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Capital One for rebuilding credit
Member Name: purple_pixieness
Advantages: Customer service, 30 day pay time.
Disadvantages: Off-shore call centre, high interest rate.
This is a review of the Capital One "Classic Visa" 34.9% credit card, exclusively designed for those that wish to improve their credit rating.
Before I begin my review of the card, I should issue a warning for those of you thinking of applying. Please remember, credit cards are just that: cards that operate on temporary credit. At the end of the day the money is yours and you will have to pay off the debts you have built up through the card. If you abuse or misunderstand the correct use of a credit card, you will be stuck with a huge amount of interest to pay (34.9% remember!) or in a cyclic "stealing from Peter to pay Paul" trap.
Right, that's the boring motherly part dispensed with... on with the meat and bones of the review.
Applying for the card is easy. I personally heard of and accessed the application form for the 34.9% card through a popular financial advice website. I was seeking to improve my credit rating and was impressed with what the card offers, the highlights of which now follow.
There are 30 days before interest is applied to your purchases, so there are no traps there, which some other cards hide in the small print: a low rate of interest but it is applied from the moment you use your card! With this card, you are given a reasonable opportunity to pay off your transactions in an interest-free period. In addition to this, there is no irritating annual fee to keep your card open.
The card's best feature is a gentle nudge in training you to improve your own money management skills. On the website it is phrased as: "Manage your account well and we'll increase your credit limit". This means that if you use your card at least once a month and don't exceed your initial limit (which is set at £100), you receive a telephone call offering to increase your limit. The maximum available on this card is £2500. In effect, you are rewarded for being sensible with your money meaning that you increase your credit rating while training yourself to be sensible in using the card.
Additional features include free identify theft protection and the opportunity register with Equifax's related service.
Customer services are always important when taking out a financial product! Be warned: this credit card's call centres are... yes, I'm sorry, they are off-shore. However, don't let this put you off. I have spoken on many occasions to the customer services department and, though the accents are sometimes difficult to understand, the staff are knowledgable, friendly and extremely helpful.
Capital One offer an online account management service, which is easy to use - even for those who are not computer-literate. It allows users to pay balances, view transactions and to contact Capital One. You can also update account information such as bank details and contact numbers.
Overall it is a brilliant card and a super service, fantastic for rebuilding poor credit. Provided you use it carefully, you can't go wrong!
Summary: Super card for rebuilding credit.
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