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Capital One Platinum credit card review: Build positive credit

The Platinum credit card from Capital One provides a way for cardholders to establish better credit.
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Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer on

The Capital One Platinum card is for cardholders needing to improve their credit. It has no rewards, few benefits, and little use outside of building a positive credit history.

It doesn't ask for an annual fee, meaning cardholders can use it potentially for free so long as they're avoiding interest charges by not carrying a balance from month to month.

If you're having a hard time qualifying for cards that require higher credit scores, this card presents a good opportunity to build up your credit before moving to cards that offer stronger features.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APR26.99% (Variable)
Recommended CreditAverage, Fair, Limited
Reward Rates N/A
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details

The Platinum card is very simple. It has few bells and whistles, and should only be used by consumers with average or lower credit who are looking to improve their scores. Avoid carrying a balance and pay on time to use the card for free, and eventually move on to a credit card that offers more.

Pros

  • Use responsibly to improve credit scores
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Keep an eye on your VantageScore 3.0 credit score
  • Faster path to a potential credit line increase

Cons

  • No rewards
  • Limited benefits
  • High APR (avoidable)

Why choose the Capital One Platinum card?

The card is designed to help consumers with average or lower credit build up their credit scores through responsible habits. It doesn't offer any rewards, so this is its primary feature.

Card benefits

There aren't many to list here. The most useful is access to Capital One's CreditWise tool, but that's available to everyone, not just Capital One cardholders. It also comes with the standard $0 liability protection and a potential credit line increase.

  • Automatic credit line review: Get automatically considered for a higher line of credit within as little as six months.
  • Eno, 24/7 digital assistant: Access to Capital One's digital assistant to help manage your account. Check your balance, see recent transactions, pay the bill, and more.
  • $0 Fraud Liability: cardholders won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges on the card.
  • Capital One's CreditWise: cardholders can see their VantageScore 3.0 credit score from their TransUnion credit report.
  • Virtual card numbers: Use virtual card numbers to securely shop online.
  • Contactless pay: No need to swipe or insert. Hover your card wherever you see the symbol to pay.

How do I apply for Capital One Platinum credit card?

Head over to Capital One's website to fill out an application. Put in the required information to be considered for the card, and Capital One will get back to you instantly with its decision in most cases.

The card is issued as a Mastercard, so it's accepted everywhere Mastercard is.

What's the point of a credit card with no rewards?

Simply put, to build credit so consumers can qualify for credit cards that offer more.

How can I check one of my credit scores?

Go to the CreditWise website and create an account. You don't need a Capital One credit card to access it. Keep an eye on your VantageScore 3.0 credit score from your TransUnion credit report, and get protected by Social Security number alerts.

Is this the right credit card for you?

The Capital One Platinum credit card doesn't have many features outside the capability to build positive credit by paying the bill on time. If you're looking for a card to use as a stepping stone toward better credit cards, this is a good choice.

There is no annual fee, so if cardholders pay on time and avoid carrying a balance to avoid interest charges, they could use it for free. And, if cardholders manage to qualify for the credit line increase, it'll keep credit utilization lower which leads to healthier credit scores.

What's the bottom line?

If you're having a difficult time qualifying for credit cards and have average or lower credit, the Platinum card can help. Use it responsibly, try to qualify for the credit line increase by showing good habits, and build a positive credit history.

Once your scores are looking better and are in the good to excellent range, move on to a credit card that has better features.

Are there any alternative credit cards worth considering?

Consider these other cards if the Capital One Platinum card doesn't pique your interest.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Earn 1.5% cash back for every purchase while you build better credit. However, there is a small annual fee of $39.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One: Earn up to 1.25% cash back for every purchase, provided cardholders are paying on time. It doesn't have an annual fee, and despite the name, it's available to everyone.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Pay a one-time refundable deposit that establishes the starting line of credit (minimum of $200). Cardholders earn 2% cash back for gas and dining (up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter, then 1%) and 1% for everything else. Discover will also match the cash back for the first year with the card.

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