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2021 Review: Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Updated Jun 08, 2021 | Published Aug 14, 20207 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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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
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securely on the issuer's website

Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR26.99% Variable

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.

The Benefits

  • 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.

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 at this Transfer APR 3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $40 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.

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
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR26.99% Variable

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?

The main perk is potentially getting a higher credit line after your first six months with the card. Cards for fair credit, like the Capital One Platinum, typically come with relatively low credit limits, so getting a boost would be nice.

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

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

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Alternatives to the Capital One Platinum One Credit Card

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelFair
  • Annual Fee$39
  • Regular APR26.99% Variable
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn’t expire for the life of the account
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
Why We Picked It

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.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
Key Features
  • Access a higher credit line: Capital One may automatically consider you 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.
  • Capital One Second Look fraud coverage: This tool will automatically monitor your account, 24/7, for fraudulent activity.
  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection: Finding out that someone has stolen your identity and is pretending to be you is stressful. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of identity theft call 1-800-MC-ASSIST. These services are available at no charge.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $39
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR26.99% Variable
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
Why We Picked It

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.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back for every purchase
    • 1.25% cash back if you pay on time
Key Features
  • Access a higher credit line: You may be automatically considered for a higher credit line after six months.
  • $60 streaming credit: $5 per month for 12 months on select streaming services, when you pay on time
  • 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.
  • Capital One Second Look account monitoring: Keep an eye on your account with Second Look, and get access to account alerts to be notified of any activity on your account.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APRSee Terms
Why We Picked It

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.

Rewards
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
Key Features
  • 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
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR26.99% Variable

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!

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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