Capital One Secured Credit Card Review 2014

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Capital One Secured CardDo you have a bad credit score? Or maybe no credit history at all? If you fall into either category, the bad news is the universe of cards for which you could get approved is not very large. Worse yet, the few available often have extremely high fees — either in the form of annual fees, interest rates or both.

But now for the good news! The Capital One® Secured MasterCard® is an exception. Unlike the other guys in the category, this card is quite affordable. It also happens to be the highest rated secured card on CreditCardForum, based on reviews from real consumers. Here’s why…

Reason #1: Low cost

Most cards for bad credit charge a high annual fee in addition to several miscellaneous expenses, such as an application fee, processing fee and monthly servicing fee. When combined, these fees might cost you up to $150 or more per year.

Capital One’s secured credit card has a very low annual fee of $29. There are no application or processing fees.

The interest rate is 22.9 percent variable APR on both purchases and balance transfers. However, as with all credit cards, you can avoid interest charges entirely simply by paying your statement balance in full and on time each month.

Reason #2: Low minimum security deposit

The next cost associated with secured cards is the security deposit — the amount you put down to secure the credit line.

The great thing about Capital One’s offer is that your refundable minimum security deposit is only $49, $99 or $200 based on your creditworthiness. Depositing the minimum will get you a $200 credit limit. The maximum limit available is $3,000.

Based on your payment and credit history, you may even earn credit limit increases without having to increase your security deposit. This is a benefit you won’t find on most secured cards.

Reason #3: Reports to the three major credit bureaus

Watch out – I’ve heard a number of complaints about fly‐by‐night banks never reporting customer accounts to the credit bureaus. Why not? My guess would be because those banks are being cheap (banks have to pay the bureaus in order to report customer accounts).

Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about that problem with Capital One. They will automatically report your account to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).

This makes their secured MasterCard the ideal choice if you are trying to build credit for the first time, or rebuild a bad credit history. It provides the opportunity to improve your score with responsible use.

Reason #4: Access to Credit Tracker

What is Credit Tracker? It’s a new tool from Capital One which helps you monitor and learn about your credit. Your Capital One secured card comes with this benefit at no additional cost.

Reason #5: Fund your security deposit over time

Don’t have the money available to fund your deposit today? That’s not a problem!

After your credit card application is approved, Capital One gives you up to 80 days to fund your full minimum security deposit (which as mentioned, will be only $49, $99 or $200 based on your creditworthiness). So even if you don’t have that money today, you will have plenty of time. You can
even make partial payments as you are able, a long as you pay the full minimum amount within 80 days of approval.

Once your account is open, if you want to increase your credit limit, you can do so at any time simply by adding to your security deposit.

Verdict for 2014?

Year after year, we hear from people all the time who have successfully used this card to help build/rebuild their credit history. When you consider the low cost and low minimum deposit, it’s clear why this is a popular credit-building card.

Click here for the official application and to apply online

Don’t forget that your security deposit is fully refundable. Down the road when you are ready to close your account, you will receive back your full deposit, assuming there is no balance on the card. If you do owe a balance when you cancel, the amount owed will be subtracted from the deposit and the remainder will be refunded to you.

This post was written or last updated March 27, 2014

49 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. smith apple cake April 5, 2014 at 9:29PM

    what i do it pay for 15 cards 200 each first prog cards cap 1 discover and barrick bank secured cards i learned 5 years ago before i had one card i reviwed how fast i can get my score up my score went from 499 to 678 in this time frame get as much as you can stick 5 to 8 cards in a glass of water put it in the freezer and forget about it

  2. pete April 4, 2014 at 10:31PM

    I was wondering why they make you fill out credit app then after you click send they come back and tell you to send in your money (deposit) $200/$3000 then at that point they will either accept or deny your app. is that a scam? why not just tell you if you’re accepted or denied before they want your money? if you are denied it takes 30 days to get your money back!!

    • senia April 11, 2014 at 11:27AM

      you can do it electronically through your bank and they do only up to a 200 deposit i was approved for 99.00 with 200 limit. They do not draft the money unless you are approved.

  3. Kate April 3, 2014 at 8:02PM

    My husband and i fell on hard times and lost our house to foreclosure and comletely ruined my 725+ score down to a 587 in our mid 20s. We let all my great standing cc’s fall into collections…almost 7 years later we are much wiser and have opened secured cc lines for both of us hoping to rebuild. Future looks hopeful to someday buy another home and make the life i always wanted that we wasted in our ignorant youth. I hope all of you make smart choices, do your research and have faith in yourselves. Only YOU have the power to get control and climb out of a hole YOU put yourself into! Good luck everyone.

