Capital One Platinum  

A solid option for people with average credit, the Capital One Platinum credit card offers a host of solid benefits, including no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a chance to earn a higher credit limit after payments are made on time for the first five months. 

If you’re in a position where you’re trying to raise your credit limit or build your credit in general, the Capital One Platinum credit card could make a useful addition to your wallet. 

No Balance Transfer Fees 

One of the most impressive things about the Capital One Platinum credit card is that there are no fees for balance transfers. Typically, credit card companies charge you anywhere from 3 to 5 percent for transferring the balance of another card over to your current one — but this Capital One Platinum makes it free, keeping more money in your pocket. 

However — and this is a big however — the APR is rather high at 24.99 percent, so it may not make financial sense to transfer balances over in the first place, since you typically want to do this with a card that has a lower APR rate. 

But there’s always an exception to everything, right? People who may benefit from this balance transfer are individuals who are currently paying an even higher APR on their current card, somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 or 29 percent. 

No Annual Fee 

That’s right. You’ll pay no extra money to use this card month after month. So many credit cards charge you annually just for being a customer, but not Capital One Platinum. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year. 

No Foreign Transaction Fees 

If you’re a frequent flier, there are certainly more beneficial travel cards to have, but no foreign transaction fees is a huge benefit for Capital One Platinum cardholders. Typically, banks charge an additional 3 percent onto the purchase price just because you’re making that purchase outside of the U.S. 

For example, if you splurge on a Pashmina scarf while in Florence and spend the equivalent of $100, a typical credit card is going to add 3 percent of that onto your purchase as a foreign transaction fee. In this case, 3 percent of $100 is only $3, but it adds up fast. Next comes dinner at Il Palagio with multiple courses and bottles of wine, then tomorrow there’s breakfast at the hotel bistro, and it goes on and on. For every swipe, they’ll add 3 percent. 

Having a card with no foreign transaction fees, though, could add up to hundreds of dollars kept in your pocket and the freedom to travel wherever you’d like, make purchases and not be saddled with fees. 

Other Perks 

As a Capital One Platinum cardholder, you can enjoy fraud protection in case your card is lost or stolen. This can be helpful if you travel frequently or make lots of purchases online, as many of us do. 

You’ll also gain unlimited access to CreditWise, an app that closely monitors your credit profile. If you’re someone who’s trying to build up your credit or fix bad credit, this could be extremely useful for monitoring your spending, balances and overall credit health. 

Finally, you’ll be privy to Platinum Mastercard benefits that include: 

Build Credit Over Time 

If your overall goal is to build credit or increase your credit score, the Capital One Platinum card is a great choice. Capital One reports to all three credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — so if you build up a good payment history, it can help increase your credit score. 

Boost Your Credit Limit 

Once you’ve made five months of payments on time, you could get an opportunity to increase your credit limit. The amount Capital One boosts your limit is unknown, and it seems to vary by user, but even an increase of $500 or $800 could be beneficial if your credit is poor or nearly nonexistent. A higher credit limit (if you don’t use it) could help lower your overall credit utilization, which effectively boosts your credit score. 

Credit utilization is basically your ratio of credit card balances to your limits. The lower your credit utilization, the better: It’s a big factor in raising (or lowering) your credit score. This card can help you do that. 

Choose Your Own Payment Date and Method 

Capital One couldn’t make it easier for you to make payments on time — when signing up, you’re able to pick a due date and payment method that works best for you. Most people pick a day of the month that’s bound to be a payday, or at least fall around one. 

The Big Picture 

Will the Capital One Platinum credit card earn you boatloads of cash and travel rewards? No. But what it will do is help you build credit and possibly boost your credit score with consistent, responsible use. You’ll also save money on fees, since there’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. 

If you’ve had difficulty being approved for other cards, have a lower income or little to no credit history, this Capital One Platinum credit card is an excellent option.