MoneyGeek’s Take

Capital One Secured Mastercard Review

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is ideal for those who can't obtain regular unsecured credit cards but wish to improve their credit scores for future financial needs. It is also beneficial for those who do not have a large sum of money to put down as a security deposit.

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Capital One's Secured Mastercard is a good secured credit card for people who are building credit. It's a basic card for those with bad credit scores, so you won’t see major benefits or rewards. On the other hand, this card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. MoneyGeek's Capital One Secured Mastercard review examines the card's features to help you decide if it's the best option for you to build your credit score.

Card Details to Know Up Front
  • Bonus, Fee or Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Security Deposit Required
  • Has Rewarding Welcome Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Has Balance Transfer Fee
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

Capital One Secured Mastercard at a Glance

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is ideal for individuals with poor credit who do not qualify for normal credit cards but only want to put down a small amount of money as collateral for a security deposit. You could be qualified for a $200 credit line with as little as a $49 deposit. You can also receive a credit line of up to $1,000 by paying up to $200. Capital One lets you pay your deposit in installments over the course of 35 days after signing up. Although there are no annual or foreign transaction fees, if you miss a payment, you will be charged a hefty interest rate.


  • Capital One Secured Mastercard

    Best secured card for building credit on a budget


    • Limited–PoorCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • $49–200*Min. Security Deposit
    • 3# of Reporting Bureaus
    • 22.99%APR

Pros & Cons Explained

The Capital One Secured Mastercard, like most other credit cards, has benefits and drawbacks. Analyzing those will assist you in determining whether the card is suitable for you.

Pros

  • Benefits
    Description
  • No Annual or Foreign Transaction Fee
    There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee associated with this card. You pay nothing to use this card other than the security deposit you put down. By paying your dues in full each month, you can also save yourself from paying interest or penalties. And, there’s no fee on foreign transactions, unlike many other competitive secured cards.
  • Low Security Deposit
    You can start your account with a minimum security deposit of $49 paid via an authorized bank account and get an initial credit line of $200. Those who require a larger credit line can put down $99 or $200 for increased credit lines up to $1,000. If Capital One finds that you use your card responsibly, you can get the security deposit back to your account as a statement credit.
  • Automatic Credit Increase for Responsible Payers
    If you make on-time monthly payments, you will be considered for an increase on your Capital One Secured Mastercard credit limit after six months.
  • Wide Global Acceptance
    Being a Mastercard, it has wide acceptance around the world.

Cons

  • Drawbacks
    Description
  • Very High APR
    If you do not pay your bills on time, you will pay interest at the rate of 26.99% on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. If you do not pay on time, your card may accrue interest and late fees, which can have a negative impact on your credit score.
  • No Rewards or Bonus Program
    Since this card is meant to help you build credit, it comes as a basic card with no intro bonus or rewards program.
  • Low Maximum Credit Limit
    The maximum credit line Capital One offers for this card is $1,000. This is low in comparison to other competitive secured cards.
  • Requires a Bank Account
    You can only apply for the card if you have an authorized savings or checking bank account. The security deposit must be paid with a bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, you’re out of luck.
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LOOKING FOR THE BEST CREDIT CARDS OF 2021?

MoneyGeek has rated the Secured Mastercard from Capital One as one of the best secured credit cards of 2021 for those wanting to build credit due to poor credit or no credit history. You can check out our guide to compare this card to the other secured cards that made the list. You may also want to consider one from our list of the best credit cards for bad credit.

Other Features Explained

You may also be interested in learning more about the following Capital One Secured Mastercard features:

  • Card Feature
    Description
  • 24/7 Customer Service
    Capital One provides 24/7 customer service for all Secured Mastercard customers.
  • Authorized User
    With an authorized user added to your account, you can track their expenses along with your own.
  • Account Alerts
    You get email or text alerts on transactions while using this card.
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

"To help build your credit, set the payments for this card on autopay. You’ll always be on time and your credit score will soar in no time. Six months later, you’ll be eligible for a credit line increase and you can continue building from there." - Alene Laney, Credit Card Journalist

Understanding the Fine Print

Understanding how credit cards work is critical, as is knowing about the card's benefits, fees, interest rates and other features. Find out more about the Capital One Secured Mastercard in the table below.

