*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Jul 29, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is geared to consumers with limited/bad credit who are looking for a card to improve their credit score. It charges an annual fee of $29 and doesn’t offer any benefits or rewards, but it does report account and payment activity to the credit bureaus.
Note that you’ll need a bank account to make monthly payments to avoid incurring separate costs imposed by outside payment vendors.
- First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card pros
- First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card cons
- Compare it with the Discover it® Secured
- Is this First Progress secured credit card right for you?
This is one of one of three cards offered by First Progress. The others are the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card and the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card. All require consumers to submit a security deposit. This security deposit will match the amount of your credit limit, and protects the issuer in case you don’t pay off what you charge.
The First Progress credit cards are issued by Synovus Bank, based in Columbus, Ga.
Free Credit Bureau Reporting
$200 - $2,000 Credit Line*
- Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
- No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
- Quick and Complete Online Application
- Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
- Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
- Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
- Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
- 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
- Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI * See Card Terms.
- Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
- See additional First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card details
See additional details for First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card pros
Available to applicants with limited/bad credit. It’s possible to apply for a First Progress credit card even with no credit history. And there’s no minimum credit score required either, so even if you have bad credit, a First Progress credit card could be a way to improve your credit score.
For reference, FICO® considers a credit score between 300 and 579 as poor or bad credit.
Reports to the credit bureaus. One of the most important factors when trying to build or rebuild your credit profile is ensuring the card you’re applying for reports to the major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This one does.
Potentially high credit limit. The amount of your deposit will match the amount of your credit limit. This card requires a minimum deposit of $200 and allows a maximum initial deposit of $2,000. If First Progress later decides to let you deposit more, the max credit limit is $5,000.
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card cons
Annual fee. There’s a $29 annual fee for the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card . While some consumers may feel the annual fee is worth it for the chance to build or rebuild credit, there are competing secured cards with no annual fee.
Also, the annual fee will reduce your initial available credit limit until you pay it off. For example, if you’re approved for a $200 credit limit, your initial available credit will be $171 – your limit minus the annual fee.
Slow payment processing. It can take up to 10 days for a payment to process on the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card . There is an option to make an expedited telephone payment for a fee of $10 per payment.
Limited availability. Residents of Arkansas, Iowa, New York or Wisconsin will not be able to apply for the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card .
High APR. This card’s APR is 19.99% variable. That’s not too bad for a card aimed at people with limited/bad, but it’s worth noting. If you pay off your card in full each month, you can typically avoid paying interest charges.
No ability to upgrade to an unsecured credit card. Some secured cards provide an opportunity for cardholders to graduate to an unsecured credit card and get their deposit refunded after showing responsible borrowing and repayment behavior. First Progress doesn’t offer an unsecured card – to get your deposit back you must pay off the card and close the account.
In addition to paying off the card and closing the account, First Progress requires that you cut any unexpired cards in half and send the card halves to them before they’ll refund the deposit.
Foreign transaction fee. When traveling outside the United States, be aware that there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee on each purchase made with this card.
Compare it with the Discover it® Secured
2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*
No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*
- 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 of at least $200 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.
- Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Secured
The Discover it® Secured is another card designed to help people with limited/bad/poor credit rebuild their credit score. Here’s how the two cards compare:
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured
|First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card||Discover it® Secured|
|Rewards||No rewards.||2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.|
|Sign-up bonus||No bonus.||For new cardmembers, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.|
|Regular purchase APR||19.99% variable||22.99% variable|
There’s no annual fee for the Discover it® Secured, and it offers a cash back rewards program. In addition, after eight months of using the card, Discover will begin automatic monthly reviews of your account to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit back.
There’s no guarantee of getting upgraded to an unsecured card, and Discover considers all your credit accounts when making this determination. However, this is a more frequent and transparent review process than we’ve found with other secured credit cards.
Is this First Progress secured credit card right for you?
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card can help you establish or rebuild credit, but it comes with some downsides: a $29 annual fee, a payment processing time of up to 10 days and a requirement to send your physical card back to the issuer when you want your deposit refunded. There are better secured cards on the market.
However, because there’s no minimum credit score required to apply for this card, it could be worth considering for those who have been denied for other credit cards.