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Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: No Annual Fee Starter Card for Credit Building

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If you're looking for a credit card that may help you build credit history through responsible use without charging you an annual fee, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card might be a good option.

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Access to a higher credit line after the first 5 on-time payments
  • Qualify with limited or fair credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • High annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Low starting credit limit
  • No rewards

Experian Review

If you are working on building your credit, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a worthy choice. It's got no annual fee, and although you will typically start out with a small credit limit, the card gives you the opportunity to increase that limit in a relatively short period of time with responsible card use.

Make Payments on Time, and Boost Your Credit Limit

Your credit limit will probably start low, so if you're looking for a card for a large appliance or other big purchase, this is not your best choice. Instead, use it as an everyday card for smaller purchases, then pay off your whole balance on time each month. This move not only checks off the two most important factors affecting your credit scores—payment history and credit utilization ratio—but making on-time payments for the first five months enables you to gain access to a higher credit limit. A higher credit line gives you more leeway for purchases, and it also helps your credit utilization ratio.

Capital One will report your payment history to all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), which can help you build credit by adding to your positive payment history. With FICO® Score* 8, for example, 35% of your credit score is calculated using your payment history.

This Card's Perks Add Up

Consumers with lower credit scores or not much credit sometimes find that they only qualify for secured credit cards, which require a deposit typically equal to the credit limit and don't always offer many extras. The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is an unsecured card that offers lots of perks, such as extended warranty coverage, price protection, auto rental insurance, travel accident insurance, travel assistance and roadside assistance.

You also have the option of choosing a due date for your monthly payment, which can make it easier to manage your payments.

Is the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card Right for you?

Avoiding a high annual fee is great for a credit card designed for those with fair credit. However, keep in mind that if you do not pay off your full balance every month, your costs could add up quickly due to the card's high APR of 26.96%.

You will not earn any rewards with Capital One® Platinum card, but if your goal is improving your credit history and credit scores, this card could be a good choice.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.

This article was originally published on February 13, 2019, and has been updated.

*Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

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