Quick overview of the Capital One® Guaranteed Mastercard

Virtually every time we apply for a credit card, we run the risk of not only being rejected, but of our credit score taking a hit as well. This is a gamble for those that already have weaker credit scores and are looking to build them up.

Enter ‘Guaranteed Approval’ cards, like the Capital One® Guaranteed Mastercard. Those who need access to credit but who also have a poor credit score (or exhibit a history of bankruptcies or consumer proposals) will appreciate guaranteed approval.

Cardholders are guaranteed to be approved for at least one version of the card as long as they meet these basic requirements:

  • They’re the age of majority in their province or territory of residence.
  • They don’t already have a Capital One account/product or a pending application for a Capital One® account/product.
  • They haven’t applied for a Capital One account/product in the 30 days prior to their application for the Capital One® Guaranteed Mastercard.
  • They can provide the security funds required *in the event that they’re approved for the secured rather than unsecured version of the card.

Who's it for?

It’s a good option for those who don’t have a stellar financial history and are looking to improve their credit without paying an exorbitant annual fee. Some applicants with higher credit scores will be offered an unsecured version of the card, while those with weaker credit will be referred to the Capital One® Guaranteed Secured Mastercard. There are few practical differences between the two, aside from the fact that cardholders of the latter need to provide security funds, and cardholders of the former do not.

Pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • Guaranteed approval for rebuilding credit

  • Option for an unsecured version for some applicants

  • $59 annual fee, with potential for a lower rate on unsecured card

  • Additional benefits like Price Protection and extended warranties

  • Travel benefits for unsecured cardholders

  • Mastercard's Zero Liability and 24/7 customer service

Cons

Cons

  • $59 annual fee may be higher than some secured cards

  • 19.80% interest rate on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances

  • Extra features available only on unsecured cards

  • Limited benefits compared to premium credit cards

  • Secured card requires security funds between $75 and $300

  • Consideration needed for the slightly more expensive low-rate version

Feature breakdown

  • $59 annual fee
  • Guaranteed approval (conditions apply)
  • Establish and repair credit
  • Mastercard benefits including Zero Liability

Capital One® Guaranteed Mastercard insurance coverage

1. Price protection: This gives cardholders a 60-day window of time after their purchases, during which they can request reimbursement for the difference between what they paid for an item vs. a lower price that they see for the same item with another vendor.

2. Extended warranty: This policy helps cardholders cover their new purchases against damage and theft for 120 days, and lengthen original manufacturer warranties by up to two years.

3. Common carrier travel accident insurance: This policy provides $250,000 of coverage in case of accidental loss of life or dismemberment while on a common carrier.

4. Baggage delay insurance: Get reimbursed on your lost or delayed luggage for up to $300 when you purchase your trip on your card.

5. Car rental collision/loss damage waiver: This car rental insurance can be used to waive the insurance policy of the car rental company and provide coverage for up to 31 days, with a maximum of $65,000.

Extra benefits

Enjoy 24/7 travel assistance (essentially an emergency concierge), Mastercard’s Zero Liability feature and 24/7 customer service.

What people say

I had a credit score just over 600 and I gave them $75 for a $2500 credit limit. The next credit reporting period my credit jumped up to almost 650 before I had even made a first payment on the card.

/u/MGCanada

This Reddit user explains how their credit score immediately started improving with the Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard, showing how fast your credit score can jump when you smartly use your secured credit card. Best of all, this credit card reports to major credit unions which is a huge bonus.

Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard compared

Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard vs. Capital One Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard

Applicants considering the Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard should determine whether the slightly more expensive Capital One® Low Rate Guaranteed Mastercard is more worthwhile. For an extra $20 per year, cardholders will get a purchase and balance transfer rate of 14.90% instead of 21.90%. The answer as to which card suits them more depends on how much of their balance they may or may not carry month-to-month, including transferred balances. When it comes to insurance benefits, both cards offer similar coverage.

Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard vs. Home Trust Secured Visa Card

The Home Trust Secured Visa is a great option if you want to rebuild your credit without paying an annual fee. This card comes with a highly flexible credit limit (ranging from $500 to $10,000) and a foreign transaction fee of only 2%.  In comparison, the Capital One Guaranteed Secured MasterCard has a $59 annual fee but offers a lower initial security deposit of either $75 or $300, which is relatively low compared to other secured cards. The Capital One® Guaranteed Mastercard also provides good insurance coverage, which is rare for a secured card.

Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard vs. Neo Secured Credit Card

Card Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard Neo Secured Credit Card
Benefits Low credit score requirements

24/7 travel concierge services

Comprehensive insurance coverage
Enjoy up to 15% cash back on first purchases with select Neo partners including Amazon, Canadian Tire, Loblaws and Netflix (see all partners in the Neo app)

No annual fee

Low minimum security deposit (as low as $50)
Insurance coverage Purchase protection, extended warranty, car rental collision/loss damage waiver insurance, baggage delay insurance, common carrier accidental insurance Purchase protection, extended warranty, Group life insurance
Interest rates Purchase APR: 21.90%

Cash Advance APR: 21.90%

Balance Transfer Rate: 21.90%
Variable APR: 19.99% - 26.99%

Cash Advance APR: 24.99% - 28.99% (Plus a $2.50 fee in Canada, $5 fee anywhere else)
Read review You are reading it! Neo Secured Credit Card review
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When comparing the two cards, it is clear that the Neo Secured Credit Card presents greater flexibility through its lower deposit requirement and the additional perk of cash back rewards. However, Capital One's card may be preferable for individuals seeking a card that reports to multiple credit bureaus, as the Neo Secured Credit Card only reports to TransUnion.

Is it worth it?

If you have poor credit and you want to rebuild your credit score, the Capital One® Guaranteed Mastercard can help you achieve that and also give you good insurance coverage.

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