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This is a review of 3 similar secured cards from First Progress: the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured, the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured, and the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card.
The Elite card has the lowest annual fee with the highest interest rates; the Prestige card has the highest annual fee with the lowest interest rates; and the Select card is in-between. If you qualify for any one of these cards, you’ll also qualify for the other two.
They’re all designed to help the cardholder build or rebuild his or her credit score, by building up a positive credit history. Are one of these the right card to help you improve your credit? Keep reading to find out.
Warning: We’ve received several complaints about these cards, like issues reaching customer service, long delays and problems with payments, and a lack of a decent online system. In general we recommend avoiding these cards.
There are no rewards for making purchases with these cards, they are solely for building credit.
All of these cards report usage and payment activity to all 3 national credit bureaus each month. Using these cards responsibly will help to improve your credit rating.
You don’t need a particular credit score, or even a credit history, to apply for these cards.
|Card||Annual Fee||Regular Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|First Progress Platinum Elite||$29||19.99% Variable||N/A||24.99% Variable|
|First Progress Platinum Select||$39||13.99% Variable||N/A||19.99% Variable|
|First Progress Platinum Prestige||$49||9.99% Variable||N/A||18.99% Variable|
|Card||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|First Progress Platinum Elite||See Terms||Either $10.00 or 3% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater||3%|
|First Progress Platinum Select||See Terms||Either $10.00 or 3% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater||3%|
|First Progress Platinum Prestige||See Terms||Either $10.00 or 3% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater||3%|
|Card||Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|First Progress Platinum Elite||None||See Terms||See Terms|
|First Progress Platinum Select||None||See Terms||See Terms|
|First Progress Platinum Prestige||None||See Terms||See Terms|
There is no minimum credit score or credit history required to obtain these cards.
For each card, an initial refundable security deposit must be made, which can be between $200 and $2,000.
The terms for these cards are good for secured cards, and they conveniently come in different levels: you can pay a higher annual fee for a lower interest rate. However, if you avoid interest by paying off your balance in full each month, you won’t need to worry about the APR and can just go with the cheapest card.
However, we’ve received a hefty complaint, found on this page, against the payment processing and customer service provided by First Progress. According to one reviewer, it’s too difficult to make payments on these cards. There is no way to pay your bills directly – you must make arrangements with your bank. There are also major delays when processing payments, so that a payment made 3 days before the due date might be processed after the due date, resulting in a late fee.
Furthermore, different minimum payment amounts are reported on the website and on the automated customer service line, leading to confusion over what must be paid to avoid a penalty. The customer service line is also reported as being almost completely automated, with frequent errors when trying to talk to a human.
Keep these concerns in mind when considering any of these as your secured card. If you want to build credit with credit cards, be sure to always follow the terms to the letter, and do what you can to always make payments quickly and on time.
We gave these cards 2 out of 5 stars because they are very easy to get, no matter your credit score. These cards all have annual fees, and they don’t come with rewards or extra benefits, but their purpose is to help you build up your credit rather than enjoy rewards. And if you pay off your balance in full each month, you can avoid paying any interest at all. There are concerns about customer service and payment processing, so be sure to understand the details, including how long payments will take, when you sign up.
Want to learn more or apply for one of these cards? Just click the card name below.
If you’d rather check out some other options, see our post on the Best Secured Credit Cards.
If you use one of these cards, how do you like it? Leave your own review of your card below.
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