Focus on: Improve your credit score with Classic Platinum credit card

Competition in the credit card market has been going from strength to strength in recent months.

It will come as no surprise that the very best deals are still reserved for those with excellent credit scores – but the good news is, there’s also a number of deals available to those with credit ratings that aren't quite up to scratch.

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One of these is the Capital One Classic Platinum credit card, and here, we take a look at whether it could be right plastic for you.

What's the deal?

The Capital One Classic Platinum credit card offers a relatively small credit limit of between £200 and £1,500, depending on your circumstances. As the card is designed to help borrowers build up their credit rating and stay in control of their finances, it also offers email alerts that tell you when your payments are due or when you're reaching your credit limit.

You can apply for this card even if you have had problems managing your credit in the past, including if you've previously had a County Court Judgment (CCJ) or have defaulted on your payments – though not in the last 12 months.

The card also has contactless technology, allowing you to pay for transactions up to £20 in this way.

Who's it good for?

The Capital One Classic Platinum credit card is a good option for anyone who has had problems with credit in the past, or who has a limited credit history, and wants to rebuild their credit score.

Any catches?

The main catch is the card's high representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 29.8% (variable).

Borrowing on this card will therefore prove expensive if you are unable to clear your balance in full every month. So, to ensure you never miss a payment and never have to pay a penny in interest, it's good practice to set up a direct debit to pay off the balance in full every month.

The card doesn't offer benefits such as interest-free purchases or balance transfers, but do remember that these deals are generally reserved for those with good credit ratings.

And, while Capital One is more lenient with its acceptance criteria, there are still some restrictions on who can apply for the Classic Platinum credit card. For a start, you'll need to be 18 years old and you're less likely to be accepted for the card if you've been declared bankrupt in the past 12 months or if you have never had credit in the past.

Remember also that credit limits are restricted – the maximum you'll be offered is £1,500 but it could be as little as £200, depending on your credit score.

What’s the verdict?

If your credit score is below par and you're looking for a way to rebuild it, the Capital One Classic Platinum credit card is a great place to start. Borrowing responsibly on this card will have a positive effect on your credit score and, over time, could see you qualify for more competitive deals. 

It's worth noting though that there are a number of other credit cards that will help you to build up your credit rating. The Aqua Classic Credit Card, for example, offers an initial credit limit of between £250 and £1,600 and a possible increase after four months. It also allows you to track your credit rating for free and comes with a representative APR of 29.7% (variable).

Alternatively, the Capital One Classic Extra credit card allows you to earn 0.5% cashback on your spending while building up your credit rating. It offers a credit limit of between £200 and £1,500 and comes with a higher representative APR of 34.9% (variable).

There are also no fees for spending overseas on this card – though you will still be charged interest if you don't repay your balance in full each month and you'll be charged for ATM withdrawals. Finally, if you pay on time every month, you'll receive an annual £10 bonus.

Top tip! 

Applying for a credit card and being rejected could have the effect of damaging your credit score further. So, before applying for a card, take a look at MoneySupermarket's Smart Search tool which will give you an idea of the credit cards you're more likely to be accepted for, without damaging your credit score.

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