Capital One Platinum Mastercard – Full Review

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Capital One Platinum Mastercard – Full Review

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"Great choice for those with no credit history or a low credit score."

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On Upgraded Points, you’ll normally find accolades on the best travel rewards cards or sharing advice on how to use your miles and points to score the latest and greatest airline suite across the ocean.

However, if you have less than excellent credit, or no credit at all, building a bank of miles or points and flying off to Europe on holiday may seem like an unrealistic dream. While it’s certainly not an easy journey, when it comes to building credit, everyone has to start at base zero.

Let’s take a step back from the world of miles and points and focus on that beginning. Or, in the case of less-than-perfect credit, creating a new beginning. This is where the Capital One® Platinum Mastercard® may fit into your plan.

If you’re ready to get serious about building or rebuilding your credit, you’ll want a credit card for which approval is probable, one that has a simple structure and is easy to manage, and ideally, has some benefits you can use.

Here’s a look at the CapOne Platinum card, its attributes, and its downsides. You can then decide if it’s the right card to carry on your journey to excellent credit and subsequently, the associated rewards.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Free credit monitoring
  • Price protection and extended warranty protection

Cons

  • Does not earn rewards
  • The high APR can be costly if you carry a balance

CapOne Platinum - Card Snapshot

  • Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
    • Card is primarily designed for those who want to build up and improve their credit score
    • No welcome bonus available at this time
    • $0 annual fee
    • $0 foreign transaction fee
    • $0 balance transfer fee
    • No penalty APR for late payments (late fee still applies)
    • No fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Card Categories:
  • Related Articles

The Ideal Cardholder

As mentioned earlier, it’s possible to improve your credit without incurring expenses. The CapOne Platinum card facilitates this by not charging an annual fee, providing free tools to help you manage your credit, and providing complimentary useful benefits.

No Annual Fee or Security Deposit

You do not need to pay an annual credit card fee or come up with a security deposit to start the credit improvement process. One of the big benefits of the CapOne Platinum card is that it does not charge an annual fee and, unlike secured credit cards, there is no upfront deposit needed to be approved.

Capital One Mobile App
Managing your CapOne Platinum card account is easy with the Capital One Mobile app. Image Credit: Capital One

Convenient and Simple Online Account Access

Capital One provides an easy-to-use mobile app for managing your CapOne Platinum card. You can set up handy payment reminders, keep track of your transactions, and monitor your account at any time. You can also manage your account online on your laptop or PC.

Free Credit Monitoring

Keep an eye on how you’re progressing towards your goal of good credit with the CreditWise tool. Capital One provides unlimited access to keep track of your credit score and tools to help you manage your progress.

Pick Your Own Due Date

Selecting a payment due date that coincides with your paycheck may help you keep your account current and make building an on-time payment history easier.

Earn a Higher Credit Limit

You can count on a minimum credit limit of just $300 when you’re approved for the CapOne Platinum card. Make 5 consecutive on-time payments, however, and you will be eligible for a credit limit increase.

No Penalty APR for Late Payments

Many credit cards impose a severe elevated APR when payments are made after the due date. The CapOne Platinum card does not. You would just pay the normal APR of 26.96%, which is already quite high.

Identity Theft Resolution Services

While you hope it never happens, should you become the victim of identity theft, you’ll have the Capital One team there to assist. Cardholders are provided with complimentary identity theft services that include:

  • Identity Theft Affidavit form completion assistance
  • Assistance notifying the 3 credit bureaus
  • Setting up alerts on your account
  • An Identity Theft Resolution Kit containing sample form letters to use when contacting other creditors, financial institutions, and other affected accounts

Bottom Line: Capital One makes it easy to manage your CapOne Platinum card account with online tools, its mobile app, and a payment due date that works for you. You can also earn a higher credit limit and have access to services such as identity theft resolution. 

Travel Benefits and Protections

Towing
Receive benefits you can actually use with the CapOne Platinum card. Image Credit: Mikadun via Shutterstock

The CapOne Platinum card comes with several benefits that can save you money or give you peace of mind when traveling.