  • Card Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
    22.99%
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Min. Security Deposit
    $49–200*
  • Balance Transfer Fee
    3%
  • Balance Transfer APR
    26.99%
  • This is an icon

    Annual Fee

    You pay nothing to use this card. All you pay is a security deposit as collateral to get a sufficient credit line.

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    Regular APR

    The Capital One Secured Mastercard carries a high APR of 26.99% on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

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    Penalty Fee

    A penalty of up to $40 is applicable for all late payments.

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    Foreign Transaction Fee

    While many competitors charge a percentage of the transaction as a fee while shopping abroad, this card charges you nothing for overseas transactions.

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    Security Deposit

    A security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 is required for the card.

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FINDING YOUR CARD'S RATES AND FEES

To pick the card that best meets your needs, you should evaluate the fees, APRs, features and drawbacks of different cards. If you're comparing Capital One's Secured Mastercard to another credit card you currently have, look at your most recent monthly statements or visit your credit card company's website or mobile app for more information. You can also search up these details in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database.

Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider Capital One Secured Mastercard?

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Other Considerations for Capital One Secured Mastercard

It is vital to learn everything about your credit card and understand your rights as a credit card user before applying for one. Please keep in mind the following points if you're considering the Secured Mastercard from Capital One. You can evaluate how it could work for you if it is your sole card or an add-on card.

Things to Consider if This is Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card

If this is your first credit card, it could be because you need one to start building credit history and, eventually, a good credit score. The minimum security deposit on the card is an appealing feature. You can pay $49, $99 or $200 and receive a credit line ranging from $200 to $1,000. By paying as little as $200, your credit line can be $1,000. This may be sufficient for beginners to start building credit.

Even if it is your only credit card (assuming you previously had credit cards but had them revoked owing to debts or payment concerns), your primary goal should be to pay on time and improve credit. By making on-time payments, you boost your chances of receiving a regular unsecured credit card.

Things to Consider if This is Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet

As an additional card in your wallet, the Secured Mastercard may not be that beneficial. However, if the sole reason you applied for this card was to build credit, you will not be disappointed. You won't be worried by its high APR as long as you pay your balances on time.

Please bear in mind that the Capital One Secured Mastercard card offers no rewards or cash back. You should consider this for an additional card only if you wish to improve your credit score by being a responsible user and making on-time payments. You can also consider pairing it with another secured card like the Discover It Secured Credit Card.

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WHY TRUST OUR REVIEWS

MoneyGeek conducts an in-depth evaluation of credit cards and companies using a comprehensive rating methodology. Gathering data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's database, standardizing data points for card comparison, estimating average expenditure profiles, considering annual and promotional incentives of each card and calculating the three-year value of maintaining the card are all part of the technique. The technique also includes monthly card re-ranking and semi-annual card list updates.

How Capital One Secured Mastercard Compares to Other Cards

Because of its lack of an annual fee and foreign transaction fee, as well as its low security deposit requirement, the Capital One Secured Mastercard fares well in comparison to most other secured credit cards. That said, comparing it to other cards might help you narrow down exactly what you want in a secured credit card.

Quick Comparison of Capital One Secured Mastercard

creditCard

Capital One Secured Mastercard

  • Annual Fee: None
  • Regular APR: 26.99%
  • Rewards Rate: None
  • Minimum Deposit: $49
  • Credit Needed: Poor
  • International Transaction Fee: None
  • Best for: Those trying to build credit with a minimal deposit
creditCard1

Citi Secured Mastercard

  • Annual Fee: None
  • Regular APR: 22.49%
  • Rewards Rate: None
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Credit Needed: No/limited credit
  • International Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Best For: Those trying to build credit with limited credit history

Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As

Obtaining a secured credit card may raise a number of questions in your mind. We've answered a few frequently asked questions about the Capital One Secured Mastercard that you might find useful.

Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.

If you're still undecided about getting the Capital One Secured Mastercard, compare it to other secured credit cards. Consider the Discover It Secured credit card if you want to earn rewards while rebuilding your credit. It offers minimum cash back of 1% and has a lower APR than the Capital One Secured Mastercard. However, its higher security deposit and lower global acceptance cannot be overlooked.

Learn more about credit cards in general