The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a great credit card if you want to rebuild your credit score. Depending on your credit, the card will require as little as a $49 security deposit. At worst, the required deposit will be $200, which is still among the lowest deposits required by secured card issuers. Add the fact that the card has no annual fee, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better secured credit card.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card Quick Review

Here are the highlights of the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card:

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 26.99% Variable

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Benefits:

  • Security deposit as low as $49
  • No annual fee
  • View your credit score with Capital One Credit Wise
  • Choose your own payment date
  • Automatic credit limit increase after five on-time payments

Minimum Payment:

If your balance is less than $25, then the minimum payment is your full balance.

Otherwise, the payment will be the greater of

  • $25
  • 1% of your balance plus interest charges and late fees

Plus all past-due amounts.

Other Fees:

  • Up to $39 for late payments
  • The greater of $10 or 3% for cash advances

Why Apply for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

If you’re applying for a secured credit card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®  has a lot to offer.

You want to improve and track your credit score

You want a secured credit card to build or rebuild your credit score. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a solid choice as you can qualify even with poor credit, and Capital One will report your card use to all three credit bureaus. Capital One also makes it easy to monitor your credit score with Credit Wise. This free service gives you regular credit score updates and lets you see how different actions might impact your score.

You want a secured card without an annual fee

Secured credit cards often charge hefty fees, as the people applying for secured cards usually don’t have good credit scores and can’t get other credit cards. Card issuers know that, and thus take advantage with big fees. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card doesn’t charge an application fee or annual fee. That means you can rebuild your credit with the card without having to pay anything extra, so long as you pay off your statement each month.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card does have a few drawbacks to keep in mind.

High interest rate

In a perfect world, you pay off your credit card in full each month. You’re rewarded with an improved credit score and not having to shell out for interest payments. But you don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes have to carry a balance. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card charges a high rate of interest rate of , making even a small balance expensive. Some secured cards, like the Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card charge a lower rate, which saves you money if you carry a balance. The tradeoff with that card, though, is it has an annual fee. Definitely think about if you’ll ever carry a balance before signing up.

No automated path to an unsecured card

Your goal with a secured card should be to improve your credit score to where you qualify for an unsecured credit card. In light of that, some secured card issuers will review your account periodically and, if you qualify, offer to upgrade your account automatically. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card doesn’t offer automatic upgrades. When your score improves, you’ll have to apply for a different card to move to an unsecured account.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card Alternatives

If you’re in the market for a secured credit card, you should also consider these alternatives.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

If you want a secured credit card that will automatically upgrade to an unsecured card when you qualify, check out the Citi® Secured Mastercard®. The card has many of the same benefits as the Capital One card, charging no annual fee and reporting your activity to all three credit bureaus. Citi Secured Mastercard will review your account after 18 months; if your credit has improved and the account is in good standing, the bank card will automatically upgrade you to an unsecured card.

Discover it® Secured Card

If you want a secured credit card with cash back rewards, consider the Discover it® Secured Card. Few secured credit cards offer any kind of cash back rewards. With the Discover it® Secured Card, you’ll earn 2% on gas and dining, and 1% back on all other purchases. Depending on how often you use the card, that can translate to hundreds of dollars per year in rewards, while still improving your credit score.

Other Things to Know

Here are a few questions about the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®.

What is the credit limit on the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®?

The starting credit limit for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is $200. You can add to your security deposit for a credit limit as high as $3,000.

Does Capital One pull your credit for a credit limit increase?

No, Capital One will not make a hard pull on your credit, which decreases your credit score, when considering your card for a credit limit increase.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card?

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a great choice for people rebuilding their credit. The low security deposit and lack of annual fee should more than offset card’s the high interest rate, so long as you pay your bill off regularly. While the card won’t automatically upgrade to an unsecured card, Capital One is a good bank to establish a relationship with for when your credit has improved.

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