While the best credit cards on the market offer lucrative travel rewards or cash-back along with valuable consumer perks, not everyone can qualify. If you have poor credit, fair credit, or a thin credit profile, you may be lucky to qualify for an unsecured credit card at all.
Fortunately, a handful of credit cards were created for people whose credit is not quite where it should be. The [Capital One® Platinum Credit Card] is one of those cards. It’s pretty light on cardholder perks, but it does offer something that is hard to find — an unsecured credit card people with less than stellar credit may actually be able to qualify for.
If you’re trying to build credit or repair credit mistakes from the past, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card may be exactly what you need. Keep reading to learn how you could qualify, the benefits you will receive if you get approved, and where this card comes up short.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Basic Card Benefits
The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is available for consumers with “average” credit, which sets it apart from many credit cards that are geared to people with good or excellent credit. According to myFICO.com, the median credit score range that usually means a borrower is “acceptable” falls between 670 to 739. If your credit score is within that range, you can’t expect to qualify for a credit card with over-the-top rewards but you might be able to qualify for the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card. The best part is, this card doesn’t charge any sort of annual fee or application fee.
In addition to the lack of fees and easy qualification requirements, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card actually offers a surprising number of benefits. For starters, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card comes with no foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad. You can also qualify for a higher credit limit after you start using your card and make at least five consecutive on-time payments.
In addition to these benefits, cardholders get access to their credit score each month via the Capital One CreditWise program. Cardholders also receive zero percent fraud liability for fraudulent purchases made with their card or card number.
The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card may be a no-frills card aimed at consumers with fair credit, but at least it’s not entirely devoid of benefits. Plus, it’s still an unsecured card, meaning you don’t have to put down a cash deposit like you would if you were applying for a secured credit card.
Since it is a full-fledged Mastercard credit card, your credit payments and movements will be reported to the three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This means you could use this card to improve your credit score over time and hopefully transition to card with better perks later on.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Where it Comes Up Short
The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card isn’t a rewards card and we don’t expect it to be, but there are still a few major downsides you should make yourself aware of. For starters, this card charges a variable 26.99% APR on purchases you make with the card. If you’re someone who is likely to carry a balance each month, doing so with this card will cost you a lot in interest payments. In that case, you may even want to see if you can qualify for a credit card with a lower interest rate.
Another downside with this card is the fact that it doesn’t offer any rewards at all. While credit cards for bad credit don’t always offer rewards, some do. Even the Discover it® Secured for people with poor credit offers 1% cash back on all purchases and 2% back on up to $1,000 in combined gas station and restaurant spending each quarter.
The Bottom Line
While the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card isn’t rich with perks, it doesn’t charge an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees. You also get a surprising number of cardholder benefits for a card that is aimed at consumers with average credit.
However, the fact that this card carries a 26.99% (Variable) interest rate means it’s not a great option if you need to carry a balance each month.
For that reason, we think this card is best for:
- Consumers with “okay” credit who can’t qualify for a rewards credit card
- Anyone who wants to build their credit score over time with the use of an unsecured credit card
- People with average credit who hope to earn a higher credit limit over time
- Someone who plans to pay their balance in full each month to avoid interest charges
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to research cards to find the best option for your needs and your spending style. The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card may be exactly what you need if your credit is fair and you want to repair it with an unsecured card. However, you should compare credit cards for fair credit to see how it stacks up to other options before you apply.
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