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Capital One Secured Mastercard Review

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“It takes money to make money,” is at times an unavoidable truth. It’s especially true if you are a credit newcomer or you need to repair a bad credit score.

Luckily, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard provides an accessible option for improving your credit history, with required deposits as low as $49, depending on the conditions of your application.

Below, CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Capital One Secured to help you decide if it’s the right card for you.

Capital One Secured Mastercard review

  • How is the Capital One Secured different from other secured credit cards?
  • How to report your responsible credit use to credit bureaus
  • Additional benefits
  • Fees
  • Bottom line

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • Rewards

    This card doesn’t offer cash back, points or miles

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    26.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $49, $99 or $200 refundable deposit
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Flexibility to change your payment due date

Cons

  • High 26.99% variable APR
  • No rewards program
  • After you apply and submit your deposit, it takes 2-3 weeks to get your card
  • Capital One periodically reviews your account to see if you can be transitioned to an unsecured card, but unlike the Discover it® Secured Card there’s no clear timeline for when this will occur

Information about the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

How is the Capital One Secured different from other secured credit cards?

Traditionally, secured credit cards are for people who have no credit history or need to repair their credit score. The limits for secured credit cards are determined by the amount of money a cardholder puts down as a deposit. This is done to protect a lending institution when the consumer it’s lending to has little history to prove they are a reliable borrower. The deposit is fully refundable given your balance is paid off when you close the account. Typically, secured credit card deposits range from $200 to $2,500.

The Capital One Secured card comes with a credit limit of $200, with options to increase once you prove to be a borrower who pays bills on time and spends within your means. But unlike other cards that require you to deposit the exact amount of your credit limit, with a Capital One Secured card there is some flexibility on how much a consumer has to put down in order to qualify for a $200 credit limit. According to Capital One’s website, your deposit amount is determined by your application and could be either $49, $99 or $200 — and any of these will qualify you for an initial $200 credit limit. 

As with most Capital One cards, after you make your first five consecutive payments on time, you may become eligible for an increased credit limit. For this reason, plus the possibility of only having to deposit $49, the Capital One Secured card is one of CNBC Select’s picks for best credit cards for building credit.

Report your responsible credit use to credit bureaus

Unlike a prepaid or debit card, using a secured credit card affords you the opportunity to improve your credit score because your on-time payments will be reported to the three main credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This good behavior will show up on your credit report and help you become a stronger applicant for better credit cards with more exciting rewards.

Additional benefits

One of the most important factors in achieving a good credit score is making your payments on time. The Capital One Secured card makes it easy to do by giving you control over when your payments are due.

For example, if you get paid on the 15th of every month, you can set your due date to the 16th so that you can prepare to have the funds available.

There is also an option to set up personalized email and text reminders that alert you of upcoming payments.

Fees

Like all Capital One cards, the Capital One Secured credit card has no foreign transaction fees and there is also no annual fee.

The variable APR for the Capital One Secured card is 26.99% on purchases and balance transfers, making it important for you to pay off your balance in full each month.

Bottom line

The Capital One® Secured makes building better credit accessible, but you can’t be in a rush. While you can apply for this card without any credit history, there is no clear timeline for when consumers will become eligible for an unsecured credit card.

There are no rewards or benefits that come with the Capital One Secured card, whereas other options, like the Discover it® Secured Card, deliver value that’s comparable to popular cash back rewards cards. With the Discover it Secured Card, you can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%); unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s also a clear timeline for when you can upgrade to an unsecured card: Discover automatically reviews your credit card account monthly, starting at eight months, to see if your security deposit can be returned.

But if you don’t have $200 for a security deposit, the Capital One Secured card is one of the best secured credit cards because you can potentially qualify for a $200 limit with only a $49 deposit.

Our methodology

To determine which secured cards offer the best value for a range of consumers, CNBC Select analyzed popular secured credit cards offered by the biggest banks, financial companies and credit unions that allow anyone to join.

We compared each card on a range of features, including: annual fee, minimum security deposit, credit limit, rewards program, introductory and standard APR, welcome bonuses and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit score and customer reviews when available. We also took into account how easy it is to upgrade the card from secured to unsecured and how quickly you can get your security deposit back.

