Secured Mastercard® from Capital One review: Build credit with no annual fee
With no annual fee, a free credit tracking tool, Platinum Mastercard® benefits and Apple Pay capabilities, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One goes beyond the basics secured cards typically offer. Plus, its low minimum security deposit requirement make it an even more attractive option for individuals looking to build or rebuild their credit history with responsible credit card use.
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- A security deposit as low as $49 can be used to establish your line of credit.
- The option to choose your own due date makes managing your monthly budget and bill paying just a bit easier.
- There's no annual fee with this card.
- The credit limit on this card caps out at $1,000, so if you anticipate wanting a higher credit limit (creditworthiness depending, of course), you may want a different card.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Secured Mastercard® from Capital One Features
- What Our Editors Like Most About the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
- Potential Drawbacks of the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
- Secured Mastercard® from Capital One Cardholder Scores
- How the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One Compares to Other Cards
- Is the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One a Good Secured Card?
With no annual fee, a free credit tracking tool, Platinum Mastercard® benefits and Apple Pay capabilities, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One goes beyond the basics secured cards typically offer. Plus, its low minimum security deposit requirement make it an even more attractive option for individuals looking to build or rebuild their credit history with responsible use.
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One's best features:
- No annual fee
- Receive an initial credit line of $200 after making a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit.
- Regular reporting to all three major credit bureaus
- $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
- Select your own monthly payment due date
- Get Platinum Mastercard® benefits, including auto rental insurance, price protection and 24/7 roadside assistance
- Use with Apple Pay
The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One has all the basics someone needs to build or rebuild their credit (with responsible use), with the addition of a few perks you don’t normally get with secured credit cards.
Pay a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 based on your credit history and receive an initial credit line of $200. You can pay more than your required security deposit before your account opens to increase your initial credit line up to a maximum of $1,000.
Financial education and responsible use are important when you’re building or rebuilding your credit. Capital One makes sure cardmembers have access to this information through its Financial Education site. The site features content about budgeting, balancing a checkbook and investing as well as additional resources that connect cardmembers to financial literacy programs (some of which are free). And if you want more tips about how to use credit wisely, follow Capital One's Twitter handle, @YourFutureEdge, to get more financial education.
The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, which reports to all three major credit bureaus, also helps cardmembers learn how to improve and build their credit through responsible use through CreditWise®. The tool, available to people even beyond Capital One cardholders, gives you unlimited access to your credit score and free financial tools to help you better manage your credit. One unique feature of the tracker is a Credit Simulator, which shows you how specific actions can affect your credit score. With these tools, Capital One is doing more than providing a platform for people to rebuild their credit, it's doing the proverbial "teaching a man (or woman) to fish."
The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One also has Platinum Mastercard benefits like rental car insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, price protection that reimburses you the price difference if you pay more for an eligible item, and automatic travel accident insurance when you use your card to purchase a trip.
But one of our favorite features of the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, is the option to select your own due date, making bill management just a little bit easier.
The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One doesn’t have a points program, so you won’t get any rewards. But since this card is more about utility than perks, use it wisely to build your credit and then graduate to a rewards card when your credit history allows.
The card also has a higher APR than many of its competitors. If you’re concerned about interest charges, a secured card with a lower APR may work just as well for rebuilding your credit (with responsible use, of course).
|Current Scores||Past Scores|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||8.6||8.4|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||8.1||8.0|
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One vs. First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard®
Both cards report to all three major credit bureaus and both cards require a refundable security deposit, but the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card matches your credit limit to your deposit amount (from $200- $2,000).
Though it has a lower APR than the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, it also has a $39 annual fee.
Plus, you can qualify for this card without a minimum credit score or a credit check. So, you can apply for this card without an inquiry showing up on your credit report, which can be helpful if you're trying to limit inquiries.
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® isn’t chip-enabled, so if you’re traveling abroad, you’ll want to carry another card in your wallet. Because of the additional perks and no annual fee, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is the better pick.
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One vs. Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Neither the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One nor the Citi® Secured Mastercard® has an annual fee (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser). Like Capital One, Citi® asks applicants to make a refundable security deposit that will be equal to their credit limit.
In the case of the Citi® Secured Mastercard®, that minimum security deposit is relatively high at $200; however, Citi also offers the possibility of a higher credit limit – up to $5,000.
The Citi card also offers free access to your FICO score so you can follow your score as you build your credit. You can also choose the payment due date that works best for your finances.
Because the features and fees for both cards are similar, choosing the best one between the two is a matter of whether you need to start out with a higher credit limit.
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One vs. OpenSky Secured Visa
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is another secured card option that comes with an annual fee, in this case $35. Pay your security deposit and enjoy a credit limit of $200-$3,000 with the opportunity to raise that limit to $5,000 within the first year with responsible use and payment.
Once again, you're dealing with an annual fee, but if you foresee wanting a higher credit limit soon, this could be a better option for you. You can also open an OpenSky Secured Visa without a credit check or even a checking account, so this could be a great option for individuals starting from the ground up with their credit history.
This card might be a good card for anyone who is currently using a prepaid debit card or unsecured credit card because of a credit history in need of rebuilding. The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is also a reasonable option for college students and first-timers who need to establish credit, especially since it doesn't require an annual fee to carry.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2020 to conduct surveys among 1,746 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2020 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were added to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted.