Credit Card Reviews

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: A Useful Credit-Boosting Tool

Are you trying to rebuild your credit? If you have a poor credit score, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® could be a smart alternative to unsecured credit cards with high interest rates and annual fees. This secured credit card charges no annual fee, reports to the three major credit bureaus, and has a low initial credit limit that can help keep your spending manageable.

Customer service contact info for Capital One
1 (877) 383-4802

Capital One
Attn: General Correspondence
P.O. Box 30285
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0287

Available to applicants who are rebuilding their creditRefundable security deposit required
No annual feeLow initial line of credit
Option for a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on timeHigh APR
No rewards

Experian Review

If you have a poor credit score or no credit history, it can be difficult to get approved for a credit card. That's where the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes in. Pay a refundable security deposit to open your account, use the card responsibly, and you can start to build a positive credit score. That's because unlike prepaid cards, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® reports your payment history to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax).

Access to a Higher Credit Line With On-Time Payments

In most cases, credit card issuers don't consider credit history when it comes to secured credit cards. That's what makes the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® different. Capital One actually looks at your credit score to determine your deposit, which is either $49, $99 or $200. If your credit score is high enough, your deposit may be lower than your credit limit. (You'll get the deposit back if you close your account and pay the balance in full.) You can make your security deposit online or over the phone, and you can even pay the deposit over time in increments as low as $20—good news for those on a really tight budget.

Once you've paid your deposit and your credit application is approved, your account will open with a $200 initial line of credit. Capital One automatically reviews your account and gives you access to a higher credit line if you make your first five monthly payments on time. Or, if you want a higher credit limit to start with, make a bigger security deposit, up to the maximum credit limit of $1,000. (If you're seeking a credit limit higher than that, you may want to look for a different secured card.)

To be eligible for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, your monthly income must exceed your monthly rent or mortgage payment by at least $425. You must be over 18, have a checking or savings account, and have a valid Social Security number or Taxpayer ID Number.

Enjoy Capital One Cardholder Benefits

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes with plenty of benefits designed to help you manage your money, stay on top of your spending, and protect your financial data and credit score. All of these features make this card a good option for someone who is trying to rebuild their credit or establish credit for the first time. Here's a closer look.

Benefits to Easily Manage Your Account and Spending

Use the personalized payment option to customize your payment date to the best time of the month for you. You can select the monthly due date you prefer and choose your payment method—online, by check or at a local branch.

Making your credit card payments on time is key to improving your credit score. Just set up the AutoPay feature, and your Capital One® Secured Mastercard® payments will be made automatically every month from your chosen bank account—no need to keep an eye on the calendar.

Monthly recurring charges, such as streaming subscriptions, gym memberships or utility bills, can quickly add up. Capital One gives you 24/7 access to a list of merchants that charge your card monthly, making it easy to keep tabs on those expenses.

Use the Capital One® mobile app (available for iOS, Android and Apple Watch) to check account balances, pay bills, view payment activity and transaction details, set up notifications or report fraud. The app lets you choose from Face ID, Touch ID or SureSwipe to quickly access your account securely.

Benefits to Protect Your Data and Credit Score

Proactive account monitoring is a useful feature of this card. You can receive alerts if Capital One detects a potential mistake or unexpected charge, as well as email or text reminders to help you stay on top of your account. Use the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® mobile app to check and monitor your credit score for free with CreditWise, which sends you alerts when your TransUnion or Experian credit score changes.

If your card is lost or stolen, you can instantly lock it using the Capital One mobile app. There's 0% fraud liability, so you don't have to worry about unauthorized charges.

Eno, your virtual assistant, is one of the most useful features of this card. Just download the Capital One app and you can use Eno to keep an eagle eye on your card. Text Eno to get up-to-the-minute account information, such as your current balance and recent transactions—but that's just the beginning of what Eno can do. Get alerts about potential fraud, duplicate charges or unusual charges (did you really pump $485 worth of gas into your tank or leave a 200% tip at dinner last night?). You can also get alerts of unusually high recurring bills. Has your water bill tripled? Eno lets you know so you can find that leak.

You can even use Eno to shop or pay bills online. When you pay with Eno, you can generate merchant-specific virtual numbers linked to your card. Use the virtual numbers to pay for online purchases without having to share your actual card number. If there's ever a security breach, you can just lock or delete that virtual number without the hassles of canceling your credit card and waiting to get a new card. For even more purchasing peace of mind, an extended warranty feature gives you extended protection at no charge on eligible items purchased with the card.

Benefits for Travelers

Whether you're traveling across the country or around the world, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has several features travelers will appreciate. To start with, the card does not charge foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside of the United States, making it ideal for overseas travel.

Use the card to pay your fare, and you automatically get travel accident insurance for covered losses at no extra charge. There's also a collision damage waiver on car rentals, so you can rent an eligible vehicle with the card and rest easy knowing you're covered for damage caused by collision or theft. And with 24-hour travel assistance services, a lost or stolen card doesn't have to ruin your trip. Just contact Capital One to get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance right away.

Additional Info

Purchase APR: 26.99% (Variable)Grace period: 25 days after close of billing cycle
Transfer APR: 26.99% (Variable)Annual fee: $0
Cash advance APR: 26.99%Balance transfer fee: $0
Minimum interest charge: $.50Cash advance fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of the cash advance, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee: $0
Late payment fee: Up to $39
Returned payment fee: None

Authorized-User Policy

Are you trying to keep tabs on your family's spending, or give a teen or college student their first experience with managing credit? Then you'll appreciate the authorized-user benefits the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® offers. You can add an authorized user to your account with no need for a credit check. If you stay current with your payments, your authorized users will benefit from your improving credit score, which can help give them a head start on establishing their own good credit score.

As the primary cardholder, keep in mind that you're still responsible for making the monthly payment. Stay on top of it by tracking spending by user and setting up real-time purchase alerts to help you coordinate your family's spending. Run into a problem with an authorized user? You can instantly lock their card so they can't use it and turn it back on whenever you want.

Is the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Right for You?

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® could be the perfect choice if you're trying to improve your credit score or establish credit for the first time. On the downside, the card offers no rewards, and its 26.99% (Variable) interest rate is quite high. However, few secured credit cards offer rewards (the Discover it® Secured is a rare exception), and if you make your payments on time and pay your balance in full each month, you won't have to pay any interest. (If the interest rate is a primary concern, check out other secured credit cards.)

The low credit limit of the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® makes it hard to get into too much financial trouble, while the host of features to keep you on top of your spending and payments offers the helping hand you may need to get back on track. Pay your bill on time, and you could enjoy a higher credit limit in just five months. Bonus: If you're planning a trip overseas in the near future, this card can help you manage your vacation spending without paying foreign transaction fees.