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2020 Review: Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Updated Sep 24, 2020 | Published Aug 14, 20208 min read

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Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Min Credit Level Limited Credit History
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 26.99% (Variable)
At a glance

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is designed for people with limited credit history. It can be used to build your credit before you move on to better cards with reward programs and advanced benefits.

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The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, and Discover it® Secured have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card 4 out of 5 Stars. It provides a way to build credit for those who have fair credit scores, and unlike secured cards, doesn’t require a security deposit.

Why We Like It

  • Designed for average credit scores, giving people an unsecured option to improve their credit
  • No annual fee, so no cost overall if you avoid paying interest and are responsible with the card
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months
  • Track one of your VantageScores
  • View aspects of your TransUnion credit report for free

Why It Could Be Better

  • No rewards
  • Benefits are very basic

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is specifically designed for people with fair or average credit, to help build a positive credit history.

If you imagine a plain credit card, this is probably the kind of card you’re thinking about. There are no rewards to earn, no introductory interest rates, and no impressive benefits.

However, there’s also no annual fee, making it a potentially free way to improve your credit to the point where you can qualify for a more rewarding card. You’ll be able to monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, getting advice to improve it as you go.

There’s nothing particularly bad about this card, but nothing too special about it either. Being made for average credit, it just lacks the nice rewards and benefits that some other cards have. But if you don’t have the best credit this could be the right card for you.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Practice responsible habits: Build your credit with this card by using it responsibly. Eventually you’ll be able to qualify for a card with a valuable rewards program.
  • Pay your whole bill: Aim to pay your entire statement balance in full every billing period. This will prevent interest from accruing on purchases and it will be good for your credit too.
  • Take it when you travel: Use this card outside the country because there are no foreign transaction fees (unless you have a rewards card without foreign transaction fees to use instead).
  • Keep an eye on your credit scores: Check the CreditWise tool to monitor one of your VantageScores, and view parts of your TransUnion credit report.
  • Keep it around: Don’t close out this card if you end up getting a more rewarding one — keep it but don’t use it, if possible. Having more open credit is good for your credit scores because it can improve your credit utilization.

The Rewards

There are no rewards for using this card, like points or cash back. Instead, its main function is to help you manage your spending and build credit. It also has a few protection benefits that could come in useful.

The Benefits

The Capital One Platinum includes some of the basic perks that you get with most cards.

  • Higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
  • Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes. Anyone can enroll in the CreditWise service, cardholder or not.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible purchases will have their manufacturer’s warranty doubled by up to one additional year. This benefit applies to warranties of one year or less.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance: Provides help in case of an emergency while traveling. Call the number on the back of the card or 1-800-992-6029 for help getting connected to local emergency services. The cardholder will be responsible for any third-party charges.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Provides coverage for you, your spouse, and unmarried dependent children while traveling by common carrier. This benefit covers accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing, and up to $100,000 is available.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Also called MasterRental assistance, this benefit provides coverage for rented vehicles against damage and theft. You must charge the entire cost to your card, and decline the rental company’s own insurance.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
26.99% (Variable) 26.99% (Variable) 26.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0 3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $39 None

All very simple and easy to understand here. You’ll have no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fee.

If you carry a balance from month to month you’ll be charged interest at the rate above. But if you pay off your balance in full each month, you’ll never be charged interest on purchases. You can use this strategy to make this card completely free to use, and it will be good for your credit utilization too.

The Bottom Line

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is designed for people who are looking to improve their credit scores. It’s made for average or fair credit, so if you’ve had trouble qualifying for other cards this one could be a good option for you.

There are no rewards, but you’ll be able to keep an eye on your TransUnion credit report, and the VantageScore 3.0 that’s based on it. Some basic shopping and travel protections are there if you need them, though they have quite a few restrictions.

Overall, it’s not a bad option if you have fair or average credit and are looking to improve it with a credit card. For no annual fee, it can be completely free as long as you avoid interest. But there are some other cards made for the same level of credit which do offer some cash back. Check out some of those alternatives below.

How Do I Apply for the Capital One Platinum Card?

You can apply now for this card securely by following the link below. Capital One will check your credit with one or all three major credit bureaus when you apply.

Many applicants will get an instant decision in just a few seconds. But in some cases it may take longer, and Capital One may request more information from you.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Platinum Card?