  4. wil March 24, 2014 at 4:33PM

    DONT!!!!!!! apply for this card. Capital one sucks like number one.. deny you for a SECURED CARD then when you call to ask what would be the reason the tell you that you have crappy credit and we can do what we want. we don’t need you as a customer!

  5. liz February 24, 2014 at 9:52PM

    I never had a secured visa through any company . capital one denied me for a card. at a 540 credit score. i wonder why

  6. Denise February 21, 2014 at 12:05AM

    I applied for the secured card and was approved. Then I applied again because I didn’t pay the security deposit in the time frame and denied???? What’s the minimum score to be approved?

    • kat April 20, 2014 at 12:41PM

      I have a score of transunion 580 my vantage is 621 but I have some stuff on my credit report that I thought would mess it up for me.I did get approved with a $99.00 deposit but don’t know credit limit or anything as they have not even taken my deposit out or sent a welcome kit.You might call and ask what was the reason for the denial.I plan to be wise and rebuild my credit with this card so I can go unsecured.I thought they would not approve me as I had some stuff in collections and old accounts.My friend tried for one and his score was 640 transunion score yet he did not get it for having a thin file.I felt bad for him as he has no debt ,paid off his school loan but has no credit cards or anything so who knows why he would not get it.

  7. April February 17, 2014 at 12:37PM

    I have just applied, was accepted and paid a $75.00 security deposit.
    Was given a $300.00 limit with $75.00 deposit. I would like to use the card for an upcoming trip and was wondering about adding an additional $300.
    But cannot seem to get my head around Capital One’s procedures with this.
    Does this mean that the additional $300 will only be paid back once I close the account? (along with the initial $75.00 security deposit) And will I have to pay this $300 back when I get my statement next month? (hence paying it twice..)I guess what I am asking is do I lose this additional $300? And guess it will increase my limit to $600. I just want to be sure that I won’t be allowed to “borrow” this extra $300 and be charged fee’s on it if I use it.
    I am very reluctant and sceptical. $300 is a big deal and will not bother if this $300 will be pretty much lost.
    Does this make any sense?? lol If someone could please explain adding extra funds to increase limits and downfalls (if any)? I would appreciate it. It’s driving me cRaZy! I want to rebuild my credit and could also use more than $300 as a limit.

    Thanks,
    April

    • chris March 22, 2014 at 1:10PM

      that is all they will give you. Its like an actual credit card. your 75$ deposit is whats refunded. you cant add more to an actual credit card, if you need to put that 300 on a prepaid visa gift card or something like that. You can use 2 credit cards at a time. Also for the 300 capital one card, the 75 allows you the 300 limit. If you keep paying it, it will go up. If you max it out and than don’t pay it, they will come after you

  8. Angel Frias February 15, 2014 at 11:48PM

    Hi. If I add an additional deposit to the secured card that I have had for a year, will that increase my credit score?

  9. Raymond V. February 15, 2014 at 9:21AM

    I think Bank One Credit Card is a rip off to say the least. I have many cards from other banks, e.g. Citi, Chase, BOA, Discover but I have always avoided getting credit card from Bank One despite their constant offers. I did get a Bank One credit card for my daughter who is a college student to build her credit and paying the $45 annual fee (which I never pay for my card) was acceptable to us. But when she started to use the card, came the monthly service and interest charges even though we pay the balance in full. When I called them and complained, they told me you should have read the fine prints. We have quit using the card since.

    • Tiffany March 10, 2014 at 11:31AM

      Suggestion: What I’ve would’ve done was allow your daughter to become an authorized user on one or more of your accounts in order help build her credit. That would have been best. Only a suggestion.

      • pr March 26, 2014 at 11:43AM

        that tactic apparently no longer works

  10. Melvin February 10, 2014 at 7:02AM

    Got my card 3 months ago thanks Capital One!!! what’s in your wallet?

  11. James February 3, 2014 at 1:45PM

    Made my deposit on the 1/30
    Funds removed from my bank 1/31

    any guess on when i may receive my card?
    also why does it take 2 weeks or more anyway?

