Capital One Classic Mastercard review 2020

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A no-frills card for those looking to build or rebuild a positive credit history.

You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).

£200

Minimum credit limit

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

34.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

Details

IssuerCapital One
NetworkMastercard
Annual/monthly fees£0
Min credit limit£200
Max credit limitSubject to status: £1,500
Purchases34.94%
Purchases interest-free period (days)56
Balance transfers34.94%
Additional cards available3

Expert review

Chris Lilly

Review by


Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.

Expert review

Capital One’s most popular credit card is a “credit builder”, meaning it’s designed for customers with a less than perfect credit record, or simply not much in the way of credit history. Use it responsibly, and this card could help you to improve your credit score (and in turn access better rates).

As you might expect, opening credit limits are likely to be relatively low (the maximum you’ll be offered initially is £1,500), but provided you don’t miss repayments, you could be rewarded with two optional credit limit increases a year.

There’s no annual fee, and if you clear your balance in full each month you’ll be able to take advantage of the 56 interest-free days on purchases. The card’s standard interest rate is high, making it an expensive option if you don’t clear your balance in full each month.

The Capital One Classic Mastercard is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at nearly 53 million merchants across more than 210 countries and territories.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible
  • No annual fee

Cons

    How does it compare with other credit builders?

    Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
    Data indicated here is updated daily
    Name Product Annual/monthly fees Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Link
    TSB Classic Credit Card Mastercard
    £0
    £500
    Not specified
    Not specified
    26.9%
    Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 26.9% APR (variable).
    More Info
    Tesco Bank Foundation Card
    £0
    £100
    Subject to status
    £5000
    27.5%
    Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction.  Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.
    Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
    More Info
    Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card
    £0
    £250
    Subject to status: £1,500
    Not specified
    29.5%
    Representative example: When you spend £250 at a purchase rate of 29.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.5% APR (variable).
    More Info
    Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
    £0
    £250
    Subject to status: £1,000
    Not specified
    29.8%
    You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.
    Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.84% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
    More Info
    Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
    £0
    £50
    Subject to status: £1,200
    £3000
    33.9%
    Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
    Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 33.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.9% APR (variable).
    More Info
    118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card
    £0
    £500
    Not specified
    £8400
    34%
    Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34% APR (variable).
    More Info
    aqua Advance Mastercard
    £0
    £250
    Subject to status: £1,200
    Not specified
    34.9%
    Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
    More Info
    Fluid Mastercard
    £0
    £250
    Not specified
    Not specified
    34.9%
    Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
    More Info
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

    Repayment options

    You can make manual repayments through Capital One's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (03444 812 812). Alternatively you may wish to set up a direct debit.

    A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and damaging your credit score – making it harder and more expensive to borrow money in the future – and getting hit with a penalty fee (£12) as a result.

    You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.

    Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:

    Minimum amount Fixed amount Fixed percentage Full amount

    How to apply

    If you have compared cards and want to apply, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you will need to make the process as straightforward as possible.

    Frequently asked questions

    What credit limit will I get with the Capital One Classic Mastercard?

    If Capital One is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Capital One's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on the card is £200, while the maximum is £1,500. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Capital One that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

    Can I withdraw cash using the Capital One Classic Mastercard?

    Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino, buying currency, etc.) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.

    The cash advance fee on the Capital One Classic Mastercard is 3% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250, and you'll incur a fee of £7.50.

    The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 34.94%, which is the same as the standard purchases rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).

    How much does it cost to use the Capital One Classic Mastercard abroad?

    Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£181.06), it'll cost you around £4.98.

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