Capital One® Platinum Credit Card Review: Build credit without an annual fee
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- This card is one of the only unsecured credit cards available for people with fair credit.
- There is no annual fee and no security deposit is required.
- Contactless card option available for checking out faster.
- No rewards program or bonus for new cardholders.
The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is one of a handful of credit cards available for people who have fair credit. There also aren’t any extra fees like an annual or monthly fee to pay just to carry the card. Over time, with responsible use of your card, you can be well on your way to building a better credit score. And you’ll be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months.
Plus, this card includes other benefits that can help you on your journey to good credit. You can keep an eye on your credit profile and credit score with Capital One’s free Credit Wise tool. You also get Eno, Capital One’s assistant, which answers questions and monitors your accounts 24/7 and sends alerts when there is any questionable activity.
Finally, this card comes with the option for contactless payment so you can get through checkout a little faster.
Other features this card includes:
- Potential to earn a higher line of credit in as little as six months
- $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
- Monitor your credit with the CreditWise® app
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel accident insurance, roadside assistance and auto rental collision damage waiver
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No annual fee
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Usually, if you have a low credit score or it falls in the “fair” credit range, your only options for a credit card are secured cards. While secured credit cards are a great tool for building or repairing credit, you might not have the extra $200 or more to hand over for a security deposit. And, this security deposit isn’t always refundable so even when you build your credit score, you might not get that money back. On top of that, secured cards usually have either a monthly or annual fee.
The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, however, is an unsecured credit card. This means you won’t have to put down a security deposit to get the card. Plus, it’s specifically for people who have fair credit or are in the process of building credit. What makes this card even better, is there’s no annual fee so you can get started rebuilding or building your credit without it costing you.
Like many credit cards available for fair credit or building credit, this card has a fairly high APR of 26.99% (Variable). However, if you’re working on your credit, you probably don’t want to carry a balance from month to month anyway. You can avoid paying high amounts of interest by paying off your card balance in full each month.
Another downside is that there isn’t any rewards program. Although the ability to earn rewards is rare with cards designed for building credit, there are some options available that do offer cash back or points when you use your card. There also isn’t any special bonus or incentive for new cardholders. However, if your goal is to build your credit, it might be best to focus on just paying your balance in full every month and using your credit responsibly.
Whether this card is a good card or not is dependent on your particular situation. If you have a lower credit score or you’re building credit and don’t mind a fairly vanilla credit card, this is a great card to start out with. For rebuilding and building, you can’t really beat an unsecured credit card with no annual fee that reports to all three credit bureaus and offers automatic credit limit increases.
However, if you’re looking for a card that offers the extras like a rewards program, or if you need to carry a balance, you might be better off with another credit card for lower credit scores or a secured card. There are cards available that can help you build your credit that come with rewards programs and lower interest rates.
Capital One® Platinum vs. Capital One® QuicksilverOne®
Like the Platinum card, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a Capital One card designed for people with fair credit. You get all of the same benefits such as CreditWise and automatic credit limit increases, while building your credit.
The biggest difference is in the rewards program. While the Platinum card has no rewards program, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card awards all purchases a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make with the card. Another important difference between these two cards is the annual fee. The Platinum card has no annual fee, but the QuicksilverOne card charges an annual fee of $39.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card vs. Discover It® Secured
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The Discover it® Secured is also a good card for people who are new to credit or rebuilding credit. This card, however, is secured so you'll need a security deposit of at least $200 to get started.
If you're approved, you'll receive a credit card with a credit limit of at least $200. Unlike other secured cards, this card will match all of the cash back you earn at the end of your first year as a cardholder, and you'll earn 2% cash back on the first $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter and 1% on all other purchases. Both the new cardmember bonus and the rewards program are rare for a secured card. Plus, there's no annual fee.
Capital One® Platinum vs. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is similar to the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card and is another popular Capital One credit card. You do have to have excellent credit to qualify for this version. Plus, it comes with a bonus for new cardholders as well as a rewards program that awards 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. There is also no annual fee for this card, so if you're credit score has increased, you might want to consider this card instead.