First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card

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Good only if you’re in a credit history bind.

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If you’re in the sort of credit history bind where a secured credit card that doesn’t care about your FICO score is the only option, this could work for you. But if you can qualify for something better without a fee, go for that instead.

Review

If you messed up your credit, or you’re just starting out, the First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card is an OK way to build up your credit profile as long as you use it responsibly. It’s low interest rate is unusual for a secured credit card, and is even better than a lot of unsecured cards.

Like most secured cards, your credit limit is determined by the size of your security deposit, from $200 to $2,000.

Also like most secured cards, there are a lot of potential fees associated with this card, from the $39 annual fee — which, admittedly, isn’t terrible as far as secured card fees go — to late fees and foreign transaction fees.

There’s no minimum credit requirement, which means your financial past won’t be held against you. Like all secured credit cards, if you use this one sparingly and pay on time you can give your credit rating a lift and get on track toward the goal of getting an unsecured card.

There are two other iterations of this card worth considering. Both the Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card and the Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card offer the same features, but have different annual fees and APRs.

The Platinum Prestige charges a $49 annual fee and has a 10.24% variable APR; the Platinum Elite has a $29 annual fee and a 20.24% variable APR. If you don’t carry a balance, the Platinum Elite might be a better choice, but if you occasionally do, it may be worth it to pay a little more in exchange for an ultra-low APR.

Who should get this card

Anyone with a thin credit file or less than stellar credit history, may want to consider this card to build up their credit profile.

Advantages
  • There’s no minimum credit requirement to qualify for this card.
  • Late payments won’t affect your APR but you will have to pay a late fee of up to $38.
  • This card won’t gouge you with unnecessary fees, and the interest rate for a secured card is pretty good.
Disadvantages
  • 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.
  • There are other secured cards that don’t charge an annual fee.
  • You won’t earn interest on your security deposit, something you may find with another secured card.

Fees and APR

  • There’s a $39 annual fee with this card, in addition to the security deposit you put down.
  • This card has a 14.24% variable APR.
  • There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee with this card.

Extras and perks

There are no extras or rewards with this card. Along with the potential fees, the lack of extras hurt this card’s overall Bankrate score.

How this card compares

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Credit Needed

Limited, Bad

Regular APR

24.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

We give kudos to the Capital One Secured MasterCard for not charging an annual fee and being one of the only secured cards that potentially lets you deposit less than your credit limit.

If you can’t afford a $200 security deposit all at once, Capital One Secured is a great option for its installment plan. This makes the Capital One card a solid choice for someone trying build (or rebuild) their credit history.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search "OpenSky Card" in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.
Credit Needed

No credit check

Regular APR

19.14% (variable)

Annual Fee

$35

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

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.

Discover it® Secured
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit from $200-$2500 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Credit Needed

Limited/Bad Credit

Regular APR

24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

10.99% for 6 months

If you have a bank account but limited or poor credit history, the Discover it Secured Card is a terrific choice to help build your credit and earn cash-back rewards, too.

We also like that you can quickly graduate to an unsecured Discover card with just seven months of good payment behavior.

EDITORIAL NOTE

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.