Capital One® Platinum Credit Card Review

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a limited-restriction, no-hassle starter credit card option for students or individuals with little credit and in need of an affordable way to build their credit profile. Featuring a progressive “Credit Steps” program, the Capital One Platinum card is the perfect solution for customers looking to improve their credit rating while paying no annual fee and having access to regular limit increases.

The Essentials of Capital One® Platinum

  • APR: 26.74% Variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Introductory Bonus Offer: This card features no introductory offer.

However, customers are automatically eligible for a credit line increase after the first five months of on-time payments.

What’s interesting about the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

For anyone with limited credit, it can be challenging to build a higher rating without regular loan or credit card payments. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is designed for students and first-time cardholders who are looking for a basic and affordable option to build their credit. As part of Capital One’s “Credit Steps” spending-limit increase program, cardholders who pay their bills on time for at least five consecutive months will be eligible to receive a credit line increase. This gives new cardholders the ability to limit the risk of accruing too much high-interest debt while rewarding good spending habits. While the Capital One Platinum card doesn’t offer any type of rewards program for its members, it has no annual fee and other excellent perks. Cardholders will enjoy great features like travel assistance, roadside assistance, rental collision damage waivers, and extended warranties on eligible purchases. Customers also get free access to their credit score every month and are assessed no fees when using the card outside of the United States.

Things to consider

As with most no- or low-credit financial solutions, the Capital One Platinum card has some of the highest APR rates available with a variable APR of 26.74%. For any individuals who aren’t used to owning a credit card or are inexperienced when managing their expenses, Capital One’s Platinum card could be a poor choice for some and might lead to a rapid accumulation of credit card interest debt.  Another major downside to the credit card is the lack of a rewards program, sign-up bonus, or introductory APR offer. While many starter credit cards have limited features, many other cards offer at least one of these options and may prove to be a better solution for customers.

How to Get the Most from this Card

For many people, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card will not be a viable long-term financial solution. Where this credit card shines is in its ability to help first-time cardholders build their credit profile enough to qualify for other cards with better reward programs and other purchasing incentives. Still, to get the most out of this card, it’s essential to maintain a $0 balance as often as possible after making purchases. The APR % is exceptionally high on this card, so the last thing a cardholder wants to do is rack up high-interest debt. For customers needing more purchasing flexibility, making timely payments for the first five months of card ownership will automatically make them eligible for a credit line increase. Wherever possible, customers should also take advantage of added benefits like extended warranties and price protection on their purchases to help get added value out of their card.

Other Card Options that Might Interest You

Although the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a great first option for students or anyone lacking an adequate credit profile, there are many other credit options available to choose from that offer additional bonuses and features. A couple of other cards that might interest you are Discover it® Student Cash Back and Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®.

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back: Like the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card requires no prior credit history and also has no annual fee. However, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card offers rewards in the form of 5% cash back on rotating purchasing categories up to the quarterly maximum and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in various categories on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%. The card also provides a more competitive variable APR of 19.49%.
  • Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®: Another excellent option for students or individuals with lower credit scores is the Journey® Student Rewards card from Capital One. While the variable APR for this card is much higher than the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, it still features no annual fee and 1% cash back on all purchases. By paying their bills on time, cardholders can boost their rewards to 1.25%.

The Final Word

Anyone applying for a credit card for the first time may immediately be faced with disappointment if he or she is denied approval due to low or no credit. Thankfully, there are great starter credit cards designed to help those individuals start building their credit profile while supporting their financial security. The Capital One Platinum Card is one of these cards.

The Capital One Platinum Card makes it easy for students and low-credit applicants to get approved for modest credit lines and essential credit card perks while building the credit they need to qualify for cards with better rewards and unique features. While this card doesn’t provide the bonuses and features that other cards in its class do, the Capital One Platinum card does offer cardholders access to its “Credit Steps” program, which makes it easy for clients to increase their limits after five months of on-time payments. Overall, the Capital One Platinum card is a great starter solution for applicants and provides free credit score access with 24/7 credit monitoring.

Josh Nadeau

Personal Finance Contributor

Josh Nadeau is a seasoned sales operations and financial services writer with years of experience working in manufacturing, software, Fintech, and managed services. He uses his first-hand industry knowledge and technical expertise to help businesses and consumers alike make better financial decisions now and in the future.