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When you have little credit history or are in the process of building your credit, your rewards credit card options are limited. One option you may have come across is the Capital One Platinum Credit Card. This card doesn’t have an annual fee and caters to those with “average credit.” This review will help you decide if this card is worth it.

Miami International Airport Hotel in Florida (Nov. 15, 2023). Credit: Johnny Jet


Credit Score Needed

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a different type of credit card that you may not be familiar with—an unsecured credit card. This means you don’t need to make a refundable security deposit to use the card. However, you will need a higher credit score.

You will have the best approval odds if your credit score is at least 580. Although, it is possible to qualify with a score in the low 500s. Loveitttttt reports having an initial 524 credit score that is now 665.

Capital One only recommends having “average credit” to have the best approval odds. They recommend applying if you meet one of these two situations:

  • Not defaulted on a loan in the past 5 years
  • Have had your own credit card or other credit for less than 3 years

For instance, you might consider applying if you currently have one of the best travel credit cards for students and are getting ready to graduate. Or perhaps you want to upgrade from a secured credit card for a higher credit limit and avoid security deposits.

If you do not qualify for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, you may be recommended the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One instead. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, but you will need access to an authorized bank to make your $49, $99, or $200 refundable security deposit. You will qualify for an initial $200 credit limit if you can make the minimum required security deposit.

In as little as 6 months of on-time payments, you may qualify for an automatic credit line increase with no additional deposit needed. All payment activity reports to the three credit bureaus.

If you want a higher initial limit, you can make a larger deposit before your account opens. In time, Capital One may offer to upgrade to the unsecured Platinum Card when your credit score qualifies.

Annual Fee

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. As long as you pay your balance in full every month, this is a free way to build credit.

No annual fee is one advantage of the Capital One Platinum. Other cards that cater to people with relatively low scores charge an annual fee for similar products and offer similar benefits.

Because this is an unsecured credit card, you won’t have to pay a refundable security deposit to receive your card.

Credit Limit

One potential downside of this card is that you won’t have a high starting credit limit like you might expect from an unsecured card.

Most users with a credit score in the 500s report receiving an initial $300 credit limit. Applicants with scores in the 600s have reported a $500 starting limit.

Capital One will consider raising your limit after your first 6 months of on-time payments. This won’t be a large increase, but it helps improve your credit score. For example, your limit might increase from $300 to $500 during this review.

Although your credit limit is small, like a secured card, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t require a security deposit. A secured credit card might offer a $300 credit limit as well, but the bank also holds your $300 security deposit until you close that account.

Earning Credit Card Points

The Capital One Platinum is not one of the best credit cards for travel purchases, simply because it doesn’t award any rewards points on purchases.

This card is strictly for building credit so you can eventually qualify for one of the best rewards credit cards 2019 requiring a minimum 670 credit score. On a positive note, not having to pay an annual fee or security deposit can still be a nice improvement from your current credit card.

But if earning points is important to you, you may want to consider another card. If it helps, note that the Capital One Platinum Card is one of the best instant approval credit cards.

Other Card Benefits

The largest perk of owning the Capital One Platinum is that it doesn’t have an annual fee or require a security deposit.

You might also appreciate a few other perks that come with the best Capital One credit cards. Some of the benefits include:

  • Free credit score monitoring with CreditWise
  • See monthly recurring charges on the Capital One website
  • Schedule monthly autopay for statement balance
  • Lock your card from the Capital One app if it’s lost, stolen, or misplaced
  • Extended warranty protection on select purchases

Travel protection benefits include secondary coverage for rental car collisions and damage waiver. This coverage limits your out-of-pocket expenses if your rental car is involved in an accident or vandalized.

For additional card security, Capital One can give you a virtual credit card number you can use for online purchases. This makes it less likely for your account information to be stolen as these virtual numbers only work once. If your fraudulent purchases are made, the $0 liability on unauthorized charges means you don’t pay for purchases you didn’t authorize.

Who Should Try for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card?

You might be a good fit for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card if you share one of these traits:

  • Have a 580 credit score (at least)
  • Don’t want to pay a security deposit
  • Don’t want to pay an annual fee
  • Can pay your balance in full every month

This card is a good option when your credit score is high enough that you can finally qualify for an unsecured credit card. But your score may not be high enough to qualify for one of the best no-annual fee travel credit cards.

It can be a good first credit card option because it’s an annual fee-free way to build credit. As your credit grows, you can apply for a card with a higher credit limit that also offers purchase rewards.

Even after upgrading to one of the best credit cards for excellent credit, you may still keep this account open for several years to continue improving your credit score. Keeping the account open extends your credit history length and lets banks know you have years of experience in handling credit cards.


The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is one of the best cards for building credit. Having no annual fee and a low credit limit makes it easy to build credit and make on-time monthly payments. Because this card doesn’t have any purchase rewards, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a better card when you establish good credit.

Learn more: Capital One Platinum Credit Card

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