First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Review
The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is designed specifically for consumers who have no credit, limited credit, or even bad credit — and it might be the perfect way for you to improve your credit.
- Helps build credit
- No minimum credit score required
- Low interest rates
What First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Has to Offer
The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is designed for consumers with limited or poor credit. And while it offers a low interest rate on purchases, it doesn’t provide the benefits typically found with credit cards for those with good credit, such as a 0% introductory APR, cash back rewards or a sign-up bonus.
Introductory 0% APR: Not offered.
Sign Up Bonus: Not Offered.
Maximum Credit Limit: $200 to $2,000 with a fully refundable deposit.
Cash Back Rewards: Not offered.
Credit required: Open! No minimum credit score is required. That makes it the perfect card for anyone with no credit, limited credit, or even poor credit.
Secured credit card: Your maximum card credit limit will be determined by the amount of the security deposit you put up. If your deposit is $1,000, your credit line will be the same. But the absolute maximum is $2,000.
No cosigner required: Because the card is secured, you won’t need to get an eligible cosigner for approval.
Mobile App: First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card does not offer a mobile app, so you’ll be required to manage your account online or by phone or by mail.
Features and Benefits
Once approved for the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. That includes millions of vendors, merchants and service providers around the globe, which is pretty close to everyone.
The Card does not say “Secured” on it. Many consumers understandably don’t want that word printed on their card. It at least hints at an impaired credit status, and the fact that First Progress doesn’t include it on the card shows a sensitivity to their customers.
Your security deposit is refundable. If you decide to close out your account, you’ll receive a credit balance refund check, net of any outstanding charges on the card. However, it will take approximately 10 weeks to receive your deposit back.
Your credit line can be increased. With bank approval, you can add funds to your deposit account and increase your credit limit. If you’re under 21 years old, you can add an eligible cosigner to have your credit limit increased. Though the maximum credit limit is $2,000, the bank may approve a line as high as $5,000 under very limited circumstances.
First Progress reports to all three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Since the card is designed for those with either no credit or even poor credit, making your payments on time is an opportunity to either build or raise your credit score. First Progress will report your payment history to all three major credit bureaus, giving you a chance to add good credit to your report.
How to Sign Up
To qualify for the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card, you must be at least 18 years old (or 19 in Alabama and Nebraska), have a valid Social Security number, and be a resident of a U.S. state (other than Arkansas, Iowa, New York, or Wisconsin). In addition, the card can only be used for personal transactions and not for business purposes.
You can only apply for the card on the website. You cannot apply by phone or by paper application.
To apply for the Card, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Your full name
- Your email address
- A valid U.S. mailing address and residential address (if different)
- Mobile and home phone
- Your estimated monthly income
- Estimated monthly obligations
- The amount of your security deposit
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
When the above information has been entered on the application, you’ll need to choose a security passphrase (password).
Once you submit your application, the decision will take about three weeks. If you don’t hear back within that time, you’ll need to contact the bank.
If approved, the final step will be to fund your security deposit. That will require mailing a check for the amount of the deposit. First Progress does not accept electronic transfers.
Rates and Fees
Annual Fee: $49.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 9.99% variable APR (the Prime Rate, plus a margin of 6.74%).
Cash advance APR: 18.99% variable APR.
Penalty APR: N/A.
Cash advance fee: Greater of 3% of the cash advance amount or $10.
0% Introductory APR: Not offered.
Balance transfer fee: Not offered.
Foreign transaction fees: 3%.
Late payment or return payment fee: $40 for late payments, $29 for returned payments.
Overlimit fee: None, but additional charges will be declined.
Pros and Cons
- All credit accepted, including no credit at all — Credit is not an obstacle since the card is designed primarily for those with no credit, limited credit, or impaired credit.
- No minimum credit score — No minimum credit score is required to get this card.
- "Soft" credit pull — A “soft” credit pull is performed when you first submit an application, which will not have a negative impact on your credit score.
- Low annual fee of $49 — Low annual fee of $49 is less than that charged by most credit cards that charge this fee.
- No cosigner needed — No cosigner is required to get the card, though it may boost your credit limit.
- Build or improve your credit — Build your credit history--your payment history will be reported to the major credit bureaus, enabling you to develop a good credit history and credit score.
- Accepted anywhere that accepts Mastercard — The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
- Low APR — APR is even lower than what’s charged on traditional credit cards.
- Discreet secured card — The word “Secured” does not appear on the card.
- Requires a paper check to fund your security deposit — A paper check is required upon application to create your deposit account. Funds cannot be transferred by wire or other electronic means.
- Credit limit tied to deposit — As a secured credit card, your credit limit will be limited to the amount of your deposit.
- No 0% introductory APR — Does not offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers.
- No sign-up bonus or rewards — There are no rewards, sign-up bonuses, or 0% introductory APR.
- Three-week approval process — The approval process is quite long at an anticipated three weeks.
- 10 weeks required to get your security deposit back — It can take up to 10 weeks to get your security deposit back if you cancel your card agreement.
- Annual fee deducted from credit limit — The annual fee will be deducted from your credit limit immediately.
- No mobile app — No mobile application is available to manage your account.
- Not available in all states — Not available in New York, Iowa, Arkansas or Wisconsin.
Alternatives to First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is designed for consumers with no credit, limited credit, or impaired credit. But you may want to investigate other options for no credit, limited credit, or fair credit.
If you have impaired credit, and you either prefer not to use a secured card or you don’t have the security deposit available, consider the Milestone Gold Mastercard. Like the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card, there are no rewards, sign-up bonuses, or 0% introductory APR. But they’ll start you out with a credit limit of $200 without needing to put up a security deposit. But be aware the APR is much higher at nearly 24%, and the annual fee can be as high as $75.
If you have at least average credit, take a close look at the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. Even if you don’t have perfect credit, it comes with unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The annual fee is comparable to the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card at $39. The interest rate is MUCH higher, though that will be at least partially offset by the cash back rewards you’ll earn. Your initial credit limit will be low, but they’ll review your account for a credit limit increase after you make the first five monthly payments on time.
If you have poor credit, and you’re okay with the idea of a secured credit card, check out the Capital One Secured Mastercard. It works very similar to the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card in that it will report your payment history to all three major credit bureaus, giving you an opportunity to increase your credit score. But the security deposit may be less than the amount of your credit limit. And, as is typical of Capital One, they may increase your credit limit after making the first five monthly payments on time. The card does have a much higher interest rate than the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card, but there is no annual fee.
Should You Sign Up for First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card?
If you have impaired credit, limited credit, or no credit, the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is worth considering. While it may require you to have a security deposit, the interest rate on the card is much lower than traditional credit cards and especially designed for consumers with poor credit.
Even if you have only a few hundred dollars for a security deposit, it can be well worth the effort to get the card with even a small credit limit. The basic idea is to use the card to build or improve your credit score. It’s entirely possible your score may move up sufficiently after just a year or so to enable you to apply for an unsecured credit card elsewhere.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to sign up for the card, visit the First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card website.