Capital One Classic Credit Card: Credit-Builder Card

The Classic credit card is Capital One’s most popular UK card, open to those trying to improve their credit rating. This credit-builder card offers a pre-application elibility check, called QuickCheck. QuickCheck is a tool that performs a soft credit check (which won’t leave a mark on you credit record for other lenders to see) and tells you if you’ll be approved before you apply. The Classic is open to those with CCJs or defaults in the past.

Capital One Classic Credit Card Features

  • No annual fee
  • 34.9% variable purchase APR
  • Credit limit between £200 and £1,500
  • Cardholders may be eligible for up to two credit limit increases a year

Pros...

  • QuickCheck eligibility checker to see if you'll be approved before you apply
  • Open to those with past CCJs or defaults

Cons...

  • Should have some UK credit history to be approved

Capital One Classic Credit Card Review

The Capital One Classic credit card is a credit-builder card for which you can check your eligibility before you apply. This is important because applying and getting denied can be damaging to your credit rating. Well, technically speaking, other lenders won’t see if you’ve been denied, but they will see the hard credit search. Too many hard credit searches can be a red flag to potential lenders.

What a credit-builder needs to avoid is repeated hard searches resulting from multiple application denials. (It’s fine to have a hard search IF you are accepted and get your credit card.) Capital One stand by their QuickCheck answer, unless certain information pops up in fraud prevention databases or they can’t verify your identity. Being registered on the electoral roll will really help with the id verification process.

The Classic is a basic card, without any rewards or perks, aimed at providing credit to those with marks on their credit history. Once you have the card, paying on time and staying within your credit limit should improve your credit history. It can take months to see an improvement in your credit rating, so a bit of patience is required, too!

Bottom Line: The Capital One Classic card is a credit-builder card for a weak credit history. The QuickCheck eligibility checker is a feature to indicate if you'll be approved before you apply.

Capital One Classic Card Credit Card Details

As a credit-builder card, Capital One will consider those with imperfect credit histories. A number of stipulations on their website indicate who is more or less likely to be accepted. Capital One is...

More likely to accept you if you...Not likely to accept you if you...
Are at least 18Haven’t had credit in the UK before
Have shown a history of managing credit (even if you’ve had CCJs or defaults in the past)Have declared bankruptcy in the past 12 months
Are on the electoral roll at your current address

Capital One Classic Credit Card Monthly Payments

Most people know the importance of making an on-time payment each month, in order to maintain or improve their credit rating. There's another very important consideration to keep in mind when it comes to your monthly payments{symbol:m-dash]the size of your payment. Will you pay the minimum amount only, or more?

By paying only the minimum payment, you are extending the time to be debt free and increasing the amount of interest charges you will pay in total over the life of your debt. Paying as much as you can afford will save in interest charges in the future.

The following chart illustrates for a £1,000 outstanding credit card balance, charged at 34.9% APR, how total interest charges decrease with higher and higher monthly payments. Note, we have calculated the minimum payment as 1% of that month's outstanding balance plus any interest charges for the month.

Chart showing How Total Interest Drops with Larger Monthly Payments
How Total Interest Drops with Larger Monthly Payments

Minimum monthly payments can be very costly in the long run, because the absolute pound value of the payment drops over time (because it is calculated as a percentage), extending the time you pay interest. You can see the repercussions of a falling minimum payment in the following chart. By paying only the minimum each month, cardholders won't pay back the debt for 20 years!

Chart showing How Time to be Debt Free Drops with Larger Monthly Payments
How Time to be Debt Free Drops with Larger Monthly Payments