The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card review
A dependable no-annual-fee secured card for building credit.
- Get this card if you don’t want to pay an annual fee.
- Pick something else if you want cash back.
- Apply with no credit history or with poor credit score.
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
|Product Name||The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card|
|Purchase APR||25.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Cash advance rate||25.99% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 3% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 25 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $40|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $29|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Dallas Morning News, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
Important note: The issuer of this card is no longer soliciting new applications for this product. If you submit an application, you may be approved for a First Progress card instead, which will come with an annual fee. See our note below this review.The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card requires a deposit of $200 to $2,000, which will be equal to your credit line. It has a $0 annual fee and a variable 25.99% variable purchase and cash advance APR — a standard interest rate among secured cards, though still very high.
There’s no minimum credit score required, so you’re free to apply even with zero or damaged credit. Synovus Bank, the issuing bank, will report your payment history to the three major US credit bureaus, which will help you build your credit score with timely payments.
Ultimately, you won’t find bells and whistles with this card, but that’s perfectly fine for a secured card. On the strength of the basics — that is, fees and minimum deposit — The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is a solid choice.
Note regarding The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card applications
You can still submit an application for this card at the time of this writing. However, according to John Yardley at First Equity, The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is currently not available.
This means if you’re approved, you may receive a card under the First Progress banner instead, including:
- First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card ($29 annual fee)
- First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card ($39 annual fee)
- First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card ($49 annual fee)
First Progress and First Latitude are both issued by the same entity, Synovus Bank.
First Progress cards can be helpful — but watch out for annual fees
As we write in our reviews, First Progress cards can be useful if you have damaged credit. In some cases, the cards can offer lower-than-average interest rates you won’t find elsewhere.
However, the cards do come with annual fees, which you might understandably want to avoid.
Keep in mind if you apply for The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card, you may be approved for and automatically charged an annual fee for a First Progress card.
You don’t have to pay the annual fee as long as you close your card before making any transactions, and if you notify your issuer in writing. See the procedure for this in your cardholder agreement.
Build your credit.
Your payments are reported to all three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Regular on-time payments can improve your score and help you qualify for an unsecured card.
No annual fee.
Most secured credit cards charge annual fees, sometimes as high as $50.
No minimum credit score required.
You don’t need to have a credit history to apply for this card, meaning you can apply no matter your credit score.
A deposit between $200 and $2,000 determines your credit line. Over time you could be approved for up to $5,000.
Quick and easy online application.
You can opt in for expedited processing or choose to fund your account later.
Get worldwide acceptance with Mastercard.
What to watch out for
Foreign transaction fee.
You’ll pay a fee of 3% of the transaction every time you make a purchase outside of the US.
High APR on purchases.
You get a variable APR of 25.99% on purchases. This is relatively high, considering other secured cards have APR on purchases as low as 9.99%.
For late payments, you’ll pay up to a $40 fee, returned payments will cost you up to $29 and an expedited telephone payment costs $10.
Limited customer support options.
Customer support is only available online for existing cardholders or by snail mail.
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for the card, you must be at least 18 years old, or 19 if you’re a resident of Alabama or Nebraska.
The card is not offered to non-US residents or people in Arkansas, Iowa, New York or Wisconsin.
The information you’ll need to provide includes:
- Full name and contact information.
- Your residential status.
- Your annual income, source of income and employment information.
- Your Social Security number.
Fund your deposit later
If you don’t want to pay the full $200 security deposit during your application process, you can select the Apply now and fund later option. You’ll pay a $29.95 upfront fee.
After that, you can submit your security deposit within 90 days, and you can use your card one business day after Synovus Bank receives the funds.
What credit score do I need?
You can apply with a poor credit score or with no credit history, however, approval isn’t guaranteed. A higher credit score improves your chances for approval.
What do customers say about The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accredited First Progress — the BBB that covers First Latitude complaints — since 2013 and rates them with an A+. Complaints typically revolve around customer service. As of writing, all 200 complaints that were lodged against First Progress have been answered or resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
How to apply for The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
- Go to the provider's site and click Apply now.
- Complete the application form.
- Choose to fund your account now, or to pay your security deposit later.
- Review and submit your application.
How long will it take to get The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card?
Your application will be processed within three weeks. If it takes longer and you haven’t heard back, contact the bank. Also, there’s an option to get expedited processing for a $19.95 fee, which can speed up this process by seven days.
Upon approval, you’ll get the card within seven to 10 business days.
I got the card. Now what?
- Avoid interest. Pay your balance within the 25-day grace period to avoid paying the high APR.
- Customer service. Log in to your online portal or write First Latitude Card at PO Box 9053 Johnson City, TN 37615-9053.
Compare secured cards
If you’re having trouble getting approved because of a low credit score, The First Latitude MasterCard® Secured Credit Card may be worth a look. With responsible card activity, you’ll get to build your credit and work towards qualifying for an unsecured card.
However, if you’re still not sure which credit card is best for you, feel free to check out other secured cards to find the one that works best for your financial situation.