    • Shun February 6, 2014 at 7:13AM

      I made my deposit on 1/13, it was withdrawn on 1/14. I got an email on 1/24 that my card was mailed the previous day and I got my card on Monday 1/27. They wait 7 business days to make sure the deposit doesn’t come back NSF.

    • New CO CC holder February 28, 2014 at 2:21PM

      I got my card within 2 weeks. They have to wait and make sure that your deposit has totally cleared your bank. Then the card has to be made. I liked the fact they emailed me and told me they had shipped my card. Got it 2 business days later.

  12. Shun January 29, 2014 at 11:17AM

    Although I have a Capital One secured card and I do like it…. I would suggest to try out the Discover secured card. This is NEW and it’s THROUGH DISCOVER. You will have to apply for a regular discover card and if you are not approved they will offer you their new discover secured card!

    - NO ANNUAL FEE
    - 1% cash back on ALL purchases
    - 5% cash back in categories that change throughout the year (example: January – March 2014 category is restaurants and movies)
    - 100% US based customer service
    - No late fee on your first late payment
    - Pay up to midnight(ET) on your due date
    - $200 to $2500 deposit can be made
    - Free fico credit score on your statement MONTHLY
    - THIS CARD DOES HAVE THE OPTION TO GRADUATE TO A UNSECURED CARD

    ** The only downfall is Discover will not let you increase your deposit so whatever amount you use for your security deposit, your stuck with it. I called and asked about this and the rep told me this may change in the future, but there is no guarantee **

    I really like my discover secured card so I just wanted to share it on this blog :)

  13. Turquoise January 18, 2014 at 2:53PM

    Opened my Capital One Secured card in November I have the phone app which is super easy to use and manage my account that I downloaded from the apple store on my iPhone. I have no complaints I wish the limit was bigger than 200. The deposits are great giving options to pay $99 dollars and up or less. I like my cards designs that we can pick and change online, I like email updates, I like everything about the card a credit line increase is suppose to happen after your 5thmonth and i can’t wait!! A happy customer :)

  14. Melissa January 16, 2014 at 4:33PM

    I just applied and paid my deposit today. .I was wondering how long it takes to get the card??

    • alan January 28, 2014 at 12:41AM

      took about 45 days to get mine

    • Shun January 29, 2014 at 11:06AM

      1/13 I made my deposit
      1/14 deposit taken from my bank account
      1/24 I received an email that my card was mailed
      1/27 I received my card in the mail

  15. Ken Mc January 16, 2014 at 12:40PM

    no.

  16. Tony January 7, 2014 at 7:59PM

    I have both a Capital One and Bank of America secured credit card. BoA is by far much better! Not only is there a possibility of my deposit being returned after a year, but more importantly I earn cash back with BoA. Will probably close my Cap1 card soon.

  17. ALlan January 6, 2014 at 8:50AM

    As stated, my Chapter 7 discharged back in July.
    After doing some research, the best way to build credit back asap is to apply for a secured cc.
    I wanted to apply for a secured cc with either Bank of America {BoA) or Wells Fargo (WF). However, after more research, both BofA and WF require their secured cc applicants to be 1 year removed from bankruptcy. This lead me to Capital One (C1)

    After four months from my discharge date, I applied for C1 secured cc. To my surprise, I was approved with a min deposit of $49 for a $200 line.

    My initial plan was to deposit $500 and i assume that my credit line would be $500 and that my money would be returned and my account will graduate in 6months-1year.
    After browsing through the web reading reviews on C1 secured cc, a lot of customers complained that you only get the deposit back ONCE YOUR ACCOUNT IS CLOSED and PAID IN FULL. Also, the biggest bummer is your ACCOUNT CANNOT BE GRADUATED. This means that even if you are in excellent standing, you will not receive your deposit back and your secured card account will not be unsecured, only when you CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT will your money be returned to you (also without interest).

    This changed my whole credit rebuilding plan. I am no longer going to deposit $500 into Capital One because I will only get that money back once my account is closed.
    My plan now is to have the Capital One Secured for 1 year.
    However i am only going to deposit my minimum $49 plus $25 ($74) for a credit line of $225. My account will be paid in full except for the $25 so every month my balance will be 11% of my credit line ($25/$225). I decided that leaving an account balance would look better than paying the account in full each month.
    After all, credit wouldn’t exist without the prospect of interest right?
    However at such a high interest rate, i settled that 11% or $25 is just the right amount. I’m guessing the interest amount i have to pay is around $5.5 multiply (X) by 12 and after a year i will have given Capital One around $100…($70 in interest + $29 annual fee)

    Since I bank with Wells Fargo, my plan is to get a secured credit card once its been a year since bankruptcy (1 year WF AND BOFA secured credit card critera)
    After more research, WF and BofA do graduate accounts from secured to unsecured after a period of good standing (6months to 1 year) in which they actually refund your deposit without having to close your account.

