Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Review: Secure Your Credit Future [2019]

The Capital One Secured Mastercard can help you improve your credit score, while giving you the buying power of a regular credit card.
10/9/19 | By Brett Holzhauer

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Rebuilding your credit can seem like a daunting task, but there are specific credit cards designed to get you back on track. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® (learn more) is a secured credit card designed for consumers with less-than-perfect credit who still need a way to make purchases with a credit card. Even better, using the Capital One Secured Mastercard can help you build your credit and get you back to a stable credit score.

In this Capital One Secured Mastercard review, I’ll talk about how the card works and the benefits that come with it.

Pick Your Own Due Date & Rebuild Your Credit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Benefits

  • $200 initial credit line after making minimum security deposit
  • Access to a higher credit line after you make your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • No annual fee
  • Pick your monthly due date

Drawbacks

  • No rewards program
  • Maximum credit limit is relatively low


Who should get this card?

If you need to rebuild your credit after some missteps, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is a great card to start with. A secured credit card is a credit card that’s “secured” through an upfront deposit by the credit card holder. This means the bank feels safe in allowing you to make purchases with your credit line because it’s holding an amount of your money as a guarantee. If you don’t pay a bill, it already has that deposit to repay the debt you owe.

Secured credit cards are great for people who want the spending flexibility of a credit card, but who also need to raise their credit score. Once you’re approved for this card, you’ll only need to provide up to a $200 deposit in order to start using it. If you then practice responsible spending and pay your statements on time, you’ll be on the road to credit repair in no time.

Also, if you need protections such as auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty, the Capital One Secured Mastercard has all of these features included at no additional cost.

Card basics

Annual Fee $0
Recommended Credit Score Bad, Poor
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Access to a higher credit line: If you pay your first five statements on time, your credit line with automatically be increased.
  • No annual fee: The Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn’t have an annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Some credit cards incur foreign transaction fees when you use them overseas. However, the Capital One Secured Mastercard has none of these charges. So if you're traveling outside of the United States, you can spend without fear of extra cost.
  • Personalized payments: You can pick your own monthly due date and payment method. You can pay your statements by check, in a branch, or online.
  • Travel coverages: If you’re interested in traveling, you can do so with peace of mind knowing Capital One will cover you in case things go awry. With the Capital One Secured Mastercard, you’ll have access to travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage), and 24-hour travel assistance services.

Common questions

How does a Capital One Secured Mastercard work?

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card. When a card is “secured,” it means the bank takes an initial deposit from the cardholder to hold as collateral against your credit line. If you don’t pay your bill, the bank just uses your deposit and, therefore, eliminates the financial risk of loaning you money. This deposit is kept by the bank until the card is cancelled or upgraded to an unsecured credit card. Once either of those happen, your deposit will be returned.

What is the credit limit on Capital One Secured Mastercard?

The initial credit line will be based on the required security deposit and will be a minimum of $200. You can also deposit more money to increase your credit line. However, you’ll also automatically gain access to a higher credit limit after your complete your first five monthly payments on time.

Can you get a credit increase on a Capital One Secured Mastercard?

After you make the first five monthly payments on time, your credit line with automatically increase. You can also add to your credit limit by increasing your deposit for the card within 35 days of being approved and before you activate the card. You can increase your initial credit line up to $1,000.

How long does it take for the Capital One Secured credit card to become unsecured?

It’s reported that this can take anywhere from eight months to two years but will depend on each cardholder’s situation. Once your credit score has reached at least 670 (which is considered a good credit score), you may want to have a conversation with Capital One about converting your card to an unsecured version.

How do I get my deposit back from the Capital One Secured Mastercard?

You can get your deposit back if you close your account and pay your balance in full. If your account is eligible for an upgrade to an unsecured credit card, your deposit will be returned to you as a statement credit.

Does the Capital One Secured Mastercard raise your credit score?

Responsible use of any credit card, including the Capital One Secured Mastercard, can help you raise your credit score.

How do I close my Capital One Secured credit card?

You can close your Capital One Secured Mastercard by calling Capital One customer service at 800-227-4825.

Other cards to consider

If the Capital One Secured Mastercard (learn more) doesn’t fit your needs when it comes to rebuilding your credit, there are a few other options to consider.

The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card may be a great option for someone who has less-than-perfect credit or needs a credit card after declaring bankruptcy. With this card, you have the ability to choose your own credit limit — from $200 to $3,000. However, it does come with an annual fee of $35.

The Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa for Rebuilding Credit is a bit different than the secured credit cards we’ve been talking about. Since it doesn’t require an upfront deposit, it’s more similar to a traditional credit card. You can earn rewards on your purchases and will have free online access to your Experian credit score. You’ll also be regularly reviewed for a credit line increase. That said, this card is best viewed as an “emergency loan” card, as it comes with an annual fee, an authorized user fee, and high interest rates. While there are potential rewards to be earned, they may not outweigh the charges you may incur.

Pick Your Own Due Date & Rebuild Your Credit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Special Offer

Access a higher credit line after you make your first 5 monthly payments on time

See how these cards compare:

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
  • Credit limit defined by your refundable deposit
  • Choose your limit between $200 and $3,000
  • All the benefits of a Visa credit card
  • No credit check when applying
Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa for Rebuilding Credit
Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa for Rebuilding Credit
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Access to monthly Experian credit score
  • Automatic reviews for credit increases

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