Because it’s unusual for secured credit cards to have robust rewards programs, we did not analyze how many rewards points you can earn in the first year. For cardholders who are looking to rebuild credit, it’s more important to practice good credit card habits — spending within your means, paying your balance on time and in full — than try to optimize your points balance.

Information about the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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What Does an Extended Car Warranty Cover?

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If you purchased a brand-new car, then you’re covered under the manufacturer’s warranty until a certain mileage point or age limit. What happens after you’ve met these limits? For those who want extra coverage on their vehicles, extended warranties can be an option for used cars.

Understanding Extended Warranties

What Does an Extended Car Warranty Actually Cover?If something happens to your vehicle that your insurance company doesn’t cover and the car’s manufacturer warranty is expired, you’re left to foot the cost of repairs. For this reason, many borrowers consider buying an extended warranty for their used vehicles.

An extended warranty, also called a vehicle service contract, is essentially additional coverage on your car, and the name is somewhat inaccurate. Extended warranties don’t “extend” the original warranty offered by the manufacturer. They’re actually third-party service contracts that cover certain vehicle repairs for a set amount of time and/or mileage.

For those who rely on their cars heavily day-to-day, service contracts can offer some peace of mind when you’re driving a used vehicle. Extended warranty coverage varies greatly, and no two offered by dealerships are likely to be the same.

To see what an extended warranty truly covers, ask for a list of the inclusions and exclusions from the finance and insurance (F&I) manager at the dealer where you’re purchasing your used car.

What Vehicle Service Contracts May Cover

Many service contracts can mimic the manufacturer’s original warranty. Some cover the transmission and engine, and associated parts of these two key systems like seals and gaskets. Some extended warranties can cover most parts of your vehicle, including the key components (like the engine and transmission) and things like air conditioning and maybe even the power seats.

As a good rule of thumb, these things typically aren’t covered under extended warranties:

  • Regular maintenance
  • Brakes, clutches, windshield wipers, and lights
  • Regular wear and tear (like interior damage)
  • Body damage (dents)
  • Modifications
  • Tires

Keep in mind that most extended warranty claims come with deductibles, and there tend to be rules and exclusions that don’t come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Often, the dealership where you purchased the car and service contract requires that you go to their service center to repair your vehicle under the warranty.

On top of that, some extended warranties require that you pay for the repairs up front and then file a claim to be reimbursed for the cost later. Be sure to read all the fine print of a service contract, and feel free to ask lots of questions. You’re the one spending the money on it, after all!

When to Buy an Extended Warranty

Manufacturer warranties can last for a number or years, or up to a certain mileage. New cars often come with bumper-to-bumper coverage for around three years or 36,000 miles, as well as a powertrain warranty that’s normally good for around 10 years or 100,00 miles.

If you’re purchasing a used vehicle, check to see if it’s still covered under its manufacturer warranty before you consider buying an extended warranty.

In most cases, if the car you’re purchasing is outside of the original new vehicle warranty, the F&I manager offers you a service contract when you’re wrapping up your contract. F&I managers typically have a whole menu of options that you can consider adding to your auto loan.

Before you decide on an extended warranty, or any of the dealer add-ons available, make sure to ask questions about the contracts offered and the details about what they cover. If you decide to take one, the costs are usually then rolled right into your car loan payment.

Ready to Start Car Shopping?

When you’re buying a used vehicle, there’s a higher risk of something going wrong with it down the line. This is always a possibility with any car you’re fixing to buy, but with a used one, it can be hard to tell what the vehicle has truly been through. It’s even harder to predict what could happen in the future.

Extended warranties and cars can be long-term commitments, and it can feel like a hassle to find the right dealership for your situation. When you have less than perfect credit, finding the dealer that’s signed up the right lenders can be even more difficult, but it doesn’t have to be!

Here at Auto Credit Express, we’ve cultivated a network of dealerships that work with bad credit borrowers. Instead of driving all over town and hoping to find a dealer for your credit, fill out our free auto loan request form, and we’ll do the looking for you. We’ll search for a dealership in your local area that has the lending resources you need.

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Cheapest car insurance in Colorado 2020

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Many drivers wonder how they can get the cheapest car insurance without sacrificing decent coverage. While car insurance rates in Colorado are slightly above the national average, drivers in the state still have plenty of options for affordable coverage.

