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Platinum Benefits for Average Credit: Capital One Classic Platinum credit card

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 4:20:44 PM

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If you're looking for a new credit card that carries a significant number of perks, you may want to consider the Capital One Classic Platinum card to determine if it fits your financial profile.

This is a card with extremely beneficial terms that, if you use it properly, can give you a benefits over the life of your account and even get you out of some difficult situations.

Platinum benefits for people with average credit

The first thing you should know about the Classic Platinum card is that while it's not for everyone, it is very inclusive. Borrowers who have a fair credit rating or better will be able to obtain this card and start using it for their immediate benefit.

That's because this is a card that carries a 0 percent interest rate for the first several months the account is open. You will pay nothing in interest on all purchases through May 2013, meaning that if you need to finance a transaction during that time, you will face no additional charges for doing so.

However, unlike many other cards, that 0 percent introductory rate for the first nine months or so the account is open will not be applied to balance transfers, meaning that you will pay the ongoing interest rate on the account for any amount you add to it. The ongoing interest rate, which is the same as that for balance transfers, is 19.8 percent.

The card also comes with a $39 annual fee, and as a result, if you intend to use it to make purchases during the introductory period, you should try to ensure that the interest you would have accumulated during that time exceeds the value of the yearly maintenance charge.

Perks beyond the financial benefits

While the ability to make nine months of charges without facing interest fees may be enticing, there are other perks associated with Capital One platinum cards that apply to this account.

For instance, you will have an extended warranty program on all purchases that will lengthen the amount of protection you have on any items bought with the card. Further, there will be $0 liability for fraud if your card is lost or stolen, and you will also have access to 24-hour roadside assistance.

Other factors to consider

Again, because the card carries such a lengthy introductory period, the interest rate of 19.8 percent is typically higher than you might expect to pay for good credit credit cards. Further, if you are still carrying a balance over from a purchase during that first few months, you may face retroactive interest charges based on the amount you have remaining. This can negate some of the savings you might have otherwise enjoyed from using the card, and potentially cause some financial difficulties because of the way in which your balance will grow instantly.

Of course, if you're the kind of person who doesn't spend on their past or existing credit cards very often, this account might not be of particular benefit to you. You will need to look closely at your past habits and determine exactly what type of credit card offer will benefit you most going forward, and those who don't borrow often will likely find value in a no annual fee credit card.

The big picture

While the Capital One Classic Platinum Credit Card does not offer every feature, it does offer an outstanding combination of benefits compared to other credit card applications for fair credit. These benefits compare favorably to other platinum cards. The one major feature it lacks is balance transfers, but that is a an feature very rarely found in any credit cards for average credit.

Whenever you're comparing credit card offers, you should narrow down the choices to a handful of cards with the features you know you will use most. Then using this 'short list' you should compare all the terms and conditions to see exactly which one provides  the best credit card deal for you. Then you can fill out the credit card application you think will be most helpful given your unique financial situation.

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