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This article was last updated Jul 05, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Who the card is best for
The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a just-OK card for people with limited/bad/poor credit looking to start building credit or rebuild credit. There is no credit history or minimum credit score required to qualify for this card, so if you have no credit, you’ll have a better chance qualifying compared with some other secured cards calling for fair or good credit.
Because this card has a $49 annual fee, which may not be ideal for everyone, check out some other secured cards that don’t have annual fees. And, if you already have a good credit score, we have a list of the best credit cards that don’t require a security deposit, and provide more benefits and rewards.
Where this card stands out in its category
Compared with other secured cards with APRs around 24%, this card has one of the lowest APRs at 9.99%. However, you should pay your statements on time and in full to avoid interest charges. Also, First Progress has three other secured cards — if you qualify for one, you also qualify for the others. This allows you to choose the card that suits your needs, whether that’s a low APR or low annual fee.
Where this card falls short in its category
There is a $49 annual fee for this card, which is the highest fee of any First Progress secured cards. Although it’s not that high compared with credit cards in general, there are many secured cards without annual fees. Another key point is that it can take up to 10 days for payments to be processed. That’s much longer than the majority of credit cards that process payments in two to three business days. While your payment is being processed, your available credit will be limited.
How to use it most effectively
Two tips for improving your credit score. The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card has the potential to help you build good credit, but you need to practice responsible credit behavior to take advantage of this feature. To put you on the path toward a good credit score, again, pay your statements on time and in full. This not only prevents late fees and interest but reports good payment history to the credit bureaus.
Keep your credit utilization rate around 30%. That’s the amount of total credit you use compared with the amount of credit you have. We recommend keeping your utilization rate around 30% — so, spend $90 a month for a $300 credit limit. By following these credit practices, you may see an improvement in your credit score over time.
Compare it with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great secured card that can help you build credit while earning rewards and benefiting from other perks that the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card lacks. While the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card has a $49 annual fee, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card has a $0 annual fee as well as no penalty APR and one late fee waiver — helpful for those who want to minimize fees. In addition, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card has a cashback program where you can earn 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. Meanwhile, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer a rewards program.
However, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card has a lower APR of 9.99%, compared to the Discover it® Secured Credit Card’s 22.99% Variable APR. Therefore, if you wind up carrying a balance, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card may be a better choice.
Overall, looking at both cards, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is our top pick since it has more benefits and fewer fees.
Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:
|First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card||Discover it® Secured Credit Card|
|Minimum Security Deposit||$200||$200|
|Regular Purchase APR||9.99%||22.99% Variable APR|
|Rewards||Non-rewards card||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||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.|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3%||None|
The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is below average when stacked up against other secured cards. While it has a low APR and can help you work toward good credit, beware of the annual fee and delayed payment processing.