credit card or want to start your credit-building journey with an unsecured credit card, the Capital One Platinum should be a strong consideration. This card features plenty of forgiving standards in the application process and makes it very easy to build credit with automatic account reviews and credit monitoring perks.

Who should not get the Capital One Platinum card?

If your credit score is lower than 580, then you may not be eligible for this card. In this case, you’d get a secured credit card like the Capital One Secured Platinum card. The nice thing about this card is that you can start with a security deposit as low as $200. Then, Capital One will review your account in six months, at which time you could be eligible for an upgrade to the unsecured version of the card: The Capital One Platinum Card.

If your credit score is higher than 740, then you would pass on this card. As a “prime borrower,” it would be better to get a Capital One card that allows you to earn rewards on your credit card spending. You could opt for a travel card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card or a cash back card like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

The bottom line

No, this card isn’t a glamorous travel credit card or a profitable cash back credit card. But it performs well for the demographic it was designed for: subprime borrowers. Although this market segment has been stigmatized in the past, more and more issuers are offering respectable credit products to help people progress towards better credit scores.

The Capital One Platinum is a great example of a card that not only makes it easier for “thin-file” applicants to get a credit card, but also helps them on the way to better credit and financial habits overall. If you fall in this category, the Capital One Platinum card could be exactly what you are looking for.

Written by
Aja McClanahan
Personal Finance Writer
Aja McClanahan is an author, blogger and speaker on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Aja is the author of "How a Mother Should Talk About Money with Her Daughter."
Edited by
Senior Editor, Credit Card Product News