I'm reposting this here in case it helps someone else because I never thought it would happen with all the people who have Cap1 Secured sitting in sock drawers for years. I looked at the $49 as a loss and small price to pay to get my credit going again. I took the chance applying with Cap1 in the first place because it seems they approve everyone even if you burned them years ago so they seemed like my best shot. I actually called them a few months ago to get a CSR who couldn't help and said that "may never upgrade" and gave me the speech about how starter cards are meant to rebuild your credit and earn trust blablabla. I was advised to just apply for another card which obviously I wasn't going to waste a HP on.
March 2017. Paid $49 for a $200 limit.
September 2017 was the 6 month mark where I got bumepd to $500.
February 2018 sometime after my 11th statement cut I received the unsecured notice and I have a $49 credit. A few days after that someone told me about the "Upgrade page" and I followed that link where I was approved for the Quicksilver upgrade with no CLI which I guess will come later.
I only ran $1,120 through the card last year according to my 1 year summary statement. I kept it under 9% and if I made a purchase or two that brought the balance up a few hundred I made multiple payments so the statement would cut under 9%. I messed up once and the highest balance reported was $215. In December, i used it for a rental car figuring the $250 hold could sit in the sock drawer. In November and January the card reported with a 0 balance. Last month I also disputed a partial charge even though I already paid the balance off..maybe they liked that? Lol. Or they did a soft pull and noticed I'm making payments on Amex bigger than my Cap1 CL.