Editorial Review

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.

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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Our Take

3.7

Editor's overall 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

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
24.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
24.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Qualify with average credit
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
Cons
  • No rewards
  • High APR

recommended credit score

Alternate Pick: No credit check

Capital Bank Open Sky Secured Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating

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

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

Here’s what you can expect as a Capital One® Platinum Credit Card cardholder:

  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • The ongoing APR is 24.99% Variable APR. That’s pretty high, so try to pay your bill in full every month so you don’t get charged interest.
  • 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 the $35 late fee, but you’ll avoid additional charges.

» MORE: Best credit cards for average or fair credit

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 24.99% Variable APR. If you’re looking for a card that earns rewards or you want to use a card to pay down existing debt, 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.

The ABOC Platinum Rewards Card has a 0% intro APR period

Credit cards consumers with good to excellent credit commonly offer an introductory interest-free period to entice people to apply, but 0% APR is a rare feature on cards for average credit. The ABOC Platinum Rewards Card is an exception. You get a 0% Intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.90% - 24.90% Variable APR. There’s also a rudimentary rewards program.

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.