The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Review

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The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is designed to help cardholders build or rebuild their credit. Instead of tying card approval to your credit score, First Progress uses a refundable security deposit to establish your credit line. With no minimum credit score or credit history required, this card is a great option to help manage debt and improve financial health.

This card is backed by Progress Credit, which helps cardholders steadily build or rebuild their credit scores. The company also offers two other secured cards — the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card and the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card — which features slightly lower annual fees but higher interest rates.

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card can’t compete on rewards or annual fees when it comes to secured credit cards, but it offers one of the lowest purchase APRs available.

What we like about the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

  • 9.99% (Variable) APR for purchases, which is significantly lower than most secured and unsecured cards
  • No minimum credit score or history required, making it easy to start building credit with a cash deposit of $200
  • Deposits are fully refundable once your balance is paid
  • Credit scores are reported to all three major credit bureaus monthly to help build credit

Things to consider

  • $49 annual fee: If your cash flow is limited, this fee can be frustrating
  • No balance transfers: This card doesn’t offer the option of balance transfers
  • Potential payment fees: If you choose to use outside payment vendors rather than your bank account to make balance payments, you maybe be charged additional fees
  • Late payment fees: You’ll be charged up to $40 for any payments not received by the statement due date

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® low APR details

While the defining feature of this card is secured credit, what sets it apart from competitors is its low purchase APR. Making the most of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card means leveraging these features in tandem to maximize your purchasing power and boost your credit score.

To get approved, you must deposit $200 into a deposit account at Synovus Bank. While it can be refunded if you pay your credit balance and close your account, it can’t be removed while your card is active. Once your card is activated, the automatic credit reporting each month means that you’re constantly building credit to eventually gain a higher credit limit.

The low APR offered by First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card makes the path to better credit easier. At just under 10% (variable with the prime rate), you’ll pay less in interest for purchases each month, in turn reducing the amount of time you’ll spend paying your card down. This is what credit bureaus want to see — cards that are used but also consistently paid off.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® fees

The biggest fee you’ll pay for the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is the annual fee of $49 per year. You also pay $10 or 3% (whichever is greater) for any cash advances, and a 3% fee also applies to any foreign transactions. It’s also worth noting the card’s late and returned payment fees, which are up to $40 and up to $29, respectively.

While foreign transactions and cash advances probably won’t be your first priority when building credit, the cost of yearly fees combined with fairly substantial late and returned penalties can negatively impact your overall financial footing.

How does it compare to other secured credit cards?

Although the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card offers the benefit of low APR for purchases, it’s not the only secured credit option on the market. For example, if you prefer secured credit with no annual fee, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® may be your best fit. If you like the idea of getting cash back while also building your credit, opt for the Discover it® Secured to earn while you spend.

Card Annual Fee Intro Bonus Credit Needed Key features
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card $49 None No Credit History
  • No credit score or credit history required
  • Low purchase APR
  • Security deposit is fully refundable
Capital One® Secured Mastercard® $0 None No Credit History
  • No annual fee
  • Access more credit with a larger initial security deposit
  • Increase your credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
Discover it® Secured See Terms Discover will match all cash back earned at the end of your first year No Credit History
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 each quarter, plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Review your FICO credit score for free each month
  • Late payments won’t increase your APR

The bottom line

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a great fit if you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit, thanks to its easy approval process and low APR. If cash back rewards or having no annual fees are your biggest priority, however, consider other options like the Discover it® Secured or the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®.

Please Note: Information about the Discover it® Secured has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

An award-winning finance, technology and security writer, Doug has a knack for distilling complex concepts down into actionable, readable copy that generates interest and drives engagement.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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