Capital One Platinum Card Review: Who Is It For?

Capital One Platinum Card Review: Who Is It For?

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If you have a spotty credit history or no credit history, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is worth considering. This card offers the potential to build good credit without paying an annual fee.

With an over-the-top APR of 26.99% (Variable), the Capital One Platinum Credit Card may seem unattractive for many consumers. However, for those with mediocre credit or starting to build their credit history, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card may be the place to start.

Unlike many cards offered to consumers in the lower credit ranges, you won't have to worry about expensive fees with the Capital One Platinum Credit Card. This card offers a $0 annual fee and a balance transfer fee of $0 at this Transfer APR . If you don't have the best credit score, you stand a solid chance of qualifying for this card. As long as you pay your statement in full each month, this could be a decent starter card for many.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee, balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Outrageously high APR, no rewards system, low credit limit

Capital One Platinum Credit Card benefits and features

If you don't have good or excellent credit, it can be challenging to get a credit card that offers rewards with relatively low or no annual fees. While the Capital One Platinum Credit Card does not offer any rewards, the features on this card can help you build your credit and qualify for a better option.

No annual fee or balance transfer fees

With a $0 annual fee, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card could be a handy tool to rebuild your credit for free. The balance transfer fee is also $0 at this Transfer APR — many credit cards charge 3%-5% to move a balance from another card. We've compared the Capital One Platinum Credit Card to measurable subprime cards to illustrate the unwarranted amount of fees you may face:

Fees
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
AvantCard Credit Card
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Annual fee$0$59$35
Foreign transaction feesNoneNone3% of each Transaction in U.S. dollars
Balance transfer fee$0 at this Transfer APRN/AN/A
Other feesNoneNone-Inactive account fee: $10 per month after 12 months of no activity
-Dormant account fee: $10 per month after 36 months of no activity
-Garnishments/levies: $150 per incident

The biggest selling feature of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is the minimal amount of fees that come with this card, which isn't usually the case with comparable options. With any card, it's a good idea to check if there are any hidden fees buried in the terms and conditions.

Dangerously high APR

The major downside to the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is its high annual percentage rate, at 26.99% (Variable). Credit cards geared at users with fair or poor credit scores notoriously carry high APRs.

Therefore, it's crucial to never carry a balance on this card. Your initial credit limit will likely be small, so the best practice is to use less than 30% of that limit. To build your credit score, you should make small, regular charges and pay off the balance in full by the due date.

Monitor your credit score with CreditWise

With all Capital One credit cards, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card offers users access to the Capital One CreditWise service to monitor their credit score. If you're trying to rebuild your credit, CreditWise is a handy way to track your progress without hurting your score. Note that the score provided on CreditWise is different from your FICO Score, but both take into consideration the same factors:

  • On-time payment history
  • Credit account history
  • Credit utilization ratio
  • New credit inquiries
  • New credit or loan accounts
  • Credit limit availability

No foreign transaction fees

If you've used a credit card outside the U.S., you may be familiar with foreign transaction fees. These charges can be as much as 3% of your purchase when using a currency other than U.S. dollars. With the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, you won't be charged any foreign transaction fees — a compelling feature that can help you save money when traveling internationally.

Preapproval tool

Your credit score takes a hit every time you apply for a new credit card. Thankfully, you can use Capital One's preapproval tool to check your eligibility for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Mastercard. The preapproval tool is a soft inquiry and will not affect your credit score — advantageous for those worried about their already rocky scores.

How does the Capital One Platinum Credit Card compare to other credit cards?

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card isn't the only card geared toward users with low credit. We compare this option to a few other cards, including ones that offer a rewards system.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card vs. Citi Simplicity® Card

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi Simplicity® Card comes with a unique introductory offer — an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on Purchases and 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After this period ends, your APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable), depending on your creditworthiness. You'll also have to pay a Balance transfer fee – either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

If you've struggled with reducing your credit card debt in the past, the Citi Simplicity® Card can be a useful tool. There's a $0 annual fee with this card, but no rewards system either. Like the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, the Citi Simplicity® Card serves a particular purpose.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a secured card — meaning you'll have to put down a security deposit that will determine your credit line — but comes with the potential to earn a sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards. After eight months, Discover begins automatic reviews to determine if you can transition to an unsecured credit line and have your deposit returned. If you decide to close your account, you'll receive your deposit back.

Secured cards rarely offer a sign-up bonus, but Discover gives you an 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. . The card also offers 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card will almost always be a better option for most people, so long as you're comfortable with putting a security deposit down to open a card.

ValuePenguin's verdict

Everyone has to start somewhere. It's a principle that applies to a lot of things, including credit cards; in the case of starting (or restarting) to build credit, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a good place to start.

As your financial situation improves and you can steadily pay your bills on time, you could upgrade to a better Capital One product, such as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. In any case, it's essential to recognize the high APR on this card from the get-go, stay diligent about making payments and not get in over your head.

The information related to Capital One Platinum Credit Card, AvantCard Credit Card, OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card and Discover it® Secured Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).