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In-Depth Analysis

First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Review

Julija A. Image
ByJulija A.
May 31, 2021

If you’re looking to rebuild your credit score, First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card might just be for you. With a low APR compared to other credit cards and a trouble-free admission process, this First Progress credit card is suited even for those with no credit history.

Regular APR:
13.99% (variable)

Credit score: Bad to fair

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Regular APR:
13.99% (variable)
Annual fee:
$39
Welcome bonus:
N/A
Other fees:
Cash advance fee: 3% (min $10); Foreign transaction fee: 3%; Cash advance APR: $19.99 (variable)
Credit score:
Bad to fair
Intro APR:
N/A
Reward:
N/A
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Builds credit score
  • No credit history required
  • Lower interest rate
  • Easy application process
  • 25-day grace period
  • Monthly reports to credit bureaus
  • Low minimum deposit
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • Higher annual fee
  • Deposit changes must be authorized
  • Not accepted in NY, WI, AR, and IA

A Solid Recovery Package

In the modern consumer society, commodities like credit cards can be quite convenient. If you are not careful, however, you can quickly get stuck in a vicious debt cycle. That is where secured credit cards come into play, with Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card being one of the better options out there.

Secured credit cards are unique – they can improve your credit score and history. With First Progress, you’ll keep all your balances and fees in check and see your credit score gradually improve.

When in Trouble, Use Secured Credit Card

First Progress offers three secured credit cards with different annual fees and APRs. The higher the annual fee, the lower the APR will be, and vice versa.

Lower Than the Average APR

With an interest rate of 13.99%, this Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card’s APR is not the lowest of the three. Nevertheless, the rate is significantly lower than the average for secured credit cards, which was 16.63% in the last quarter of 2020.

The best way to use this First Progress secured credit card is to pay your balance fully and on time. That way, you’ll see a consistent rise in your credit score and avoid paying interest rates, which will do wonders for your credit history.

You can postpone the payments, but you’ll incur the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card late payment fee that can go up to $40. Then, you’ll need to pay the minimum monthly repayment, just like with standard credit cards. We strongly advise against this. In such a case, you’ll have an ongoing debt and regular APR affecting your credit history, something this credit-building card is aiming to fix.

Minimum Deposit

One of the most significant advantages of this First Progress secured credit card is the fairly low $200 starting deposit.

The deposit amount also dictates your credit limit. That way, the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card limit is meant to help you avoid falling into debt. The deposited amount serves as a guarantee to lenders in the event you run into problems paying off the balance in an orderly fashion.

At first, you can deposit up to $2,000. Still, every deposit change must be communicated and approved. Over time, if you prove you are reliable enough, the company may increase your credit limit without requiring an additional security deposit from you. The maximum deposit amount cannot surpass $5,000, though.

The low minimum deposit requirements and simple procedure for obtaining the card are the Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card benefits that suit people of various backgrounds. The card will appeal to students who want to start their credit history correctly, for instance. Also, it’s powerful enough to help cardholders with bad credit histories improve their credit score.

The Three Houses and Credit Utilization

This secured credit card is primarily intended to rebuild credit history, which is why your First Progress payment history is reported monthly to the three main national credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. If you want a good credit report, you won’t miss your payments.

Another important factor in improving credit score is credit utilization – your entire debt on all revolving accounts, including credit cards. To calculate your First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® credit utilization, divide your credit card’s total balance by your credit limit, then multiply the result by 100. What you get is your credit utilization ratio.

For example, if your balance is $550 and you divide it by your credit limit of $1,000, you get 0.55. Multiply that fraction by 100 to turn it into a percentage, and the result is 55% of credit utilization.

Remember that credit utilization is the second most impactful aspect of your credit score, the first being your payment history. It is therefore paramount to get your credit utilization rate down to 30% or lower. Showing you’re careful with money will reflect positively on the monthly reports First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® sends to the reporting agencies.

How does First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® compare?

First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Logo First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard®
Regular APR:

13.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$39

Discover it® Secured Credit Card Logo Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Regular APR:

22.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Capital One Secured Mastercard® Logo Capital One Secured Mastercard®
Regular APR:

26.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Fairly High Annual Fee

The annual fee for this secured credit card is $39, putting it somewhere between the First Progress Platinum Prestige’s high and the Platinum Elite’s low annual fee.

You can find secured credit cards with no annual fee requirements. However, such cards usually come with a significantly higher interest rate. The lower interest rate is what gives the Platinum Select card advantage over the competitors, despite the relatively high annual fee.

Unlike charge cards, Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card gives out no rewards. This is not uncommon. Since secured credit cards are primarily designed to build your credit score, rewards are seldom part of the package.

Nevertheless, having a First Progress secured card does bring benefits. You don’t need to wonder: “Can I rent a car with a secured credit card?” With this one, you certainly can. Mastercard may even offer coverage in case of theft or damage to the vehicle if you pay full rental expenses with it.

Easy To Get, Difficult To Change

Cardholders are generally satisfied with the First Progress’ selection of credit cards and options for improving credit score.

The process of obtaining Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is easy: you fill out an online application and, after seven to ten business days of data processing, the company sends you the card by post. Simple as that. What is more, the process does not include a detailed look into your credit history, so there is no impact on your credit score.

There’s an option for expedited processing, which costs $19.95 and cuts the processing times down to three to five business days. Do note that once the expedited secured credit card is sent, you might have to wait a couple of weeks before it arrives.

Some secured credit cards allow for a switch to unsecured credit cards once you’ve proven to be reliable. Sadly, that’s not the case here. You have to settle your balance, close the account, and send the card back. After that, it might take up to ten weeks to get the deposit check back, deducted by the amount owed.

It might be wise to equip yourself with patience if you decide to contact the First Progress customer center as well, seeing that some users report issues such as slow response times.

Not Available Everywhere

Our First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card reviews’ previous sections don’t mention the card’s one major disadvantage – it’s not available nationwide. Currently, cardholders in New York, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Arkansas cannot obtain this secured credit card, but we’re hoping the company will change that policy soon.

Score-Building Ally

If you are looking to improve your credit score or properly establish your credit history, the Platinum Select card will give you a fighting chance. In addition, you can use it as a standard credit card for different payment purposes.

Most importantly, if you pay your dues on time, the Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card reports for the credit bureaus will show the improvements, making a positive impact on your credit score and history.

FAQ
Is First Progress a good secured credit card? +

Yes, all First Progress secured credit cards offer great options for building your credit score. Moreover, First Progress Platinum Select Card gives a very low interest rate.

Which is the best-secured credit card to rebuild credit? +

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is among the best, with the ability to reach a higher credit line in just 6 months. First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard®, on the other hand, has a very low ongoing APR.

What is the highest limit on a secured credit card? +

The upper limit on Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is $5,000 - if your credit history is solid. Otherwise, the amount equals your deposit and goes up to $2,000.

What is the easiest credit card to be approved for? +

With instant approval and low credit score requirements, Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card is easy to obtain, if you can tackle high annual fees and ongoing APR. That’s for unsecured credit cards. For secured credit cards, Discover it® Secured Credit Card and First Progress Platinum Select have the lowest deposit and credit score/credit history requirements.