First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card
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If you’re applying for a secured credit card, chances are either your credit stinks or you don’t have much of a financial history.
First Progress can help make access to credit easy with one of its secured cards. None of the three credit cards it offers require a credit check or have a minimum credit score, which can be a big boon for some who may not be able to qualify for a credit card otherwise. Of the three options, the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card is the best choice for someone looking for the lowest annual fee.
The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card is a just OK card with some just OK attributes. It has an acceptable variable APR of 19.99% — there are other secured cards that offer lower rates, but you’d have to qualify for it. And some offer crazy high interest rates closer to 30%.
But anyone trying to responsibly build up their credit score should try to pay their bill in full every month. That means no interest charges.
There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to apply for a secured credit card with an institution that doesn’t run a credit check. Young adults who have spent most of their lives in school or recent arrivals to the country who haven’t yet built up a credit history, someone who is emerging from bankruptcy, or anyone who made some major mistakes with their finances are all likely to face challenges qualifying for an unsecured card, and in some cases some secured cards.
There is a $29 annual fee, which can put a dent in the amount of available credit you’ll end up with. If you’re approved for a $200 line of credit, but have that pesky $29 fee, you’ll only have $171 left until you reach your card’s limit. Not only does this lower the purchasing power of the card, but it can also affect your credit utilization ratio. This ratio can play a big part in determining your credit score and, since this card reports monthly to all three of the major credit bureaus, your goal should be to keep the amount of credit you’re using low.
The money you put down to “secure” your line of credit won’t earn any interest either, and you won’t see that money again until you close the account. If you can only qualify for a card that doesn’t conduct a credit check, this card will do, but you should shop around to make sure you can’t find something better.
Who should get this card
If you’re serious about building up — or rebuilding — your credit, this card can help you get there if you use it responsibly.
Fees and APR
• You’ll pay a 19.99% variable APR on any balances you carry.
• This card has a $29 annual fee.
• Late payments won’t affect your APR but a late fee of $29 will apply.
• You’ll be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the U.S.
Extras and perks
There are no extras with the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card.
How this card compares
The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card has a lower annual percentage rate than the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card, making it a slightly better choice. We still think you can do better than any of the three First Progress secured cards.
The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is most similar to the First Progress cards as its secured credit card doesn’t require a credit check or bank account. The two reasons you may want to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is if you don’t own a checking account, but still want access to a credit card, or if you’re looking for a secured card with a decent annual percentage rate.
There’s a very narrow band of consumers this applies to, we imagine.
The Capital One Secured MasterCard has flexible opening options that other secured cards do not. If you qualify, you can put down as little as $49 to get a credit limit of $200. Or, you can pay the $200 security deposit in installments. This card can give you access to a higher credit line after you make five on-time monthly payments.
The Discover it Secured Card packs a powerful punch of attributes not typically seen in secured cards. For starters, you earn cash back with the card — something no other secured card on the market offers. And it will double your cash back at the end of the first year. The bank also will review your account, starting at eight months to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.