The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Review

(Editor Rating)

Ranking

6/10

Want a low-fee secured card to help you build credit? The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card could be for you.

Apply Now


Fees

8/10

Features

8/10

Application/Approval Process

6/10

Credit Limit

9/10



Highlights:

 

  • No credit requirement
  • Helps build and improve credit
  • Low annual fee and required deposit

Editor's note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser.

Whether you are wanting to build your credit history for the first time or are working to repair your score after a past mistake, a secured credit card might be on your radar. Secured cards offer many of the same features as traditional credit cards, without any of the restrictive credit history or score requirements.

Opening a secured card account often takes just minutes, and has no negative impact on your credit. After placing a security deposit on the account, you can then use your secured card to spend online or in stores, just like you would any other credit card. By managing your account responsibly each month, you will build a positive credit history over time.

If you’re considering adding a secured credit card to your wallet, the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured credit card could be worth a look. Today, let’s explore what this card has to offer and whether it is the right secured credit product for you.

About First Progress Secured Credit Cards

The First Progress credit card program is offered by Synovus Bank, founded in 1888 in Columbus, Georgia. The line was created to help customers across the country establish credit records with all three credit bureaus, or even to rebuild their credit if their current credit history is less than ideal.

Related: A DIY Guide to Rebuilding Your Credit Score

There are three full-feature First Progress credit cards to choose from, all of which are secured products. This means that your initial credit limit on the card is equal to your security deposit, minus any expenses (like an annual fee) and purchases made.

There is no minimum credit score or history required to open a First Progress credit card; if you qualify for one card, you qualify for all three. Each card charges an annual fee (ranging from $29 to $44) and has a variable APR of 11.99% to 19.99% for purchases and 18.99% to 24.99% for cash advances.

Let’s talk a bit about this issuer’s entry-level (and most affordable) product, the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card.

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Features

The Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is First Progress’ lowest-cost product. Like the other two secured cards offered by the program, the Platinum Elite card has no minimum credit score or report requirement, putting it within reach for applicants who have minimal, nonexistent, or even negative credit histories.

Here’s a look at the other features you can expect from this card.

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Initial Deposit

As with any secured credit card, you will need to make a deposit in order to “secure” your First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured card account. This initial deposit will need to be at least $200.

APR

There is no introductory APR offer on this secured credit card. Instead, you can expect to pay 19.99% variable on purchases for any balances carried over, and 24.99% on any cash advances.

Your Credit Limit Can Grow Over Time

Over time and with responsible management of your account, you may be able to increase your credit limit with additional deposits. The maximum credit limit allowed on this card is $5,000.

Pricing

The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card comes with the following fees:

  • Annual fee: $29 per year
  • APR: 19.99% variable for purchases, 24.99% variable for cash advances
  • Cash advances: $10 or 3%, whichever is higher
  • Foreign transactions: 3% of the transaction
  • Late payment: Up to $40
  • Returned payment: Up to $29

You can see the full terms and conditions for this card here.

Signing Up

Applying for the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is simple, though don’t expect the process to be immediate.

First Progress offers a simple online application process. It takes a few minutes to complete, but a final decision and approval could take up to three weeks. If you want to speed the process along, you can opt for Expedited Processing for $19.95. With this service, your secured card will be processed up to seven days sooner.

Security

Synovus Bank does not share or sell your personal information with any non-affiliate, third-party companies, or for joint marketing. They may, however, share your info with their own affiliates for everyday business purposes.

Mobile Support

There is no app available through First Progress, but you can access the Online Customer Center from your mobile web browser.

Customer Service

If you need to contact First Progress about your secured credit card account, you can do so through the online Customer Center platform. Their website provides an address so that you can send correspondence, but finding a telephone number is a bit trickier. If you need to give customer service a call, the best number appears to be 888-403-4783.

Pros and Cons of the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Pros

  • Annual fee is low — The First Progress Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card has the lowest annual fee of the company’s three products, at only $29 a year.
  • Low required deposit — You’ll need to make a minimum deposit of only $200 in order to fund your account.
  • Expedited processing is available — If you want your application completed sooner, you can pay $19.95 for Expedited Processing and trim as much as seven days off the processing time. This fee will be applied to your account along with your security deposit.
  • High maximum credit limit — Over time, your credit limit may be increased, up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • No credit requirement — There are no minimum credit score or credit history requirements in order to be approved for this card.

Cons

  • No cash back or rewards — Whether earning cash back, points, or miles, credit card rewards are a great way to optimize your typical spending. None of the First Progress credit cards offer cash back or rewards, however.
  • No sign-up bonus offer or introductory APR — Some credit cards offer introductory interest rates on balance transfers or purchases, or sign-up bonuses for initial spending. First Progress does not offer any of these, however.
  • Not available everywhere — If you’re a resident of Arkansas, Iowa, New York, or Wisconsin, you will not be able to open a First Progress credit card account.
  • Applications are not approved immediately — It can take up to three weeks to process your First Progress application, though Expedited Processing is available for an additional fee.
  • No balance transfers allowed — If you’re hoping to transfer a balance from another credit card, or at least want the option to do so in the future, the First Progress Platinum Elite card is not an option for this.

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card Alternatives

Discover it Secured Credit Card

If you’re looking for a secured credit card that offers rewards on your spending, the Discover it Secured is worth a look. This card offers 2% back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter) and 1% back everywhere else.

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

If you’re looking for a card that is a bit more accessible with a lower deposit requirement, look no further. With the Capital One® Secured MasterCard®, you have the option to put down a security deposit as low as $49 (in some cases, however, you may be required to put down $99 or $200). There is also no annual fee for the Capital One® Secured MasterCard® and no foreign transaction fees.

Who is the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card for?

If you are working to establish credit, or are even trying to rebuild your credit after past missteps, getting approved for a new card can be difficult. With the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card, though, you can add a full-feature card to your wallet without any credit history or credit score requirement.

The minimum security deposit is only $200; while this isn’t the lowest requirement around, it’s reasonable enough to put this card within reach for many people. The card doesn’t offer balance transfers or cash back rewards, but with an annual fee of only $29 and a credit limit maximum as high as $5,000, it may still be the right card to add to your wallet.

Bottom Line

Getting a secured credit card is a great option for folks who may not have the credit score necessary to open a traditional card account. While products like the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card are a bit more limited than conventional credit cards, they still offer a way to build a positive credit history and spend safely wherever you go.

To learn more about the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® or start an application, check them out here.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 100
Stephanie Colestock is a respected financial writer based in Washington, DC. Her work can be found on sites such as Investopedia, Credit Karma, Quicken, The Balance, Motley Fool, and more, covering a range of topics such as family finances, planning for the future, optimizing credit, and getting out of debt. She is currently working toward her CFP certification. Her full portfolio can be found at stephaniecolestock.com.
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