    My credit goal summary:
    -Use Capital One Secured Credit Card as a stepping stone…I will have to eventually close this account
    Reason being:
    #1 Your deposit will never get refunded until your account is closed and paid in full
    #2 Your account will never graduate from secured to unsecured.
    #3 Your interest rate will not change. You will always have to pay a $29 annual fee

    -Get a Wells Fargo or Bank of America Secured Credit Card as soon as i’m eligible (1 year from bankruptcy date)
    That credit card can graduate from secured to unsecured and your deposit will be refunded while your account is still active.

    -Maintain my Capital One and Wells Fargo secured credit cards. Once my scores jump up and i am approved for an unsecured card, cancel Capital One.

    I hope my experience and review can help those that just filed or will file Chapter 7.

    • Ron January 13, 2014 at 4:59AM

      You have a great strategy in place! You may also want to apply for a secured loan as well where you set up a CD as collateral. Having both revolving credit (credit cards) and term credit (secured loans) may boost your credit score more than having only revolving credit.

      I have successfully used this strategy with Amalgamated Bank. The great thing about secured loans is that after you set up a CD for the amount of the loan (plus interest), the bank will immediately cut you a check for the loan (minus the interest). I look at the interest as a small price to pay to repair credit.

    • Abraham March 24, 2014 at 11:16PM

      I would suggest that you pay off your monthly bill every month. The way companies look at credit card payments has changed. A “transactor” is someone that pays the bill on-time and in full every month, the other is a “revolver” which pays a portion of the amount. After so many people have filed bankruptcy or debt went into collections, banks now prefer a transactor because they show more responsibility. As recovery continues, I’m sure it will go back to the preference of revolver, but not yet.

  18. Mic November 1, 2013 at 7:02AM

    I am on a working visa in the US with no credit record, and have applied almost every chance i got from various businesses for almost 4 years but always received “insufficient credit history on file” with every application i made. (Despite my good salary, it was painful to always have to buy everything fully paid) moreover,(it also wasn’t my fault) i have no family here nor had to study here… so i practically had no way of starting;

    Fast forward… Capital One offered me a chance and i got approved.. i have been a good card holder and have been paying my balance right after i use their card (i always like to see zero balance on my card).

    I think a lot of opportunities are missed with people like me who have the money to pay regularly but just don’t have credit history due to uncontrolled reasons.

    Thank you very much Capital One :)

  19. Christina Thomas October 14, 2013 at 3:36PM

    Applied for my card 2 weeks ago, paid the $200 deposit a few days ago, and now I’m waiting for my card to arrive! Like most of you, I am trying to rebuild my credit (mid 500′s will not do) to buy my dream home. I’m tired of paying rent, and even more tired of not qualifying for a loan! I am more than optimistic about Capital One. There are so many great reviews! Good luck everyone!

    • Melissa H January 7, 2014 at 12:50PM

      Christina, what do you think of your Capital One card now? I am in the exact position. Achieving better credit to get out of paying landlords and become a homeowner.
      Good Luck in your success!

    • Isabella March 31, 2014 at 10:22PM

      Hi, I am planning on doing a $200 deposit but how much credit line do you get? I want to get as much as possible to help pay bills an then pay the credit bill balance in full when the bill comes in. Also, is it possible to deposit more than $200? I wonder how much needs to be deposited if you want the max $3,000 credit line? Will also try for discover. But I can’t afford to have one more hard inquiry on my report. I. I get one more, my score will go from C to D. I have 6 recent hard inquiries. Ouch.

    • Brandee April 3, 2014 at 12:17PM

      Christina, how is the credit card now? And did u have anything in collections when u applied?