  • Car Rental Insurance — Use your card to pay for your rental, decline the rental agency’s collision loss damage waiver (CDW or LDW), and receive MasterRental coverage for damage, theft, and loss of use for rentals of 15 days or less. Coverage is secondary in the U.S. and primary outside of the U.S. or if you have no other car insurance that covers you (there are also a number of other cards that offer excellent car rental insurance benefits).
  • Travel Accident Insurance — If the unfortunate happens and you experience severe injury or death, a benefit of up to $100,000 is available.
  • Travel Assistance — A 24/7 hotline gives you access to referral services that can help you find trusted service providers for English-speaking medical personnel, legal referrals, emergency transportation, and more when you’re traveling. Cardholders are responsible for the actual services provided.
  • Roadside Assistance — Not to worry if you breakdown on the side of the road when traveling in the U.S. Master RoadAssist service comes complimentary with your card and provides roadside assistance with just 1 call anytime you break down and need assistance. Pay just 1 flat prenegotiated service fee per incident and receive jump-starts, towing, fuel delivery, lockout services, and flat tire changes all included.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Purchase an eligible item with your card and receive these shopping benefits and protections:

  • Extended Warranty — Pay for an eligible item with your card and receive up to an additional 12 months when the manufacturer’s warranty is 12 months or less. Coverage pays up to $10,000 to repair or replace the item.
  • Price Protection — Purchase an eligible item with your card and if the price goes down within 60 days, you may receive the difference in price, up to $250.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — You won’t incur any extra foreign transaction fees should you use your card while traveling.
  • Worldwide Acceptance — Since the CapOne Platinum card is a Mastercard, you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

Please note that travel and shopping coverage descriptions are abbreviated; full benefit terms and conditions are provided in the card’s guide to benefits.

Great Card If

  • You’re looking for a card to build your credit
  • You want a card with no annual fee or security deposit

Don't Get If

  • You already have a good credit score
  • You want to earn credit card rewards

CapOne Platinum - Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • None
  • Interest Rates
    • 26.99% Variable
  • Late fees
    • Up to $40
  • Balance Transfers
    • 26.99% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 26.99% Variable
    • Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Alternative Cards To the CapOne Platinum Card

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are easy to qualify for and can help you jump-start your credit building journey. For more information, see our list of secured credit card options for those with bad or no credit.

Self

A Credit Builder account with the company, Self (formerly Self Lender), can create a credit history where none existed. The account is basically a CD that is held with the company, you make payments until it is paid off, and in the meantime, Self reports your activity to all 3 credit bureaus. Read all about this credit-building alternative in this complete guide to Self.

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

Carrying a balance on your CapOne Platinum card can cost you big. With a high APR, that adds up when you carry a balance. It’s important to remember why you have this card and focus only on improving your credit. Limiting purchases to only those you can pay off each statement period will build the credit you need and avoid any unnecessary interest charges during the process.

You won’t be earning points or miles for spending on the card. Keep in mind that you also may not have received an initial high credit limit so the number of points and miles you’re missing out on would be very small anyway.

For example, if you spend $150 per month for 12 months, you’ve spent $1,800. A 2% cash-back card would have generated $36 in rewards. Not having earned $36 in rewards in exchange for improving your credit score is a fair trade-off.

While the card promotes that it does not have balance transfer fees, this card is not a vehicle for transferring high-interest balances from other credit cards. The high APR negates any benefit in doing so in nearly every case. We’ve written about the best credit cards for balance transfers if that’s something that is important to you.


Frequently asked questions

Is the Platinum card from Capital One worth it?

The CapOne Platinum card is worth it if you do not have a credit history or have at least fair credit and want to build or rebuild your credit. Since the card does not charge an annual fee, it can be a cost-effective way to start the process.

The initial credit limit granted on the card can be as low as $300 but if you make 5 monthly on-time payments you could qualify for a higher credit limit.

If you cannot qualify for a rewards-earning credit card, the CapOne Platinum card could be a plausible alternative to make progress towards a better credit score without paying an annual fee.

Is the CapOne Platinum card a secured card?

The CapOne Platinum card is not a secured credit card and therefore does not require the upfront security deposit that is required with a secured card in order to be approved.

The CapOne Platinum card is a normal unsecured credit card with an assigned credit limit, credit management tools, and benefits you can use. The card also reports your activity to all 3 credit bureaus on a monthly basis making it an appropriate option for building or rebuilding credit.

Does the CapOne Platinum card earn miles or points?

The CapOne Platinum card was designed to help build or rebuild credit. It does not earn miles or points. It also does not require an excellent credit score to be approved, like most reward-earning credit cards. Additionally, it does not charge an annual fee.

What is the credit limit on the CapOne Platinum card?

The credit limit you receive when you are approved for the CapOne Platinum card will be at least $300. It could be higher as the amount is based on your creditworthiness as determined by Capital One. Once you have made 5 consecutive on-time payments, you are eligible to receive a higher credit limit.

Does the CapOne Platinum card have an annual fee?

No, the CapOne Platinum card does not charge cardholders an annual fee.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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