First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card review
Best for building credit with no credit check required
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $29
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 19.99 percent variable
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply. Credit limits between $200 and $2,000 are available depending on the amount of your initial deposit and First Progress reports to all three credit bureaus, making it easier to increase your credit rating over time.
Current welcome offer
As a secured credit card, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard doesn’t come with any welcome offers, sign-up bonuses or reward rates. Instead, its biggest draw is providing access to credit even if your credit history or credit rating isn’t ideal.
Instead of taking you through a lengthy application process involving credit and income checks, First Progress prioritizes application speed. You can easily apply online, and applications are processed ASAP. Once approved, you’ll need to provide a security deposit to offset lender risk; this is the trade-off for the lack of credit check during the initial part of the application process.
While you aren’t committed to a fixed amount—you can open an account with a deposit ranging from $200 to $2,000—the amount of your deposit sets your credit limit. This means that if your deposit is $200, your available credit is also $200.
Along with the benefit of secured credit to help rebuild your credit rating, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card offers other advantages.
As a Mastercard-branded credit option, this First Progress card is accepted nationwide. This puts it a step above retail-branded credit cards that can help boost your credit rating but only allow you to make purchases in their brick-and-mortar or online stores.
Multi-bureau credit reporting
First Progress reports all of its credit data to all three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. While reporting data to any one of these agencies helps boost your credit rating, regular reporting to all three makes it easier to build your credit more quickly.
Rates and fees
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Card comes with a $29 annual fee that is charged to the card itself, meaning that if you put down a $200 deposit you’ll only have $171 worth of credit to use until you pay that fee off. This card also has a 3 percent foreign transaction fee along with an up to $40 late payment fee and an up to $29 returned payment fee. In addition, cash advances come with a $10 or 3 percent total transaction fee, whichever is greater, and a 24.99 percent variable APR for cash advances.
The standard APR for this card is 19.99 percent variable, which is better than average for similar secured cards.
How the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured compares to other secured cards
It’s no surprise that the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card makes our list of the best secured credit cards thanks to its easy online application and expedited processing. But how does it compare to other card options for bad credit?
Consider the Credit One Bank® Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, which offers credit limits as low as $300 for applicants with less-than-perfect credit plus 1 percent cash back on all eligible purchases—a rarity among cards designed for credit builders.
Another option is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, which requires no credit check and offers initial credit limits between $200 and $3,000, depending on the amount of your deposit.
|Card||Purchase APR||Initial credit limit||Annual fee|
|First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card||19.99% variable||$200-$2,000||$29|
|Credit One® Bank Visa® for Rebuilding Credit||17.99%-23.99% variable||$300||$0-$99|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card||17.39% variable||$200-$3,000||$35|
Best cards to pair with the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured
If you’re looking to pair this card with another credit card, the Credit One® Bank Visa® for Rebuilding Credit is a solid choice since it offers the ability to earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases. If your credit rating can support an unsecured card, consider keeping your First Progress card for small purchases and credit building and augmenting your financial framework with a travel rewards card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured worth it?
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured credit card offers credit-building potential with a quick application process, no credit check and a customizable deposit amount, making it a great choice if you’re looking to build a credit history or improve a damaged credit rating. Even a small deposit gets you started building credit, while First Progress assumes minimal risk since your deposit is available to cover credit debt if you’re unable to make regular payments.
The downside? Beyond three-bureau credit reporting and average purchase APR, this card doesn’t stand out from the crowd. Other secured cards like the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card offer higher credit limits, while unsecured options with lower initial limits (such as the Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit) come with cash back rewards. It’s also worth noting that unlike some competitors, it’s not possible to upgrade your secured card into an unsecured card after a certain amount of on-time payments or card ownership.
- Easy application process
- No credit check required
- Reports to all three credit bureaus
- $29 annual fee
- No way to upgrade to an unsecured credit card