By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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It’s inevitable. Tough financial situations affect everyone. What’s important is how you handle them. If you have not done too much damage, be proactive and take the next step towards repairing your credit -- apply for a Secured Mastercard by Capital One.

I know. Most people don't want the limitations and excessive fees associated with secured credit cards. Hold on. The Secured Mastercard by Capital One is different. Let's take a look.

The sad truth about most secured credit cards is how some banks hit you when you are down and out. If you are trying to rebuild your credit, you don't need a bunch of extra fees that trip you up and prevent your progress. But that's exactly what happens with many secured cards.

Not only is the Capital One Secured Mastercard free of random fees, it has no annual fee either. You will only pay a security deposit, which is refunded when you close your account, provided it is in good standing.

The amount of the security deposit depends on your credit check. With better credit, you can qualify for a security deposit lower than your credit line, which is uncommon with a secured card. Depending on credit-worthiness, your Capital One Secured Mastercard deposit will be one of the following amounts: $49, $99, or $200.

The credit line for this secured card is $200. However, Capital One makes it easy for you to increase that amount. As long as you pay more than the minimum security deposit within 35 days of opening the card and before activating it, your credit line will increase. Depending on your credit check and how much you put down as a security deposit, it is possible to raise your line of credit to as much as $1000.

Let’s say you don’t have any extra cash to pad that credit limit. You can also earn credit limit increases by paying your bill on time every month.

So, now you think, "This is the best secured credit card I can get, so I'm getting one right now!" Hold on, just a minute. Yes, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is probably the best secured card available right now, but not everyone will qualify.

The perks available with this card are limited to people who have not damaged their credit beyond repair. One qualification for owning a Capital One Secured Mastercard is having an income of at least $425 more than your housing payment. Also, you do not qualify for this card if you have any of the following:

A non-discharged bankruptcy

A past due Capital One credit card

An over-limit Capital One credit card

A Capital One credit card that has charged-off in the past year

So, how do you use the Capital One Secured Mastercard most effectively to rebuild your credit and put your finances back on track? Having the card is the first step. How you use it is even more important.

With a 26.99% purchase APR, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is not to be taken lightly. This card is not meant to carry a balance. Like other secured cards, you are better off paying your bill in full every month. This way, you will avoid troublesome interest that can set you back quickly. This payment habit might also help improve your credit score more quickly.

With responsible use, this card can slowly but surely repair your credit damage because your payment habits are reported to all three significant credit bureaus. Only charging what you can pay off each month and paying on time will eventually perk-up your credit, but you will need to be patient.

Safety Features and Benefits

The safety features and benefits with the Secured Mastercard are the same as most non-secured cards offered by Capital One. The best way to review these features is a descriptive list.

Cardholders have a $0 fraud liability. So, if your card is stolen or lost, Capital One will not charge you for purchases you did not make.

Capital One Secured Mastercard owners have access to Card-Lock in the mobile app. If your card is stolen or lost, you can lock it so no one can make fraudulent charges.

Cardholders can receive a text, a call, or an e-mail if suspicious activity is detected on their card. Card monitoring catches such activity as double charges and possible fraud.

Capital One Secured Mastercard customers have access to Eno. Eno is a service that provides virtual card numbers to protect actual card numbers when ordering online or over the phone.

Keeping track of your credit score is made easy with this card. As a cardholder, you will receive CreditWise, a credit alert system. You'll get alerts when your TransUnion or Experian credit report changes. CreditWise will scan the dark web for your SSN# and send an alert if there is a problem.

Travel Features

Spending power with the Capital One Secured Mastercard will not be optimum; however, it is a decent travel companion for a secured card. One feature that makes it suitable for travel is no foreign transaction fee.

Additionally, if you have a Capital One Secured Mastercard, you can receive rental car insurance on eligible vehicles by paying with your card and waiving the rental company coverage. Travel accident insurance is also available as well as extended warranties on large purchases you might make.

Account Management

Capital One makes managing your account simple with some awesome features. Let’s take a look at a list.

End the stress of remembering your due date by setting up e-mail or text reminders.

You will have 24/7 access to a list of merchants that charge your account monthly for subscriptions and bills, so you always know when money is going out of your account.

Balance transfers are available from higher balance cards upon approval.

You will be able to set up Auto Pay to make sure your bills are getting paid on time.

You can add an authorized user to your card if necessary.

Feel supported with a 24/7 customer service hotline when you have questions and concerns about your account.

You are allowed to pick your monthly due date and payment method. Possible payment methods include check, online, and pay at your local bank branch.

If you qualify, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is probably the best secured card out there. You won’t waste your hard-earned money on an annual fee and other excessive fees that seem to be the standard for other secured cards. Although this card does not have a reward program, it does have many important security and travel features typical of Capital One.

If you are serious about getting your credit back on track, consider the Capital One Secured Mastercard. It just might be the best thing you can do to begin rebuilding your credit.

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