  20. Osiris August 28, 2013 at 1:28PM

    I am looking at different cards and so far, this one seems to be rated #1 recommended that people use to build credit. Since it will be my first credit card I am just nervous about payments, since again, it will be my first. I would like to buy a brand new car in the future so I need to work on building my credit history. Wish me luck :)

  21. Alisha August 23, 2013 at 11:39AM

    I opened my credit line in May of 2013 and was so uneasy as my credit was 603. I knew I was not good about paying on time payments since in 2007 Capitol one offered me a card that I abused right off the bat. So I was hoping they would give me another shot. I put 300 on to start and have increased it to 450 since then. Every month on time so far.
    Wish me luck.

  22. Renee in New York August 11, 2013 at 8:07AM

    I’ve just completed my application $100, plan to add additional money before the end of the month. I would like to buy a home within 2 to 3 years. My FICO score is in the low 500. I was laid off for 2 and a 1/2 years with excellent credit. I’m trying to re-build my credit. After searching high and low for ways to rebuild I’ve stumbled on the Capital One site, listed as one of the top secured credit cards. After reading all the posts I feel extremely confident in getting a second chance to build back a Great credit score and be able to buy a home. Part 1, I will continue Part 2 in 6 months.

  23. billy July 25, 2013 at 7:27AM

    Just made my $200 deposit a week ago. Looking forward to using the credit monitoring service. Is the score they give you the same as the fico score?

    • Ken Mc January 16, 2014 at 12:38PM

      I’ve got Capital One Credit Inform,Wells Fargo ID Protection,Credit Karma and FICA, no two scores are ever the same.

  24. Max July 23, 2013 at 12:47PM

    I am encouraged just reading the testimonials. Prayerfully Capital One will be as good to me as they have been to each of you :)

  25. Greg in Virginia July 2, 2013 at 7:44PM

    Capital One is a great one…I am trying to rebuild my credit from a bankruptcy and a credit score of 570 I have had a tremendous increase in monthly income and only a few moths after getting my card I got a loan for a new car to also help raise my credit score, I did put down 12K in cash and trade for 4K and financed the rest so that I could raise my score. My ultimate goal is purchasing another house (first one was under water mortgage)I also applied for one other secured card called First Progress they are close to the same fees as Capital one! The bank that I was trying to purchase a house through said it was best to have three lines of credit for one year pay them all on time and I would easily be able to get my dream home. It was also ironic the car loan ended up being financed by none other than Capital One Financing LOL! They are great!!

  26. Julie May 28, 2013 at 10:15AM

    I applied for and got the capital one card and it has been good to me. they do report and my score has gone from 518 to 571 in four months!! a lifesaver.
    Highly recommended

  27. lewis May 2, 2013 at 4:15PM

    Does the card report as a secured or unsecured card on your credit reports?

    • Michael May 7, 2013 at 12:24PM

      From my experience it just says “Capital One Bank Card.” It does not label it as secured on the report.

    • David T October 22, 2013 at 9:48AM

      It reports as an open line of credit through Cap One Bank, their address, the credit limit, and limit available, and payment history.

  28. Alex April 30, 2013 at 1:55PM

    I have no credit score as I didn’t have student loans and never bothered to get a credit card. This will be my first card, and I’m determined to start off on the right foot to build a good credit score. I’m sick and tired of needing guarantors for leases!

    • David T October 22, 2013 at 9:53AM

      You were smart by not assuming debt at an early age, besides adding this secured card to your “thin” credit file, have you considered also being added on as an authorized user to a family member or significant other’s credit?

      • Lee January 14, 2014 at 3:08PM

        Like Alex, I too have a “thin credit file”. I discovered this after checking my credit score on CreditKarma.com. I have banked with BoA for almost two years and have just applied for a credit card. I am also applying for a Capital One Secured Card however, I am slightly dubious about providing my routing and bank account numbers online in order to make the $49.00 deposit. The webpage appears to be genuine but you can never be too sure. The telephone number quoted during the application process does match a number on the official Capital One website, so payment over the phone may be more secure than online.

  29. Marie April 9, 2013 at 4:50AM

    I opened this card with a $200 deposit 6 months ago and increased it to $1,000 by making deposits. Used it regularly and today they increased me an additional $300 unsecured… Great card. Since then I have been able to open two other cards, one with a $2,000 limit and the other one with a $7,500 limit. Thanks Capital One for helping me start over!!!

  30. Tom March 30, 2013 at 11:40PM

    From what I’ve experienced Capital One has some great opportunities for people with bad credit. We all have to start somewhere to rebuild our credit and getting a secured credit card is a great way to get started. I starting with a Capital One card and it gave me a good tradeline on my credit.

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