Capital One Secured Mastercard

Andrew Reyes  | 
  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 26.99%.
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Credit score: Poor to Fair (300-670).
  • Compare cards here.

Benefits

  • Low fees: Finding a card with low fees is a hard task — particularly when you’re looking at secured credit cards or other options for people who are building their credit. For instance, while many secured credit cards have annual fees ranging from $30 to $50, the Capital One Secured Mastercard has no such fee. As with other Capital One cards, you also won’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees. This all adds up to a greater level of transparency and fewer unexpected surprises on your account statements.
  • Flexible security deposit options: As with other secured credit cards, you’ll need to pay a refundable security deposit to acquire this card. However, Capital One is quite flexible when it comes to this process. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to pay a deposit from $49 to $200 for a credit line of $200, but you may be able to pay this amount in installments over the 35 days after approval. Further, you can get a higher credit limit if you opt to deposit more than the minimum amount.
  • Room for upgrades: As you maintain good spending habits and keep your credit utilization at a good percentage, you’ll gradually improve your credit score. As this happens, you’ll gain the ability to increase your credit limit. Further, you may be able to eventually upgrade your account from a Secured Mastercard to a Platinum Credit Card or QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Drawbacks

  • A credit and employment check is required: Capital One may conduct a credit and employment check for applicants, and you must also have a checking or savings account. These factors can be barriers for some users. Note that secured cards that do not require credit checks generally have annual fees, so it’s important to review all criteria when looking at alternatives.
  • High variable APR: With the average secured credit card APR hovering around 17.5%, the 26.99% of this offering may seem high, and the fact that it is variable means that it might go higher in the future (though this generally cannot occur within the first 12 months of holding the account). With wise spending habits, however, you can avoid letting your balance get out of hand.
  • No rewards: Rewards are quite rare for secured credit cards, and the Capital One Secured Mastercard does not break the mold in this regard. However, it’s worth noting that secured credit cards that do offer rewards generally require much larger minimum security deposits. Given the flexibility of this card, it may be worth eschewing rewards for greater financial freedom. Regardless, you may want to explore your options if rewards are very important to you.

What Can You Expect From the Capital One Secured Mastercard?

As a Mastercard, this credit card is accepted as a form of payment across millions of retailers and vendors, both domestically and overseas. Users generally state that Capital One offers excellent customer service. Further, cardholders are given plenty of control of their spending and accessible information on the credit card’s app (read more below).

Using this card will generally cost you very little when it comes to fees. However, it does have a high APR, which means you’ll want to pay off as much of your balance as possible from month to month. Remember that the late fee can be as high as $39. Ordinarily, users can expect to automatically be considered for a credit line increase after six months — but a late payment may result in delays to such increases.

Note that you will not receive your refundable security deposit until you close your account with Capital One, as is common with secured cards. Considering that the age of your accounts is a consideration in how your credit score is calculated, it’s important to carefully consider when or whether you should close the account.

The Capital One Credit Cards Mobile App

The Capital One mobile app is a well-reviewed platform that gives users fast and convenient access to many features and options. It allows you to check your balance, make payments, report a lost or damaged card, and more. Of particular interest to those building their credit is CreditWise, which is accessible via the home screen of the app. This educates you on your current credit score and helps you understand which factors are most impacting your credit.

Who Should Get the Capital One Secured Mastercard?

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is an accessible and flexible credit card. Overall, this is a strong option for people who want to begin building their credit. With the lack of high fees, flexible security deposit options, and opportunities for credit limit increases (as well as account upgrades), it is a tempting offering.

However, as noted above, the APR for this card is a little high, and there are no rewards, as is common with secured cards. Weigh the pros and cons of this card to determine if it is the right choice for you, as the Capital One Secured Mastercard may prove to be a powerful ally in your journey to rebuild your credit.

Compare other secured credit cards and learn more here.


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