Advantages 0% on purchases for 6 months
Disadvantages 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
|Competitiveness of APR|
|Quality of Customer Service|
|Security and Privacy|
|Ease of Application|
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.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
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?
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.MASTERCARD/VISA
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.
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.
Sue - August 2001
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