Capital One Secured Mastercard Review

A low-risk, low-limit credit card to help you rebuild your credit ​
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Michelle Clardie

By Michelle Clardie Contributing Writer

Capital One Secured Mastercard Review

The Capital One Secured Mastercard was designed specifically to help people rebuild their credit. If you’ve defaulted on more than one loan or been denied a credit card in the past three months, the Capital One Secured Mastercard might be your solution to obtaining a line of credit.

This card is also a good option as a first credit card for people without any credit history. Regular use and on-time payments with the Capital One Secured Mastercard can help repair poor credit scores or build new credit over time.

In addition, the credit card comes with low credit limits (to help keep you from acquiring an overwhelming amount of debt), no annual fees, and payment management options to help you make payments on time.

Helps rebuild your credit
Low credit limit
Payment management options
Deposit required
High interest rates
No reward opportunities

Capital One Secured Mastercard Overview

  • Card Type: Credit Rebuilding
  • Rewards Rate: N/A
  • Sign-Up Bonus: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 26.99% variable
  • Intro APR: 26.99% variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: No specific credit score recommended by Capital One, but this card is designed to help you rebuild credit, so it’s available to those with credit problems
  • Additional Rates and Fees:
    • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: N/A
    • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever amount is greater


  • Offers a line of credit to people who’ve been denied by other credit card companies
  • No annual fees, transfer fees, or foreign transaction fees
  • Payment management options to help you make your payments on time

Best for

People who are working to rebuild their credit

Not for

People who want to avoid high APRs

The Competition

Capital One Secured Mastercard Discover it Secured First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card Green Dot Visa Secured Credit Card
Rewards rate
No rewards
1% unlimited cash back 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter at gas stations and restaurants
No rewards
No rewards
Sign-up bonus
Cash back match at the end of the first year
Annual fee
Variable 26.99%
Variable 24.49%
Variable 19.99%
Minimum deposit
$49, $99, or $200 (amount depends on your current credit history and income)
$200-$2,500 (the amount of your deposit equals the amount of your credit limit)
$200-$5,000 (the amount of your deposit equals the amount of your credit limit)

All information accurate as of January 29, 2020.

Main Benefits

Helps rebuild your credit

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is specifically designed to help you rebuild your credit. Even if you’ve been denied other credit cards because of your credit history, you may be able to qualify for this credit card. As you use the card and make on-time payments month after month, your credit score slowly improves.

Low credit limit keeps credit amounts manageable

Initial credit limits start at $200. As you make monthly payments on time, your credit limit increases over time. The maximum approved credit limit is $1,000, enough to help you make ends meet, but not enough to get you into too much debt.

Payment management options

The Capital One Secured Mastercard offers payment options to make it as easy as possible for you to pay your credit card bills on time. You can create account alerts to remind you when payments are due, set up autopay to make your payments automatically, and even choose a personalized due date to avoid having all your bills fall at the same time of the month.

Possible Drawbacks

Deposit required

A security deposit of $49, $99, or $200 is required before your card can be activated. This deposit helps Capital One offset the risk of lending to people with poor credit history. The deposit makes sense, but it’s still an inconvenience to have to to come up with the deposit and have it held until you either cancel your card or improve your credit enough to qualify for an unsecured credit card.

High interest rates

Most credit cards have high interest rates but at 26.74%, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is higher than the competitors we’ve reviewed. Paying your account balance in full every month is the best way to avoid being charged any high interest.

No rewards opportunities

As with most credit-rebuilding credit cards, the Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn’t offer the rewards programs you would see on credit cards designed for individuals with excellent credit.

Capital One Secured Mastercard Compared to Discover it Secured Card

Both the Capital One Secured Mastercard and the Discover it Secured Card are solid options for anyone rebuilding their credit. Interest rates are comparable, and neither card requires an annual fee. But there are a few key differences to consider.

First: rewards. The Discover it Secured card offers a cash back rewards program, which is rare for secured cards. With credit limits on the low side, you won’t be able to earn much cash back, but free money is free money. Discover it Secured wins that category.

Then there are credit limits to consider. With the Capital One Secured Mastercard, you can leverage a $200 deposit into a credit limit of up to $1,000. With Discover it Secured, your credit limit is never higher than your deposit. So to get $1,000 in credit, you need to put down a deposit of $1,000. Capital One wins this category.

The Bottom Line

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a reliable, no-frills way to rebuild your credit. If you’re looking for a credit-rebuilding card that also offers cash back, consider the Discover it Secured card. However, keep in mind that you need to put down a larger deposit on that card to increase your credit limit. With the Capital One Secured Mastercard, you can earn a credit line of up to $1,000 with just a $200 deposit.