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Review of the Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

May 20, 2015 | Updated Jun 29, 2017

Although Ibis Consultants does receive compensation from some card issuers as advertisers, this does not in any way influence our overall judgement of a card, or how one card is compared to another. Capital One and MasterCard have not endorsed this content in any way.

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The Capital One® Secured MasterCard® is a good choice for people looking to rebuild their credit. While it doesn’t offer rewards for purchases or many benefits, it does come with some decent features and protections.

Like other secured credit cards, it requires a security deposit upon card approval to fund the credit limit.

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
  • Editors’ Rating
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Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

For People with
Bad Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 24.99% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • No annual fee, with all the credit building benefits
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Wise
  • Your minimum security deposit gets you a $200 credit line
  • You may qualify for a credit line increase based on your payment history and creditworthiness with no additional deposit required
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone, or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide

The Rewards

You won’t earn any rewards, like cash back or points, with this card. Instead, it’s designed to give people with poor credit a chance to build a solid credit history over time, improving their credit score.

The Benefits

This card reports activity to all 3 major credit reporting agencies, so responsible usage will improve your credit score.

Cardholders can also use the Capital One Credit Wise service, a credit-monitoring service that could be very valuable for people trying to rebuild their credit.

Credit Wise provides access to your credit score online at any time, as well as email alerts when changes occur on your TransUnion credit report. There is also a credit simulator that will show you the estimated effect of changes to your financial situation, like getting higher credit limits or canceling credit cards.

Alerts of fraud attempts can also be set up to inform you through text message, phone call, or email, and you won’t be held liable for fraudulent charges.

Purchases made with the card are eligible for an Extended Warranty, which will increase a manufacturer’s warranty by up to 1 year.

If you find an item you bought being advertised for a lesser price within 60 days, Price Protection allows you to be reimbursed for the price difference.

While on the road or in the air, Travel Accident Insurance will provide up to $100,000 for you and your family while traveling by common carrier. Auto Rental Insurance is available when renting vehicles, as long as the auto rental company’s own insurance is declined.

You’ll also be able to call for 24/7 Travel Assistance Services if you quickly need a new card or cash advance while traveling. If you break down on the road, 24/7 Roadside Assistance is available to find services like towing, tire change, locksmiths, and others. Extra fees will apply for these services, but this is a valuable benefit because the fees are generally pre-negotiated and will be cheaper than average.

This card can be loaded into Apple Pay for fast, secure checkouts with an iPhone or Apple Watch.

The Costs

When you are approved for this card you’ll need to make an initial minimum security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit history. A minimum deposit will equal a $200 credit line, and more deposits can be added to increase the line.

With responsible behavior cardholders will also be able to earn an unsecured credit line increase.

Annual Fee Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 24.99% *Variable 24.99% *Variable 24.9% (Variable) See Terms

The Fees

Penalty APR Late Fee
See Terms Up to $35

The Bottom Line

Secured cards are not meant to be flashy and rewarding; they are meant to help you build credit.

The Capital One Secured MasterCard is a great choice for a secured card, featuring a number of extra benefits and services that should be truly valuable for people trying to establish or rebuild credit.

You’ll be able to keep an eye on your credit score with the Credit Wise tool, which also lets you monitor changes to your TransUnion credit report. The credit simulator tool will show you what to expect when things change, which can be a great help when planning your financial future.

By using this card responsibly you’ll build a solid credit history, raise your credit score, and become eligible for more rewarding credit cards.

Have you been building credit with this card? How do you like it? What do you think is the best way to build credit? Let us know in the comments below!

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