BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSCAPITAL ONE PLATINUM SECURED REVIEW: GREAT CHOICE FOR BAD CREDIT

Capital One Platinum Secured Review: Great Choice for Bad Credit

Unlike with most cards that require a cash security deposit, applicants may be able to qualify for a credit limit larger than their deposit.
Sara Rathner Author Avatar
Jul 16, 2024 11:16 a.m. PDT
Edited by
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The Bottom Line

4.8

NerdWallet rating

Flexible security deposit requirements and a $0 annual fee make this an excellent option for people building or rebuilding credit.

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
N/A
Intro Offer
N/A
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
N/A
Intro Offer
N/A
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    N/A

  • Bonus offer

    None

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 29.99% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Balance Transfer Fee applies to balances transferred at a promotional rate

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

View Rates and Fees
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app

Pros and Cons

Pros

No annual fee

Qualify with limited/bad credit

No foreign transaction fees

Report to three major credit bureaus

Cons

Requires minimum deposit

No rewards

High APR

Detailed Review

Pulling together the money for a security deposit can be a major hurdle in getting a secured credit card, one of the best tools for building or rebuilding your credit. The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card makes deposits a little less daunting, and that's a big reason why it's one of NerdWallet's favorite secured cards.

With an annual fee of $0 and a handful of features of special interest to people working on improving their credit score, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a solid option for building credit (see rates and fees).

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: Basics

Card type: Secured.

Annual fee: $0.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 29.99% Variable APR.

Deposit requirement: Get a $200 credit line with an initial deposit of $49, $99 or $200, for those who qualify. You can deposit more money before your account opens to increase your credit limit up to a maximum of $1,000.

Rewards: None.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
29.99% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
REGULAR APR
28.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$35
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
25.64% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

Flexible security deposit

Like all secured credit cards, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit. With most secured cards, your credit limit will be equal to your deposit, but the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card allows for a lower deposit for those who qualify. Your deposit may be $49, $99 or $200 for a starter credit line of $200. You can increase your limit up to $1,000 by making more than the minimum deposit before activating your account.

Best of all, if you can’t pay your security deposit upfront, Capital One will let you pay it in installments of at least $20, as long as you provide the full amount within 35 days of approval. This is a great benefit for those on a fixed income.

Access to a higher credit line

Make your monthly payments on time, and you could get access to a higher credit limit in as little as six months without having to deposit more money. A higher credit limit gives you increased flexibility, but more important, it can help your credit by reducing your credit utilization, a key factor in your credit score. The lower your utilization, the better. If you have a $200 credit limit and a balance of $60, your credit utilization is 30%, which is about as high as you want it to go. If your credit line gets bumped up to, say, $500, your utilization drops to 12%.

Freedom from fees

Credit cards for people with bad credit or no credit are notorious for high fees. That's one of the reasons NerdWallet recommends secured credit cards for building credit: You have to put down a security deposit, but you get that money back when you close the account in good standing or upgrade to a regular unsecured card. The best secured cards charge reasonable fees. The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card keeps things light with an annual fee of $0 (see rates and fees). Like all Capital One cards, it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, so you can take it with you if you're traveling abroad. The card does charge a late fee if you don't pay your bill by the due date. But you can avoid that fee by paying your bill on time each month.

Upgrade potential

Capital One is one of the few major issuers offering credit cards for people in all credit score ranges. Its secured card is for people who are building credit. Its popular rewards cards, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, are for people with good or excellent credit. But it also has excellent products for people in the middle, with fair or "average" credit. These include the Capital One Platinum Credit Card and the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. As you use your card to establish a good payment history and build your credit, you may be able to upgrade your account to a credit card without a security deposit.

Drawbacks and Considerations

High APR

Like most secured cards, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card charges a high interest rate. The ongoing APR is 29.99% Variable APR (see rates and fees). However, that doesn't have to affect you: Pay off your balance every month, on time and in full, and no interest will accrue. There's no introductory 0% APR period, but most credit cards for bad credit don’t offer one anyway, so you're not missing anything.

No rewards

Like most secured cards, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn't offer rewards.

There are a few secured cards that do offer rewards, though, like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. This card pays 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent per quarter on dining and gas, and 1% back on all other purchases. It has an annual fee of $0. There's even a bonus for new cardholders: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

However, there's a minimum security deposit of $200 for the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, much higher than the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card's $49 or $99 options for those who qualify. Unlike the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card provides a credit limit equal to your security deposit in all cases — and not a penny more.

To see more potential card options for building or rebuilding your credit, take a look at our best credit cards.

Bank account and credit check required

To qualify for the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, you must have a checking or savings account and Capital One could check your credit and employment history. That can present a hardship for applicants without a bank account or a credit history.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn't perform a credit check when you apply, and you can pay your security deposit via a money order or Western Union if you don’t have a bank account. There is a $35 annual fee, however.

How To Decide If It's Right For You

If you’re working to build your credit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is one of the better choices available. Its flexible security deposit requirements, low fees and upgrade potential make it a solid starter card.

No matter which card you choose, using a secured credit card responsibly can help you build your credit score. Keep it up, and you should be able to graduate to a card with lower fees and interest, greater rewards — and no security deposit at all.

Alternate Pick: No credit check
No credit check, no bank account required

This card removes two major barriers for people with bad credit. It doesn't require a credit check, and you don't need a bank account. There's a $35 annual fee, though.


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

With secured credit cards, your credit limit is typically equal to the amount of your deposit. However, with the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, some applicants may be eligible for a $200 credit limit with a deposit of $49, $99 or $200. You can increase your credit limit to up to $1,000 by depositing more than the minimum before activating your card. Pay on time each month, and you can be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months with no additional deposit.

Use your card to establish a good payment history and strengthen your credit, and you may be able to upgrade your account to an unsecured credit card. The amount of time this takes can vary.

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card reports your account activity to the three major credit bureaus. Keeping balances low and making on-time payments can help build your credit, but late payments can hurt it

You can qualify for the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card with very limited or bad credit, including scores below 630. However, approval is not guaranteed. Even with secured cards, issuers will look at your income, debts and other factors.

To open your account, you must pay your security deposit within 35 days of being approved for the card. From there, you use your card to make purchases just like you would with any other credit card, and you pay your bill each month. Important: Your deposit is not "loaded" onto the card, and it is not used to pay for your purchases. The issuer holds the deposit in case you don't pay your bill. If you upgrade to an unsecured card or close your account in good standing, your deposit will be refunded.

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