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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: No Frills, Low Risk

You'll need to submit a security deposit and there won't be many perks, but you can build or rebuild your credit.

There are partner offers featured in this article.

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card lets consumers with poor credit or no credit history start to build or rebuild their credit scores, with responsible use. Like all secured credit cards, this Capital One card requires a deposit for account opening.

Unlike most other secured credit cards, your deposit doesn't necessarily determine your ultimate credit line. Depending on your credit history, you might pay $49, $99 or the full $200 for a $200 line of credit. Higher credit limits up to $1,000 must be backed by a matching deposit.

You won't earn rewards or a welcome bonus with the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, and the card offers a smaller than average credit limit range. There's no annual fee, but the purchase annual percentage rate (26.99% variable APR) is significant. Perks for this Capital One card include the ability to customize due dates and no foreign transactions fees. 

Learn what you need to know about the Capital One Platinum Secured card, as well as comparable cards that are worth considering.

In this article

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Card Highlights
Intro OfferN/A
APR26.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Limited, Bad
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A
Balance Transfer APR26.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee $0 at this Transfer APR
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR None

Deposit and qualifications

As with most other secured credit cards, there is no annual fee associated with the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card – you're only on the hook for the $49, $99 or $200 deposit. The amount you owe for your initial deposit will be determined by your application. If you'd like a higher credit limit, you can deposit up to $1,000, in which case your limit would equal the amount you deposited.

Though some secured credit card issuers give you a pass on a hard credit check, Capital One is not one of them. They will check your credit when processing your application -- as well as your income, employment status and housing payment -- but they do offer preapproval if you're curious to see if you qualify without committing to a full credit check. Note that even once you're approved, your account is not officially "open" until you hand over your security deposit.

Once you're set up with this card, there's not much else to do but use it responsibly. Try to keep your usage at or less than 30% of your credit limit -- $60 or less per month on a $200 credit limit -- but use it at least occasionally and pay it off in full each month to avoid interest charges and start boosting your credit.

Building credit with this card

Even though secured credit cards may be reminiscent of debit cards due to the security deposit, secured credit cards are legitimate credit lines from which the issuers report your activity to the credit bureaus. Responsible activity on your card (light to moderate use, with payments in full in each month) will help boost your credit more effectively. 

Besides improving your credit score, responsible activity can also earn your security deposit back. In as little as six months, Capital One may start automatically reviewing your account to see if you qualify for a higher credit line or a security deposit refund (in the form of a statement credit), effectively graduating you to the Capital One Platinum Credit Card*, from which you can continue growing your credit and your credit line. 

Other perks

While there are no rewards or sign-on bonuses, there are a few benefits that you can take advantage of with the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card. With flexible due dates, you're able to select when you make your monthly payments. And like with all other Capital One credit cards, there are no foreign transaction fees with this card. So if you travel internationally, you can use this card anywhere that accepts Mastercard without paying extra. Usually these fees sit at around 3% of the transaction.

Comparable cards

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card* is by far one of our favorite secured credit cards. Though it does not offer any leverage on the initial security deposit, your range of credit line is wider at $200 to $2,500. In addition, this secured credit card offers a pretty good rewards program and sign-on bonus, when most secured credit cards are hard up for these features. Check out our full review of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card for more details.

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

The Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card is another one of our favorite secured cards. While this card is similar to the Capital One Platinum Secured card in that it doesn't offer fancy fringe benefits, it does offer the cardholder the easiest access to a line of credit. With this card, there is no credit check associated with the application, which may help you get approved more easily. Additionally, this card doesn't have a minimum or maximum deposit limit, giving you freedom over your credit line based on your available cash.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

If you think you may be sitting on the cusp of eligibility for a traditional credit card, you can skip the application process for the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card and apply for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card instead. This is the card that you can graduate to from the Platinum Secured Card, and is designed for those with fair credit (typically a FICO score of 580 to 669). The specs and benefits are essentially the same, only with this card you won't have to put your cash up to open the account.

Check out our full review of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card for more details.

FAQs

What is a secured credit card?

This type of credit card usually requires an upfront deposit equal to the credit limit. So, for a card with a credit limit of $500, you'd need to deposit $500. Secured credit cards are still subject to late and rejected payment fees and generate interest on outstanding balances. As such, a secured credit card presents lower risk to card issuers and allows them to extend lines of credit to borrowers who don't have good credit or meet the minimum credit score threshold.

How is my credit score calculated?

Credit scores are calculated by looking at a variety of factors related to your personal credit, including length of credit history, payment history, amounts owed, new credit and credit mix. The exact weight of each factor depends on the score model (FICO, VantageScore, or other) and your own credit history. If, for example, you have no credit history, the other factors may be weighted more heavily. (Check out this article for more information on credit scores.) 

How long does it take to improve my credit score?

After opening a secured credit card account, it will take around one to two months for the secured credit card issuer to report it to a major credit bureau, at which point it will begin impacting your credit report and your credit score. Then it takes several additional months before the account's activity is substantial enough to make a difference. If you maintain a low or $0 balance and manage the rest of your finances well, you could raise your score several hundred points in a year or two, but it'll depend on your particular situation. If you have a longer credit history with a number of issues, it will take longer. If you have a shorter history, each month's activity will play a much larger role. 

Our approach

We review the cards that are in the highest demand and offer the best benefits. We scour the fine print so there aren't any surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them with other top cards. That way, readers can opt for a different card with similar features if our pick isn't right for them. Our reviews are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market.

*All information about the Discover it Secured Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.