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.
Aug 16, 2022

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Our Take

3.5

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.

Jump to: Full Review
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Credit Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
26.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
630-689 (Average)
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Qualify with average credit

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • High APR

  • No rewards

Alternate Pick: No annual fee
Petal 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card
Rewards and a potentially generous credit limit

The [nw:card_name 65762] is friendly to those with less-than-perfect credit and it earns rewards. Get between 2% and 10% cash back when you shop with select merchants. Depending on eligibility, you may also qualify for a credit limit that runs as high as $5,000.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$35

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

25.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

18.89% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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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 fees. But for many, its standout feature may be that it also offers the chance to earn a higher credit limit after making on-time payments in as little as six months.

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

Benefits of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card

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, but a late fee applies.

  • Fraud coverage.

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

  • Reporting to all three credit bureaus.

Why you might want the Capital One Platinum Credit Card

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 and you could get your credit limit increased in as little as six months. A higher credit limit — if not used — could lower your credit utilization and have a positive impact on your credit scores.

Get a report to all 3 major credit bureaus

A card that reports payments to all three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — can help you build credit. These companies record the information used to calculate your credit scores, which is a key step in establishing credit.

Pick your monthly due date and payment method

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 $40, but you’ll avoid additional charges.

Why you might want a different card

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.

Rewards

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.

A fixed monthly payment

If you prefer to know what you’ll owe each month, the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® combines elements of credit cards and personal loans. When you use it as a credit card, balances are converted to installment loans. When you use it as a personal loan, funds are deposited into your bank account. Whichever option you use, you can pay back what you borrow in equal monthly installments at a fixed interest rate over a certain window of time. It’s friendly to those with average credit and it earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It has a $0 annual fee.

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 and no foreign transaction fees 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. See our list of best credit cards to find the best option for you.

on Capital One's website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.
Frequently asked questions

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is available to applicants with fair credit or better, although eligibility isn't decided by credit scores alone. Your income, debts and other factors are also considered. Fair credit, also called "average" credit, is generally defined as a FICO credit score of 630 to 689.

It depends on your credit. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is available to people with fair or average credit, while the  Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card — the issuer's popular cash-back card — requires good credit or better (a FICO score of 690 or higher).

However, those with fair credit have a cash-back option in the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card earns the same unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases as the regular Quicksilver-branded card, but it charges a $39 annual fee and lacks the new-cardholder bonus of the regular card. If your primary goal is simply to work toward good credit, and rewards aren't as important to you now, the $0-annual-fee Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a solid choice.

As long as you make your monthly payments on time, you can be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months.

You can choose the payment due date that works for you — such as setting it for the time of the month when your cash flow is best.

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a fine choice for those with fair or average credit. The $0 annual fee makes it possible to build credit at no cost. However, the APR on the card is on the high side, so it's best to pay your bill in full every month to avoid interest charges.