Capital One Platinum Review: Average Card with High APR

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a basic, no-frills credit card that offers a straightforward approach to credit building and financial management.

I signed up for this credit card in 2023 and received a maximum credit line of $500. Here’s a verified screenshot of my Capital One Platinum Credit Card dashboard to prove I have experience using this particular credit card.

$500 isn’t a lot of money but as a digital nomad I can use this credit card for emergency purposes such as booking a hotel room or paying for a small one-time expensive.

However, I cannot ignore some of the major issues with this card that first time users must be aware of.

High 31% APR Is Outrageous

The average APR in the United States is around 20% yet Capital One charges a variable 31.74% APR rate.

You will pay an incredible amount of interest if you make minimum payments. Compound interest is a powerful effect and it can make you rich or make you poor if you aren’t careful about your spending.

Luckily, I maintain a very conservative debt to equity ratio of less than 5% so my small debt balance isn’t much of an issue.

I don’t have much of a credit history since I stopped using credit cards back in 2010 to avoid overspending on stupid things.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card Fees Breakdown

Annual Membership Fees: $0

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual membership fee to use the card. That makes sense because this credit card doesn’t offer any rewards or perks.

Overlimit/Overdraft Fees: $0

Capital One made history in 2022 by becoming the first major U.S. bank to waive overdraft fees on all of its credit cards and bank accounts. Overdraft fees are a scam and rob you of your hard earned money. Read my article on how to fight overdraft fees if you are losing $35+ to some POS bank.

Late Payment Fees: $25

I was charged a $25 late payment fee when I failed to make the minimum payment on-time.

Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees when you use your card overseas at an international ATM.

Cash Advance Fees: $10 or 3%

I travel a lot as a digital nomad and got hit with a $10 fee every time I used a money transfer app to send money to myself or a friend. Capital One declares these type of transfers as “cash advances” even though I’m transferring money to a 3rd party most of the time.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. No Annual Fee: One of the standout features of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is the absence of an annual fee. This makes it an accessible option for individuals who are looking to establish or rebuild their credit without incurring extra costs.
  2. No Foreign Transaction Fees: If you plan to use this card while traveling abroad, be aware that it charges foreign transaction fees, which can add extra costs to your purchases outside the United States.
  3. Credit Building Opportunity: This card is designed primarily for individuals with fair or average credit scores, making it a suitable choice for those looking to improve their credit history. Capital One may offer a higher credit limit after demonstrating responsible use, which can further boost your credit score.
  4. CreditWise┬«: Cardholders gain access to Capital One’s CreditWise┬« service, which provides free access to your credit score and credit monitoring tools. This can be a valuable resource for tracking your credit progress and identifying areas for improvement.
  5. Fraud Protection: Capital One offers robust security features, including $0 fraud liability. If your card is ever lost or stolen, you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  6. Flexible Payment Due Date: Cardholders can choose their monthly payment due date, which can help align payments with their paychecks and financial schedules.

Cons:

  1. Limited Rewards: The Capital One Platinum Credit Card does not offer any rewards, cashback, or points. This card is solely for credit building and doesn’t provide any incentives for regular spending.
  2. High APR: Like many credit cards aimed at those with fair or average credit, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card tends to have a relatively high APR. Cardholders who carry a balance month-to-month could end up paying a significant amount in interest charges.
  3. No Introductory APR: Unlike some other credit cards, this card does not offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers. This can be a drawback if you’re looking to make large purchases or transfer existing balances.
  4. Limited Additional Benefits: Beyond the basic features, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card lacks the additional perks and benefits that come with premium credit cards, such as travel insurance, extended warranties, or purchase protection.

Final Verdict

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card serves its purpose well as a tool for credit building and financial management. Its lack of an annual fee and credit-building opportunities make it an accessible choice for those with fair or average credit. However, its high APR and absence of rewards may be limiting factors for some users.

I abhor paying interest and recommend paying off your credit card balance in full at the end of the month to avoid paying high APRs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is typically designed for individuals with fair to average credit. Eligibility can vary, but it’s generally available to those with credit scores in the 580-700 range. Capital One considers multiple factors when determining eligibility, so it’s advisable to check with Capital One for specific requirements.

While there is no fixed minimum credit score requirement, a credit score in the mid-600s is often considered a good starting point for approval. However, Capital One assesses other factors such as income and credit history when making approval decisions.

To build or improve your credit with the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, make on-time payments, keep your credit utilization low, and avoid carrying high balances. Over time, responsible credit management can lead to credit limit increases and improved credit scores.

Yes, Capital One may offer credit limit increases to cardholders who demonstrate responsible use over time. These increases are typically automatic, but you can also request one by contacting Capital One’s customer service. Factors considered include payment history, income, and creditworthiness.

No, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card does not have an annual fee, making it a cost-effective option for credit building.

Most people start out with a credit limit of $500. You can increase it to $3,000 if you make payments on-time to establish a good credit history.

No. This card doesn’t offer any rewards because it’s for credit building purposes only.

No. This card doesn’t offer any cash back rewards unfortunately.

No. The Capital One Platinum Credit Card charges zero foreign transaction fees. This card is a good option for international travelers and expats who live abroad.

Yes. You can create a virtual card to avoid sharing your actual credit card number for added security.

Yes. Capital One has a variable cash advance APR of 31% and charges you either $10 or 3% (whichever is greater). Your cash advance limit is the same as your credit limit.

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