First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Robin Saks Frankel  in  No Credit History Advertising Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Bad to Fair (300 - 670)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On First Progress's secure website
Annual Fee:
$29
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
20.74% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Bankrate Score: 63 out of 100

Commonly used for: Bad Credit, No Credit History.

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.

Review

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 20.74% — 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.

Advantages
  • There’s no credit check or minimum credit score requirement, so it’s easy to get approved.
  • You can get a credit limit ranging from $200 to $2,000, as long as you can put down an equivalent amount cash.
  • The interest rate is better than some of the sky-high rates charged by other secured cards.
  • The card reports to all three of the credit bureaus, so with regular on-time payments, you could improve your standing.
Disadvantages
  • You can’t "graduate" to an unsecured card with the same issuer.
  • The $29 annual fee eats into your available credit.
  • It takes up to 10 days for payments to show as deposited to your account.
  • There’s no phone number to reach customer service and you can only contact them online.
  • Late payments won’t affect your APR but you will have to pay a late fee of up to $39.
  • There's a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Fees and APR

• You’ll pay a 20.74% 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 up to $39 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.