The cheapest car insurance companies in Colorado

Colorado drivers pay an average of $1,050 per year for auto insurance. The three cheapest auto insurance carriers in Colorado are Geico, Progressive and State Farm.

Geico

Geico has a reputation for offering some of the lowest rates in the auto insurance industry while still providing decent customer service — the company tied for tenth place in claims satisfaction in a 2020 J.D. Power study.

Not only does Geico have some of the lowest rates on the market, but it also has one of the most extensive lists of discounts available. The company offers its customers 16 ways to save on their insurance premiums. Discounts include those for vehicle safety equipment, driver safety, driver education, customer loyalty and membership with certain organizations or employers.

Progressive

Progressive is one of the largest auto insurance carriers in Colorado, writing more than 10% of premiums in the state. Progressive is known for offering low-cost insurance policies. More specifically, the company has a reputation for offering affordable policies to high-risk drivers, such as those with poor driving histories or bad credit.

In addition to its low premiums, Progressive also offers a generous list of discounts. With 13 discounts available, most customers can likely find one that applies to them. Progressive has other tools that make it stand out from the crowd. The company’s price comparison tool allows prospective customers to pull quotes from multiple companies at once, not just from Progressive. The company also offers its famous Name Your Price Tool, which customizes a policy for drivers based on the premium they want to pay.

State Farm

State Farm is the top provider of car insurance in Colorado in terms of market share. Not only does the company write the most policies, but it also offers them at low prices. State Farm also offers 13 discounts customers can use to reduce their premiums even more. One of the company’s featured discounts is its Drive Safe & Save program, which reduces a driver’s premium based on their driving record.

Another advantage is that, according to a study by the Consumer Federation of America, State Farm is the only major insurance provider that doesn’t increase a customer’s premiums after a not-at-fault accident.

Affordable coverage for Colorado drivers

Colorado state law requires that drivers carry liability insurance, including bodily injury and property damage coverage. The state requires the following minimum coverages:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
  • $15,000 for property damage in any one accident

These minimum coverages will compensate any other drivers in an accident where the insured is at fault. Purchasing only the minimum coverage will result in the lowest premium rates.

While sticking to the minimum coverages will save you the most money on your monthly premiums, drivers may opt to purchase more coverage to avoid bigger financial losses in case of an accident. Colorado’s minimum coverage requirements only include liability. In the event of an accident, your insurer will only cover the other driver’s losses. Your policy won’t cover any damage to your vehicle or person.

How to get cheap car insurance in Colorado

While it’s your insurance provider that sets your premiums, there are plenty of things you can do to find the cheapest car insurance available to you:

  • Shop around: Rates can vary significantly by individual and from one company to the next. Ultimately, each person should shop around for the company that offers the lowest rate for their unique situation.
  • Increase your deductibles: There’s typically a direct relationship between your insurance deductibles and your premiums. The higher the deductibles, the lower the premiums, and vice versa. If you’re comfortable with paying a higher cost in an accident, opting for higher deductibles can reduce your monthly expense.
  • Bundle your policies: Nearly every insurance company offers a multi-policy discount for customers with two or more policies with the same company. By bundling your auto insurance with your homeowners or renters insurance, you can save money on your premium.
  • Pay your full premium up-front: Insurance companies default to charging customers a monthly rate, but policies typically cover a period of six months. Most carriers offer a discount when you pay your full premium up-front. If you switch providers during your policy, insurers will usually refund the unused premium.
  • Take advantage of discounts: All of the largest insurance carriers offer discounts for their auto policies. Some of the most commonly available include good driver discounts, good student discounts, and discounts for vehicle safety features. Some discounts apply automatically to your policy if you qualify, while others you have to opt-in to.

Frequently asked questions

What determines someone’s car insurance premiums?

Many factors can impact the car insurance rates you’re eligible for. Factors that can increase or decrease your policy include:

  • Driving record: Those with accidents or violations on their driving record can expect to pay more for car insurance than if they had a clean driving record.
  • Age: Insurance rates tend to drop after someone turns 25, as older drivers tend to have fewer accidents.
  • Gender: Women tend to be safer drivers and have cleaner driving records. As a result, they may pay lower premiums.
  • Credit: Studies have linked credit to driving history — those with poor credit are more likely to file claims. As a result, poor credit tends to result in higher premiums.
  • Vehicle: Carriers may offer lower rates to those with safer cars and those that are more affordable to repair.
  • Coverage amount: You can expect your rates to increase in correlation with the amount of coverage you purchase.
  • Location: Living in an area with a high crime rate can increase your premiums.

