Build good credit: First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card review – October 2018

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A decent low-annual-fee card that lets you build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you have no credit history or you’re trying to rebuild your credit score.
  • Pick something else if you want cash back or a card with no annual fees.
  • Apply with a poor credit score or with no credit history.
Product NameFirst Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$29
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases20.24% variable
Cash Advance Rate25.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 3% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $27
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card could be a great choice for you, especially if you’ve had trouble getting a credit card in the past. You can apply for this card with any credit score or with no credit history at all. By using it responsibly, you may even be able to build your credit score.

Since this is a secured card, expect to put down a deposit to open an account.

The perks

  • Build your credit.

    Your payment activity will be reported to all three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — which allows you to build your credit score with responsible spending and on-time payments.

  • Credit limit.

    Depending on your deposit, your initial credit limit can be anywhere from $200 up to $2,000. Over time — and with First Progress’ approval — you can increase your credit limit to up to $5,000 with additional deposits.

Compare First Progress credit cards

First Progress cardAnnual feeAPR
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$2920.24% APR variable
First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$4910.24% APR variable
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$39 14.24% APR variable

You’ll also like …

  • No minimum credit score to apply.

    You can apply with no credit history or if you’re rebuilding your credit.

  • Issued by Mastercard.

    Mastercard is widely accepted, so you’ll be able to use your card at many locations worldwide.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    You’ll have to pay $29 annually to own the card.

  • Foreign transaction fees.

    Whenever you use your card outside of the US, you’ll pay an extra 3% of the transaction in fees.

  • Fees.

    In addition to the annual fee, you’ll pay fees for things like late payments, returned payments, requesting a copy of your billing statement, expedited payments and more.

  • Limited customer service.

    You can only contact First Progress support online if you’re an existing customer. Those who aren’t card-carrying customers yet can only reach First Progress through physical mail.

Go to site

Consider other cards if …

  • You want a similar card from another bank.

    The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One® could be a good alternative. You won’t pay an annual fee, and using your card abroad won’t saddle you with any foreign transaction fees. The main downside is that you’ll get a higher APR on purchases.

  • You want to earn cash back while building your credit.

    Check out the Discover it® Secured for a solid rewards card that has a refundable security deposit.

  • You want an unsecured card for bad credit.

    Consider the QuicksilverOne® Rewards from Capital One®. You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases without putting down a deposit, and you’ll build your credit.

Compare secured cards

Name Product Annual Fee Credit Score Min. Intro Balance Transfer APR Reward Value per Dollar Secured or Unsecured APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Welcome Offer Interest Free Period
35
Secured
19.14% variable
Up to 25 days
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
49
Secured
9.99% fixed
Up to 25 days
Low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate.
49
300
0%
Secured
10.24% variable
Up to 25 days
48
9.99% fixed
This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.
29
300
Secured
20.24% variable
Up to 25 days
39
350
9.95%
Secured
17.99% fixed
Up to 25 days
Borrow up to $10,000 and get your credit score back on track.
39
350
Secured
14.24% variable
Up to 25 days
Secured
26.24% variable
Up to 25 days
39
0%
Secured
13.99% fixed
Up to 25 days
Have little or poor credit? The primor® Secured Mastercard® Classic has no minimum credit score requirements and no processing or application fees to worry about.
49
300
Secured
9.99% fixed
Up to 25 days
Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
39
300
Secured
13.99% fixed
Up to 25 days
Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! You decide where you want to start and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

You can apply for the card if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old or 19 in Alabama and Nebraska.
  • You are US citizen or a permanent resident of the US.
  • You’re not a resident of Arkansas, Iowa, New York or Wisconsin.

In the application form, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • Your date of birth and Social Security number.
  • Financial information like annual income and monthly mortgage or rent.
  • The amount you will pay for the initial security deposit.

What credit score do I need?

Like many other secured cards, you do not need a credit history to apply. If you have a credit score of at least 300 and the income to support owning the card, you should have no problem getting approved.

What do customers say about the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card?

Satisfied customers claim that the card is doing a perfect job and that their credit score improved within few months of responsible payment activity. Those who weren’t happy with the card complained of poor customer service and hidden costs. To avoid this, make sure you read the fine print in your card’s agreement.

First Progress Card earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

How to apply for the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

  1. On the First Progress website, navigate to Credit cards and click Apply now.
  2. Fill out the application form with your personal information, contact details and financial details, then set up your deposit.
  3. Review your information and click Go to payment to complete your application.

How long will it take to get my First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card?

It takes up to three weeks to get a status on your application. If you haven’t heard back by then, reach out to First Progress. Your card and any welcome materials will be sent along with the decision upon approval.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Avoid interest. You have a grace period of 25 days at the end of each billing cycle. Pay your statement in this time to avoid accruing interest on your purchases.
  • Customer service. Support is limited to your online portal for current customers or, for those who aren’t card-carrying customers yet, writing First Progress Card at PO Box 9053, Johnson City, TN 37615-9053.

Bottom line

If you don’t have a credit history or you have bad credit score, the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card can help you establish or rebuild your credit.

It comes with the lowest annual fee of the other two First progress cards, but this card also has the highest APR on purchases. If you pay on time and you never carry your balance, this card could be a great choice.

But if you’re not sure whether this card is what you’re looking for, compare other secured cards and find your perfect card.

Frequently asked questions

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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