Capital One® Secured Mastercard® review
One of the best secured cards available, offering a potentially low deposit and credit limit boost.
finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5
- Get this card if you want the chance to pay a low security deposit and get a credit-limit boost after five months.
- Pick something else if you want rewards.
- Apply if you’re rebuilding credit. You may have higher approval odds with new credit or average.
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
Leah Fallon is an editor with more than 10 years of teaching under her belt. She's written feature pieces for regional print and digital media. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her wrangling her two sprightly girls or running the trails of Virginia.
The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is one of the easiest secured cards to use on the market because it focuses on the basics. It features $0 annual fee, a security deposit as low as $49 and the opportunity for a higher credit line after you make five consecutive on-time payments.
Typically, the amount you deposit for your secured card becomes your credit limit. With the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, you may receive a higher credit limit than what you deposit. You could even see a bump to your credit line after just a few payments. These benefits make it easier to get a secured card — and eventually graduate to an unsecured card.
How to apply for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
- Go to the provider's site and click Apply now.
How long will it take to get my Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
Capital One offers preapproval through its online application, so you should receive a decision within a minute. Once you’re approved, it typically takes seven to 10 days to receive your credit card in the mail. Expect to get a copy of your card agreement and welcome materials with the new card.
- No annual fee. You’ll need to put down a security deposit for this card, so it’s nice not to pay an additional fee.
- Opportunity to deposit less than $200. With most secured credit cards, your credit line is equal to your security deposit. For the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, you may only have to deposit $49 or $99 and still get a $200 credit line.
It’s not a guarantee, though — depending on your credit history and information on your application, you may be required to put down a $200 deposit. If you want a higher credit line, you’re welcome to deposit more — up to a maximum of $1,000.
- Higher credit line with responsible use.
If you make your first five monthly payments on time, Capital One raises your credit limit. You won’t have to make an additional deposit to get this increase.
This is another feature that separates the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. Capital One wants to reward you for paying responsibly so that you can graduate to an unsecured card.
- No balance transfer fees. You can make balance transfers at no cost. But this card may not be the cheapest way to transfer balances with high APR for call balances.
- Purchase benefits.
You may receive a suite of consumer benefits when you make purchases with this card. Buy items with your Capital One® Secured Mastercard® to receive additional warranty and price protection, which refunds you if you find a lower price on an eligible item you purchase with your card.
- Travel benefits. Pay for your rental car with your Capital One® Secured Mastercard® and receive complimentary coverage against collision or theft. Pay your travel fare with your card and receive complimentary travel accident insurance.
You can rely on Travel Assistance Services when you’re traveling 50 or more miles from home. Mastercard will connect you with professional and emergency services as necessary. And, if your credit card is lost or stolen, Mastercard will send you a cash advance and an emergency card replacement.
Lastly, you can call Mastercard’s 24-hour roadside assistance when you’re in a pinch.
Survey data on Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
What credit score did you have when you were approved for this credit card?
Based on a survey data of 124 people (out of 1076 respondents) on finder.com.
What interests you most about this credit card?
Based on a survey data of 796 people (out of 1076 respondents) on finder.com.
|Credit building features||64.57%|
|Minimum deposit / credit line||30.15%|
|Features and benefits||3.02%|
What to watch out for
- Security deposit required. Since this is a secured card, you’ll need to put down a security deposit before you can use your account. This differs from an unsecured card, which doesn’t require a deposit.
- High APR. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes with an APR on all balances of 26.99% variable. That’s a high rate considering the average APR is around 16%, but it’s not uncommon among secured cards.
Consider paying off your balance completely each month. It’ll keep you from accruing interest at a high rate, and it’ll set you up for good credit habits.
What should I know before I apply?
If you’re ready to apply for the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, check that you have the required information and funds for the security deposit.
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- You have a checking or savings account.
- You have an address in the 50 United States, Washington, DC or a US military location.
- Your monthly income exceeds your monthly rent or mortgage payment by at least $425.
Required documents and information
- Your name, date of birth and citizenship status.
- Your Social Security number.
- Your address.
- Your email address and primary phone number.
- Financial information like your employment status, total annual income and monthly rent or mortgage payment.
What credit score do I need?
Capital One recommends this card to those rebuilding their credit. Typically, providers are more willing to accept customers with average or no credit. The higher your credit score, the higher chance you’ll have of approval.
Don’t give up if you’re not approved, as there are always other options to improve your credit. You may find it easier to get a store credit card or secured card with no credit check.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard® reviews and complaints
Many cardholders say they’ve received $200 credit limits with lower deposit amounts, and customers say their credit scores have improved since getting the card. Some reviewers advise paying off your balance every month to avoid interest charges.
Capital One is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and receives an A+ rating from the agency. It has almost 5,000 customer complaints at the time of this writing, many of which the BBB reports have been answered by Capital One or resolved to customers’ satisfaction.
I got the card. Now what?
- Set up automatic payments from your Capital One online account. Enrolling in autopay is a great way to ensure you make on-time payments, which is a bedrock of building credit.
- Avoid interest. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has a high interest rate on all purchases, so it’s an excellent idea to pay off your balance entirely each month.
- Avoid fees. Late payments come with fees of up to $40. These fees are a huge drag when you’re trying to build credit, so make your payment on time.
- Contact customer service with questions. If you have questions, contact the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, contact Capital One’s main customer service line at 800-227-4825.
Compare secured credit cards
If you’re looking for a secured card, add Capital One’s product to your shortlist. You may pay a low security deposit, and you’ll receive a credit limit boost if you make your first five payments on time. If you use your card responsibly and pay your bill in full each month, you’ll be able to graduate to an unsecured card in no time.
Frequently asked questions
Images: Capital One
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