First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card review
Best for establishing or rebuilding credit
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $49
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 9.99 percent variable
The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card backed by a refundable deposit. It’s designed for people with a limited credit history or who are trying to get their credit score back on track. Though the card charges an annual fee of $49, you won’t need to meet minimum credit score requirements or demonstrate strong experience in managing credit to be approved. Apart from giving you a convenient option to pay for everyday things, this card offers an opportunity to establish or rebuild credit.
Like the vast majority of secured credit cards, the First Progress Platinum Prestige doesn’t come with an opportunity to earn a welcome bonus. You’ll also miss out on fancy perks and won’t be able to earn rewards. But that’s because secured credit cards are designed primarily for people looking to build or improve their credit, not earn rewards. Having said that, there are some benefits that make the First Progress Platinum Prestige useful and convenient to have around.
Potential for a bigger credit limit
Your initial security deposit becomes your credit limit, and with the First Progress Platinum Prestige, this can be any amount from $200 to $2,000. In contrast, many secured credit cards carry low maximum deposits, sometimes of $200 or less, which effectively limits their use to small purchases only.
Also, since the First Progress Platinum Prestige allows you a credit limit of up to $2,000, it’ll be less challenging to keep your credit utilization at or below the recommended level. The general guideline is to keep this ratio under 30 percent, but on a small credit limit of $200, this means keeping your balance below a mere $60.
First Progress reports to all three major credit agencies, so even if you have bad credit, you’ll be able to improve on your credit standing provided you use your card responsibly.
This card is undoubtedly handy if you want to use it for things like car rentals or hotels. Mastercards are accepted worldwide so you can basically use it anywhere that accepts credit cards. However, bear in mind there’s a 3 percent foreign transaction fee for purchases abroad.
Possible credit limit increase
Once you have demonstrated a period of responsible financial use by using your card and repaying balances in full each month you can potentially have your credit limit increased without having to pay an additional security deposit. So even if there isn’t the option of converting your secured credit card into an unsecured one, you can enjoy the convenience that comes with having a higher credit limit.
You can easily apply for the First Progress Platinum Prestige online with only a soft pull of your credit, so there will be no negative impact to your credit score. Although it takes up to three weeks for your application to be processed, there is an expedited option where your application can be fast-tracked by seven days for $19.95.
Rates and fees
While the First Progress Platinum Prestige’s annual fee is $49, which is more expensive compared to other cards on the market, its low interest rate of 9.99 percent variable is highly attractive. To illustrate, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One has $0 annual fee but a purchase APR of 26.99 percent variable.
As mentioned, there’s a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on purchases abroad. Other fees to be aware of include the late payment fee, which is up to $29 in the first instance, then up to $40 if you’ve been charged a late payment fee in the preceding six months. A returned payment, on the other hand, adds an up to $29 fee.
As online bill payment isn’t available, it can take time for a payment you’ve made to be credited to your account. An expedited telephone payment option is available, but you’ll be charged $10 for it. For a copy of a statement more than six months old, you’ll also incur a $1 fee.
How the First Progress Platinum Prestige compares to other secured credit cards
Secured Mastercard from Capital One is popular due to Capital One’s strong brand. Its $0 annual fee is attractive, but you’ll have to start with a low initial credit limit of $200. As mentioned, its APR is also much higher at 26.99 percent variable.
Those who are able to put up a bigger deposit might consider the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, as you can make a higher initial deposit of $3,000 (which means your credit limit will be $3,000). Its annual fee of $35 is lower compared to First Progress Platinum Prestige, but its APR is higher at 17.39 percent variable.
Best cards to pair the First Progress Platinum Prestige with
If you qualify for the First Progress Platinum Prestige, you may also qualify for First Progress’ other secured cards—the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard Secured Credit Card and First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card.
The First Progress Platinum Select has an annual fee of $39 but an APR of 13.99 percent variable, while the Platinum Elite has the lowest annual fee at $29 but the highest APR of all three cards at 19.99 percent variable.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the First Progress Platinum Prestige worth it?
As far as secured credit cards go, this card is a decent choice, particularly if paying off your balance in full each month may possibly be an issue. Yes, it has a high annual fee, but the low APR means you’ll pay less interest. It also offers an initial credit limit of up to $2,000 for those who can afford this amount as a security deposit. But if the annual fee bothers you, then the First Progress Platinum Select could offer a better balance between a low annual fee and reasonable APR.
- Flexible initial deposit of up to $2,000
- Regular reporting to major credit bureaus
- Potential credit limit increase
- No welcome offer
- No 0 percent intro APR period
- No rewards program