It's a great card to recover your credit history, but read the fine print, realize that the APR is very high, and don't expect a real credit limit increase. I decided to get this secured card after I defaulted on my student loans before establishing any real credit history. I was finally able to recover my finances and pay off the loans, but the damage was done and no bank was going to look at my history and extend credit. Since I already had a Cap One banking and savings account, it made sense to stick with them for a secured card, given that they have a pretty solid reputation and my accounts would be streamlined. So, made a $300 deposit, got the card, and started using it responsibly. A year later, they increased my limit by $100. Cool!
So, after another year of careful use, I called them to see about another limit increase. No dice. Asked about having my deposit refunded and moving to a regular Cap One MC. Sure, but I would actually have to close the secured card and open a new unsecured card, but it would report as one card. Wait . . . what!? Is that even possible? Can two accounts be "tied" together to report as one card?
In the end, I pulled my scores, decided they were acceptable (despite my limited history), and found out that my student loan default had been changed to report as paid in good standing (guess someone I spoke to at the collection office had a heart!). Took a total shot in the dark and applied for a low APR rewards card with another bank and not only got an instant approval, but a $5000 credit limit!
So, this will get you out of trouble with careful use, but might become a burden later - now I'm stuck with a low limit, high interest card that has tied up $300 of my money, plus a yearly fee. And I don't dare close the account, because it's my oldest card.
I feel that Cap One's claim of a "refundable" deposit may be a but misleading, since many other secured cards will credit back the deposit once an account has remained in good standing for an amount of time.