CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison and reviews website. This website is made possible through financial relationships with card issuers and some of the products and services mentioned on this site. Advertiser Disclosure†

May 12, 2018

Capital One Secured Card Review: Is It Good?

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

Capital One Secured is a good card for people with bad or no credit. It has no annual fee and a low deposit requirement.

Learn More

Overall Score

3.5

Interest Rates

3.0

Fees

4.0

Benefits

3.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • No annual fee
  • No rewards

Bottom Line

Good secured credit card for people with limited or bad credit

Secured credit cards can be a great resource for people needing to build or rebuild their credit. Of course, each secured card's features will vary to appeal to different kinds of applicants.

Read on for a full review of Capital One Secured's costs and benefits.

How It Works

As with any secured credit card, you'll need to put down a deposit once your application is approved. That deposit will act as collateral for the bank, and they'll give you a line of credit in return.

The required minimum deposit will be $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit history. Whatever the amount, you'll have to pay the required minimum deposit within 80 days of opening your account. Once you do, you'll be able to activate your card with an initial credit limit of at least $200.

With Capital One Secured, there are two ways to increase that line of credit:

  • Pay above the minimum required deposit before you activate your card to increase your credit line (up to $1,000)
  • Make your first 5 monthly payments on time

Tip: Your initial deposit is refundable. You can receive your deposit back in full when you pay off your card's balance and close your account.

Once you make that payment and activate your card, it will function much like a regular credit card would. Capital One Secured reports to all 3 major credit bureaus, so spending within your limit and paying in full each month can help improve your credit score.

Tip: Capital One Secured will only really be effective if you use it responsibly—spending well within your credit line and paying your balance on time and in full each month. Although Capital One Secured doesn't directly upgrade to a better card, using this card responsibly can help you to both improve your credit and establish a positive banking relationship with Capital One.

Why We Like Capital One Secured

© CreditDonkey

Capital One Secured sets you up to improve your credit score without tacking on some of the limitations that come with other secured options. Here are some of the card's key features:

  • More mileage for your deposit: This card's main attraction is how high of a spending limit it can allot for a relatively low minimum required deposit. Most secured cards grant credit limits equal to your deposit amount. But, with Capital One Secured, your relatively low minimum required deposit can go further.

  • No annual fee: You can easily avoid the annual fees—generally between $25 and $40—that come with some other secured cards.

  • Check your credit score: With CreditWise, you can monitor your credit score without negatively affecting it.

Tip: Whereas some other cards let you check your FICO score, CreditWise shows your TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 score. That puts CreditWise at a bit of a disadvantage, as most major lenders will look at your FICO score. That said, those scores shouldn't differ too drastically, and CreditWise is still a helpful resource to have.

Reasons We'd Skip Capital One Secured

We've established that this card caters to people who want to boost their credit score, but it won't be a great fit for everyone. Here are a few reasons you might not want to go with this card:

  • You carry a balance: Secured cards generally have higher APR's, and this card is no exception. If you don't usually pay your balance in full each month, you might consider a card with a lower variable APR.

  • Your income doesn't qualify: You can qualify for this card with a low credit score, but your income has to meet a minimum. Your income, divided by 12, must exceed your monthly rent or mortgage payment by at least $425.

  • You need to transfer a balance: Though it doesn't charge a balance transfer fee, this card does have low credit limits and a high variable APR on balance transfers. Between its high APR and relatively low credit lines, transferring a balance to this card probably isn't your best bet.

Tip: There are a few other restrictions as to who is eligible for this card. You can look through the full list on Capital One's website, but here are a few ways to know if you aren't eligible:

  • You do not have a checking or savings account.
  • You have applied for a Capital One credit card 3 or more times in the last 45 days.
  • You have 2 or more open credit card accounts with Capital One.
  • You have a past due Capital One credit card account.
  • You are over your credit line on a Capital One credit card.

How It Compares

Secured cards, in general, can be helpful in rebuilding or establishing credit. Capital One Secured can be helpful for its proportionately high credit lines, but there are other options with different draws.

Here's how Capital One Secured compares to other credit cards:

Capital One Secured vs Unsecured: Capital One Platinum caters to people with slightly higher credit scores who want a higher credit limit. It also comes with the potential to eventually upgrade to another card.

 

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfer FeeNo balance transfer feeNo balance transfer fee
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

SecuredSecured: Receive an initial $200 credit line with a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthiness 

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Capital One Secured Card: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on September 15, 2016 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Capital One Platinum: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® and Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One Secured vs Discover Secured: If you want to boost your credit score while earning cash back rewards, the Discover It Secured might be the card for you.

 

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Discover it® Secured

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Balance TransfersN/A10.99% introductory APR for 6 months
Purchase APR24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

SecuredSecured: Receive an initial $200 credit line with a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthinessSecured: Minimum refundable security deposit is $200 (up to the amount Discover approves) and your credit line equals your deposit
Cash Back Rewards Cash Back Rewards: Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
Gas Rewards Gas Rewards: Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter
Dining Rewards Dining Rewards: Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Capital One Secured Card: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on September 15, 2016 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Discover it Secured Card: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on October 8, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® and Discover it® Secured has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One Secured vs Citi Secured: The Citi Secured is a pretty straightforward, basic secured card.

 

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors24.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR24.99% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors24.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfer FeeNo balance transfer feeEither $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign Transaction FeeNo foreign transaction fee3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars.
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

SecuredSecured: Receive an initial $200 credit line with a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthinessSecured: Minimum $200 security deposit is required

Capital One Secured Card: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on September 15, 2016 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on October 2, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® and Citi® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Common Questions

  • Can I pay my security deposit in installments?
    You can make partial payments, provided you pay the full minimum required deposit within 80 days of being approved. Partial payments must be in full dollar amounts of at least $20.

  • How will I get my security deposit back?
    You can receive your refundable security deposit by paying off your account balance in full and closing your account.

  • How can I increase my credit limit on Capital One Secured?
    To earn a credit limit above $200, you can put down more than the minimum required security deposit before you activate your card. Making your first 5 monthly payments on time can also increase your limit. After that, you can earn credit limit increases by consistently making on-time payments and improving your credit history.

Bottom Line

Capital One Secured card is designed for people who want to build their credit, with no annual fee. If you pay your balance in full each month, using this card can be a great way to boost your credit score.

However, there are other cards available for building or rebuilding your credit. If you're likely to carry a balance or have average credit, you might find a card that offers better value for you.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Capital One. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Capital One.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on May 12, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Capital One website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, Citi® Secured Mastercard®, and Discover it® Secured has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

More from CreditDonkey:


Capital One Credit Card Offers


How to Build Credit


Starter Credit Cards: What's a Good Starter Card?

More Articles in Reviews

Capital One Venture Customer Service

Need to contact Capital One Venture or log into your account? We have the answers you need to manage your account and get the answers you need quickly.

    Credit Card Rewards

    So you've decided you want to earn rewards for your spending but aren’t sure how to pick the right card?

    Secured

    Credit cards are a necessity these days. But qualifying for one isn't easy - you need a good credit history to get approved. So what if you're just starting to build credit history or have had credit issues in the past?

    Capital One Credit Card Offers

    Capital One is offering lucrative promotions for new credit card applicants. Which deal is right for you? Read this in-depth guide.

    Starter Credit Cards: What's a Good Starter Card?

    Are you ready for your first credit card? It is possible to get a card even with no credit. Read on for your options and our top card recommendations.
More Articles in Reviews







About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.