Capital One Platinum

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Capital One Platinum

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Review of "Capital One Platinum"

published 18/08/2001 | sue.51
Member since : 20/03/2001
Reviews : 275
Members who trust : 149
About me :
Sheesh - seems like ages since I've been here. So many changes, business up and running - bred my first litter of labs - moved house - guess I had better work on catching up now!
Pro 0% on purchases for 6 months
Cons Hmph - they have raised their standard rate to 15.9%APR at a time when interest rates are falling, 0% on purchases for 6 months, Average balance transfer rate
very helpful
Competitiveness of APR
Product package
Quality of Customer Service
Reward Scheme
Additional Charges


From reading some of my ops in this subject area, you may guess that I like to surf - the credit card interest rates that is, being one of those naughty people who doesn't always clear my balance off monthly.

I have often seen the Capital One Platinum Card advertised, but being the lazy sort, can't be doing with written application forms, gave it a wide berth, until I stumbled across an on-line application - (God these are dangerous) with an instant decision.

This was straight forward requiring the standard information such as name, address for the last three years, employer details, time with employer, my income, household income, other cards held, and details on any balances you may want transferred. A decision is then provided on screen within a few minutes - although in true Sue.51 style, I had to wait 2 weeks for mine. Be aware that if you already hold any credit card issued by Capital One you will not be allowed another. And if you close an account in favour of another one of their cards, there is no guarantee you will get it, whatever happened to customer loyalty and relationship marketing?

This company are joining the bandwagon of 0% interest on purchases for the first six months, absolutely fatal, as the temptation can be to spend, spend, spend, well if they gave you a credit limit to do so with you would.

Capital One in comparison to their competitors are NOT generous with their initial credit limits or subsequent increases, I have just closed my Thomsons Card with them, but in the few years I had it, they never even offered me the choice, although in reality this does represent quite a responsible attitude to lending, compared to the likes of Marbles and MBNA who raise your limit without asking you first.

The reason for the choice of card at the time of application, was their not so generous interest rate of 7.9% APR on balance transfers (if completed within 6 months of opening the account), but again, unlike most of the competition, this is fixed for the life of the balance, so probably represents better value than companies such as Marbles, where the interest rate is 4.5% for six months, increasing to just under 16% afterwards.

UPDATED: 08/2003 - If you applied now you would get 4.9% APR fixed for the first six months and 0% on purchases for the same period. They claim then you pay 10.9% thereafter, but I would check the small print before making a decision. Maybe it is me because I no longer run a balance on the account.

STANDARD RATE was a mere 12.9% (Aug 2003- 15.94%), although like Egg, I am waiting to see where they claw their generous joining incentives from - these are obtained from the fact that interest is on a rolling basis, so even if you clear a balance after a few months you could find yourself still receiving interest on a zero balance, I did. Egg claim theirs by offering a shorter interest free period for those who clear their balance monthly, and also have increased their interest rates for 'non-internet' customers.

For Cash Advances, the rate from the off is 20.5%APR from the off, including a cash handling fee of 1.5% (Minimum £2), and interest is charged from the day of the withdrawal fee.

Unlike many other Platinum Cards, the minimum income for this card is £10,000 and you must be 21. This is surprisingly low and does not go hand in hand with the status symbol associated with holding such a card. They do promise a credit limit of up to £25,000, although not on such small incomes I assume, considering how low they have kept mine. If you are in this sort of state, there are MUCH cheaper ways to borrow.

The company is one of the new band invading the UK market from the States and they claim to have 36m customers worldwide.

The No Hassle Platinum card appears to be only obtainable in Mastercard, although in reality one is just as acceptable as the other in this day and age, so I guess its more do with what logo you prefer than not having the choice.

From point of application to receiving the card, in my case took nearly a month, and there is a freephone number to activate the card. Customer services answered quickly, and managed to do a very good job of selling me a years protection for all my cards, passport and drivers licence, for both me and my partner for a mere £18.

I have never taken advantage of such a service before, but liked the idea that if the unthinkable happens, I would only have to make one phonecall and everything would be sorted for me - hopefully I will never have to use this service, so cannot vouch for how reliable or useful it is. The process was quick, friendly and helpful.

Too early to comment on this yet, and I have read other ops on totally unethical practices by this company, maybe I should have read them earlier, but to be fair, throughout my experience with my Thomsons card, I never experienced any problems, and on the one occasion I was charged a late payment fee because my bank cocked my payment up, they refunded it immediately I queried it, so heres hoping.

UPDATED: 08/2003
Statements are reliable and available instantaneously to view on-line, although that is all you can do, there is no facility to make on-line payments.OTHER FEES (from the website - current @ 08/2003)
Emblazoned across the form on which I received my cards, are a record of their lovely fees:
  • Late of failure to pay charge - £20
  • Returned Cheque Charge - £20
  • Overlimit charge (this is applied at 1p over limit) - £20
  • Returned Credit Card Cheque Charge - £15
  • Foreign Currency Account conversion fee - 2.75%

I don't think any of these differ greatly from most of the other providers, most of whom have recently raised their charges, and touch-wood, I have never really had to find out. I still find my card is the cheapest way to make purchases overseas, as long as you avoid cash advances.MINIMUM PAYMENT
3% of the outstanding balance or £5, whichever is the greater. Many card providers are now offering minimum payments of 2% of the O/S balance, WHY? Because they are the ones who benefit by getting more interest off you, pay much more, or all of it if you can.OTHER BENEFITS/SERVICES
  • Braille statements for the blind and typetalk for deaf customers - not come across this one before.
  • Home Insurance
  • Annual Travel Insurance
  • Discounts on holidays through their dedicated booking service (call me cynical but I will be giving this one a miss)
  • UP TO (The magic words) 15% discount on RAC Membership
  • A years free membership to Dining Connections (Normally £35/year) offering you discounts of 25% in hundreds of restaurants across the UK 9 don't suppose it will hurt to try this one - although don't forget to cancel your membership at the end of the first year if it is worthless/
  • 10% discount at Wine connections when using your card
  • 15% discount on Thorntons mail order sweeties
  • A hotel booking service suggesting reduced rates (always cynical of these services)
  • 5% discount on personal care policies with Norwich Union, plus the first months payment free (again, must be paid on your card)

Sorry, its hopefully practical rather than exciting -the company was initially chosen for their preferential balance transfer rate than anything else, but now I no longer have a balance with them, and the fact that they have the audacity to raise their interest charges for existing customers whilst offering new customers preferential rates means they will definitely be moving to the big credit card heaven in the sky.Want to try it for yourself:

Sue - August 2001

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Comments on this review

  • princesstiny published 10/11/2003
    I found this op interesting, I have a no hassle platinum card and have had no problems with them so far, the credit limit they gave me was extreamly generous as was the interest rate and balance transfer rate of 4.9%. I found their customer service people very helpful on more than one occasion but i agree that they don't offer many longstanding customer benefits. Keep up the good work, I see many people trust you so i will be checking out your op's in the future!
  • Hoof published 19/07/2003
    Very good op sue.51. I took advantage of the balance transfer rate a few months back when it had fallen to 5.9% for life - yesterday I received a mailout that offers new customers an amazing 4.9%!!!
  • stravaig published 05/10/2001
    Excellent op, thanks. But I read with horror the details of the charges. Having just missed a payment (thanks to the Post Office's error) I now realise exactly how much they're going to sting me for. Urghh! Keep up the good work! Kay
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Product Information : Capital One Platinum

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Listed on Ciao since: 16/02/2001