It’s recommended that you have fair credit before you apply.

For fair credit you would need credit scores that fall within the ranges of 580–669 for FICO and 650–699 for VantageScore.

There are other factors that weigh into credit card issuers’ decisions, like income and monthly rent or mortgage payments. So even if your scores are lower than what’s recommended you might be approved. However, that means that if your scores are higher, you might not make the cut.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal identifying information: SSN, email address, residential address, phone number
  • Financial information: Total annual income, monthly rent/mortgage, employment status

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the credit limit for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card?

It’s hard to definitively say what it’ll be, but it’ll likely be on the low side. You’ll likely start off with a credit limit of anywhere from $300–$1,000, and after six months, Capital One may consider increasing your limit.

Is the Capital One Platinum a secured credit card?

No, it’s an unsecured credit card so you won’t be asked to make a security deposit.

Are you looking for a secured card? We’ve put together a compilation of our top picks.

What benefits come with the Capital One Platinum card?

Most of the benefits consist of travel and shopping protections, including travel accident insurance and extended warranties.

You can also monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. But that tool is available to everyone, not just cardholders.

Take a look at a more in-depth explanation of the benefits.

Was this helpful?

Alternatives to the Capital One Platinum One Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Fair
Details
Annual Fee $39
Regular APR 26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) is pretty similar to the Platinum, with a few changes.

There’s an annual fee, but you’ll also gain the ability to earn rewards. So if you’re willing to pay a little more you could see a moderate return on your spending.

If you’re trying to decide between these two cards, ask yourself if you’ll spend more than $2,600 per year with it. If you will, go with the QuicksilverOne because you’ll end up with a net profit at the end of the year. If not, the QuicksilverOne will cost you money when you pay the annual fee. In that case you should go with the Platinum.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • Higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
  • Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes. Anyone can enroll in the CreditWise service, cardholder or not.
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance
  • Shopping protection: Extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $39

The information related to Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 26.99% (Variable)

Although it’s marketed as a student card, you don’t actually need to be a student to apply for the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review).

This card is also designed for average credit, which would be typical for a student who’s just starting to establish a credit history. But you can use it to improve your credit whether you’re a student or not. Unlike the Capital One Platinum, the Journey Student Cash Back features a reward program.

While it is relatively minimal, it’s nice to be able to earn some rewards while trying to rebuild your credit. And as long as you pay your bill on time, you’ll get a 25% bonus to your cash back. There’s no annual fee, and the benefits are pretty much the same as what you’ll get with the Platinum.

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back for every purchase
    • 1.25% cash back if you pay on time
  • Access a higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
  • Capital One CreditWise: The CreditWise service provides free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. You can monitor your score over time and get alerts about any changes.
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance
  • Shopping protection: Extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Discover it® Secured

Our rating
Min. credit level Bad
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR See Terms

The Discover it® Secured (Review) is probably the best secured card available, and one of the few that come with rewards.

Before applying, it would be a good idea to check if you’re pre-qualified for any unsecured cards, from Discover or other issuers. If you’re not pre-qualified for any cards, the Discover it Secured is a good option.

Because this is a secured card, you’ll need to make an initial, refundable security deposit of $200–$2,500 which will form your credit line.

Thanks to Discover’s Cashback Match, you’ll earn a pretty great 4% cash back on gas and dining in your first year, which is more than some unsecured cards offer.

The benefits you’d receive from the Capital One card will likely be more impressive, as Discover doesn’t offer many protections. You’ll be able to check your FICO Score 8 credit score based on your TransUnion credit report, but like the Capital One tool, it’s available for everyone to use, not just cardholders.

So despite being a secured card, it would still be a more rewarding option. But if you don’t feel like paying a security deposit and are interested in getting covered by extra protections, perhaps the Capital One Platinum would still be a good call.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent per quarter at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: Double all cash back earned in the first year; awarded at the end of the first year
  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky dark web sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
  • New account alerts: Get notified of credit inquiries and new accounts on your Experian credit report.
  • Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
  • Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $50 bonus too.
  • Security deposit: $200–$2,500
  • Purchase APR: See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Discover it® Secured has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Are you building credit with the Capital One Platinum Card? How do you like it? Leave your own review below, we’d love to hear from you!

Brendan Harkness
Written by

Brendan Harkness

Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.

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