Capital One Platinum Review: A Good Card for Average Credit

A straightforward card for folks on the way up: It charges no annual fee and offers the opportunity to boost your credit limit with responsible behavior.

Melissa LambarenaJanuary 28, 2020

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Our Take

4.4

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: This is an attractive option if you've got average credit. But the high interest rate means you won't want to carry a balance from month to month.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card Credit Card

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Qualify with average credit

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • No rewards

  • High APR

Alternate Pick: No credit check

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Hope for those with badly damaged credit

This card comes with an annual fee ($35), but it's what it doesn't require that really sets it apart. There's no credit check to apply, and you don't need a traditional bank account to qualify.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Capital One Platinum Credit Card Credit Card

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$35

Annual Fee

$39

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

17.39% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.99% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a solid option for those with average credit. It has an annual fee of $0 and also charges no foreign transaction fee, but for many, its standout feature may be that it also offers the chance to earn a higher credit limit after you make payments on time for the first five months.

Credit limits tend to be lower for those with average credit, so access to a higher credit line could be beneficial.

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card can make an effective addition to your wallet if your goal is to build credit or raise your credit limit.

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Basics and benefits

BASIC CARD FEATURES

Card type: Fair credit.

Annual fee: $0.

Rewards: None.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 26.99% Variable APR. That's pretty high, so try to pay your bill in full every month so you don't get charged interest.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other features:  

  • No penalty APR for late payments

  • Fraud coverage

  • Unlimited access to CreditWise, an app that monitors your credit profile

  • Platinum Mastercard benefits

  • Reporting to all three credit bureaus

KEY BENEFITS

Spend less on fees. You won’t earn any rewards on this card, but you will save money on fees. The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has a $0 annual fee, and you'll pay no foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases.

Earn the chance to boost your credit limit. Make payments on time for your first five months and you could get your credit limit increased. A higher credit limit — if not used — could lower your credit utilization and improve your credit score.

Enjoy Platinum Mastercard benefits. Benefits include extended warranty coverage, price protection, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance, travel assistance and roadside assistance.

Get a report to all three major credit bureaus. A card that reports to all three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — can help you build credit. You want good payment history recorded by all these bureaus because the information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score.

Pick your monthly due date and payment method. It’s not unusual for credit cards to offer this opportunity, but they tend to be less transparent about it. Capital One gives you the option of choosing the due date that works best for you. This way, you can set a date that coincides with the paycheck you prefer. You can also choose whether to pay by check, online or at a local branch.

Avoid a penalty APR for late payments. If you ever forget a payment, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card won’t raise your APR if you’re late. You’ll still have to pay a late fee of up to $39, but you’ll avoid additional charges.

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Drawbacks and alternatives

While you'll avoid certain fees with the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, you won't earn any rewards with it. Also, if you carry a balance on the card, it could get expensive. The ongoing APR is 26.99% Variable APR. And if you're looking for a card that earns rewards, other options may be a better match.

THE Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card OFFERS CASH BACK

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, for average credit, offers many of the same benefits as the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card. This card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, but it comes with a $39 annual fee. The cash back earned can offset this cost when you spend $2,600 or more annually with the card. If you don’t spend that much, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a better choice.

Is the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card right for you?

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card could be ideal if you have average credit. The chance to earn a higher credit limit may offer the freedom to do more. The travel-friendly advantages — no foreign transaction fees and Platinum Mastercard benefits — can also add up to savings when you go out of town.

However, the card doesn't earn rewards, and its high APR could make it a deal breaker if you maintain a balance. This card is better used as a tool to improve your credit so that someday you can qualify for a card with lower interest rates.

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