How do Colorado’s car insurance premiums compare with the rest of the country?

According to 2017 data, Colorado ranks 15th in the nation for the most expensive car insurance. Insurance prices have been steadily increasing in the state for several years. Suspected causes of the spike include increased hailstorms and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

How quickly can I get car insurance in Colorado?

With most of the major insurance carriers, you can purchase an auto policy that is effective immediately, as long as you have the right documentation. It might be worth waiting, though — some companies offer a discount for drivers who sign up for their policy a certain number of days before it goes into effect.

What is the best car insurance in Colorado?

According to data from J.D. Power, American Family and Geico are the top-ranking car insurance companies in Colorado when it comes to customer satisfaction. Colorado drivers also have plenty of other excellent car insurance companies to choose from, depending on what factors are most important to them in a carrier.

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How Brooks Running overcame fraud and boosted customer experience| Tech Spotlight

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Rich Stuppy, chief customer experience officer at Kount, shares how running sneaker retailer Brooks Running dealt with fraud and improved the customer experience at the same time.

What began in a small factory in 1914 in Philadelphia, Brooks Running has grown to be a global enterprise. Now with customers in more than 50 countries, the running shoe innovator has evolved from a company specializing in ballet and bath shoes, at its inception, to a business with the prime focus is making the perfect running shoe — featuring options that are wildly popular among both elite and casual runners.

As Brooks puts it, running is its thing. Fraud, on the other hand, is not.

E-commerce growth brings chargebacks and fraud

As Brooks’ popularity grew, so did revenue channels, which included e-commerce.

With a rise in digital transactions came challenges the retailer was not prepared for — overwhelming fraud. In 2017, fraudulent websites were stealing credit card information from unsuspecting customers and using the Brooks website as part of a drop-shipping scheme.

The number of chargebacks Brooks began to experience became overwhelming. It eventually got so bad credit card companies were threatening to prohibit Brooks from accepting their credit cards. Brooks’ top priority went from perfecting the running shoe to reducing its chargeback rate to protecting its payment processing capabilities.

Hunting for proactive protection without customer friction

While the fraud prevention team reacted quickly to new evidence of fraud, “we just didn’t know how to deal with it,” said Chad Funk, Brooks’ fraud specialist. Like many other merchants, Brooks’ first defense against chargebacks was a “manual review” of transactions — a slow process with high operational costs.

Brooks knew it needed technology to detect and stop fraud and reduce manual reviews without sacrificing good orders. After a careful search, Brooks selected Kount’s platform given its AI-driven, all-in-one fraud detection built on a network of trust and risk data called the Identity Trust Global Network.

Linked by Kount’s adaptive AI, the Identity Trust Global Network analyzes trust and risk signals from 32 billion annual interactions to stop chargebacks and fraud in real time.

Relying on Kount’s data and automation, Brooks quickly slashed its chargeback rate by 92%, eliminating the threat of fraud monitoring programs while accepting more good orders.

Brooks is not only reducing false positives, but improving the customer experience by providing a seamless journey for VIP customers, like those involved in a special “Pro” program.

“When somebody’s in our Pro program and I can see the amount that the cart is worth and the amount that was paid, I know this person is part of a discount program — I know this order is just fine,” said Funk.

From fighting fraud to enhancing the customer experience

Using Kount’s networked data, from over 250 countries across the globe, Brooks’ next step in the fraud journey was to expand sales into new regions. This opened up a major new opportunity, as Brooks began to accept international credit cards which they had previously declined.

The results didn’t disappoint. Simply opening up the international revenue stream contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bottom line.

With growing revenue streams, and a manual review rate below 2%, Brooks again shifted focus, fine-tuning policies to improve the customer experience in order to build long-term revenue.

Much like its running shoes, the Brooks’ fraud prevention strategy is focused on perfection: both in protection and in exceptional customer experiences.

Rich Stuppy is chief customer experience officer at Kount.

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