The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured is one of three First Progress credit cards. It has an annual fee of $39, an APR of 16.99% (variable), and a minimum security deposit of $200. While its annual fee and lack of rewards are unappealing, the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® is a good option for borrowers with bad borrowing histories, as it doesn’t require a credit check and offers credit-building tools and resources.
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The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card is issued by Synovus Bank. It’s a good credit card option for borrowers with poor or limited credit histories, and offers easy approval and credit reporting to help build credit fast.
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® is a secured credit card, meaning you have to put down a security deposit. You can get an initial credit limit equivalent to your security deposit of $200–$2,000 (although you may be able to increase this to as much as $5,000 over time).
Although you might be able to find other credit cards on the market that offer more in the way of rewards, the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® credit card has reasonable fees, an easy application, and high approval odds. It’s a great starter credit card, and we’ve picked it as the best credit card for establishing credit among our credit cards for bad credit.
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Important Details
Basic card details
- Credit card issuer: Synovus Bank
- Annual fees: $39
- APR: 16.99% (variable)
- APR for cash advances: 19.99%
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater)
- Security deposit: $200–$2,000
- Initial credit limit: $200–$2,000
- Maximum credit limit: $5,000
- Grace period: 25 days
- No rewards
- Monthly reports to major credit card bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax)
- Free real-time access to your credit score and credit monitoring service from Experian
- 3% foreign transaction fees
- Synovus Bank account required
- No credit history or minimum credit score required (and no credit inquiry for application)
- 24/7 online account access plus mobile app
- No liability for unauthorized purchases
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Feature Breakdown
In this section, we’ll look at some of the most notable features of the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card.
Here’s a breakdown of the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card fees:
- Annual fee: $39
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater)
- Late fee: Up to $41
There’s also a fee if you want your application processed faster, but this is optional.
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® doesn’t charge any monthly fees or fees for processing your application.
Here are the interest rates for the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card:
- APR: 13.99%
- Minimum interest charge: $1.50
One drawback of all three First Progress secured credit cards is that they don’t offer any rewards, promotions, or bonuses. Note that rewards are less common in credit cards for no credit or bad credit, but some lenders still offer them. Furthermore, First Progress doesn’t offer introductory bonuses or an intro low-APR period, which is a common feature of many credit cards.
You can take out a cash advance (i.e., using your card at an ATM to take out funds) with a First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card, but beware of fees and interest. The cash advance APR is relatively high at 19.99%. This interest rate is in addition to the fee you’ll need to pay upon withdrawing money, which will be either $10 or 3% of the cash advance amount (whichever is higher) on each transaction.
The security deposit for the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® will be between $200–$2,000. Your credit limit will be equivalent to the amount you choose to put down.
Your deposit goes into a Synovus Bank account. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to open one to get your First Progress card.
Your security deposit will be refunded to your account when you pay off your balance and close your credit card.
When you open a First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card, your credit limit depends on how much you pay as your security deposit—between $200 and $2,000.
When you open your account, the credit you get will be equivalent to your initial credit limit minus the initial annual fee of $39 you’re charged when you open your account. For example, if you start with an initial credit limit of $1,000, you’ll initially get $961 of credit.
Credit limit increases
You can increase your credit limit up to a maximum of $5,000 on a First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card. To ask for a credit limit increase, call customer service at (866) 706-5543.
If First Progress approves your request, you can increase your credit limit and available credit by providing additional deposit funds. If you’ve established a good record of timely payments, First Progress may let you increase your credit limit without providing additional deposit funds, but this is only offered at their discretion.
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card gives you a 25-day grace period, beginning on the first day of the new billing cycle.
If you pay your bill in full by the due date, purchases you make during the grace period (first 25 days of the billing cycle) won’t accumulate interest. If you carry a balance from the previous billing cycle, charges in the grace period will accumulate interest.
Credit Score Requirements
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card is aimed at people with bad credit or limited credit histories. One of the major perks of the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® is that there are no minimum credit score requirements to qualify.
Synovus Bank, the First Progress credit card issuer, reports credit activity to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
Credit reporting is an essential part of rebuilding or initially building credit, as activity reported to the bureaus will be used to update your credit report. Lenders aren’t required to report, so look for a credit card that advertises regular credit reporting if you’re trying to build your borrowing history.
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card is designed for building credit. To make this easier, First Progress offers apps and digital services to help you manage your credit and your finances:
- You can use the First Progress app to manage your account (e.g., to pay your bill, check your balance, and view your transactions).
- You get free real-time access to your credit score.
- You get Experian credit monitoring (which helps you to prevent identity theft and keep an eye on any changes to your credit report).
Application and Approval
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card has a quick and easy online application process, and you have near guaranteed approval—even if you’ve had a discharged bankruptcy.
How to apply
You can apply for First Progress Secured Credit Cards online. Applications usually take 7 to 10 business days. If you want your application processed in 3 to 5 business days, you can pay $19.95 to speed up processing.
You can check the status of your First Progress application online or call customer service to monitor the progress of your application.
To contact First Progress customer service, call (866) 706-5543.
For mail correspondence, write to them at:
First Progress Card
P.O. Box 9053
Johnson City, TN 37615-9053
Should You Get the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card?
If you have a limited or poor credit history, the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card is a good way to manage your finances and build credit.
As there’s no hard inquiry or credit score requirements, and you get free access to financial tools and resources, the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® can help you on your way to healthier credit and finances. However, it requires an annual fee and a Synovus Bank account––two possible deterrents to getting this card.
Who is this card for?
- Anyone who’s suffered bankruptcy: The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card is available to borrowers with a discharged bankruptcy, which often precludes applicants from qualifying for cards. Given the generous qualification standards, this card is a good resource for anyone who wants a fresh financial start.
- Credit builders: A low credit score makes life harder in many ways, from renting an apartment to securing a loan. The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured card is made for improving credit without paying exorbitant fees or interest rates. Activity is reported to all three credit bureaus, which helps build credit quickly, and the card comes with tools for managing your account and credit report.
To determine whether the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card is right for you, take a look at how it measures up against other secured credit cards on the market.
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card vs. Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Both the Citi® Secured Mastercard® and the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card:
- Require a minimum security deposit of $200.
- Charge a 3% fee on foreign transactions.
- Report to all three credit bureaus.
- Allow you to check your FICO score for free.
- Are available to people with no credit history or with bad credit scores.
However, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® has a few notable advantages: it gives you a flexible payment due date and allows balance transfers, and you may be able to upgrade your Citi Secured Mastercard to an unsecured Citi credit card if you establish a history of timely payments.
Another advantage of the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is that there’s no annual fee. On the other hand, the APR is considerably higher, at 25.49% (variable).
However, if you pay off your balance every month (and consequently don’t mind a higher APR) and haven’t got any recent bankruptcies (as “no bankruptcies within the past two years” is one of Citi’s criteria for approval) the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is probably a better option overall.
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Both the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card and the Discover it® Secured Credit Card:
- Are available to people with limited credit history.
- Report to all three credit bureaus.
- Give you free FICO credit scores.
One drawback of the Discover it® Secured credit card is that a credit check is required for approval, so a hard inquiry will be performed (keep in mind hard inquiries take points off your credit score). Although Discover is likely to approve your application even with a limited borrowing history, you can still be rejected if you have major negative marks on your credit report, like a bankruptcy.
The Discover it® Secured card has a few advantages that First Progress’s secured credit cards don’t offer, including:
- Cashback rewards
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Automatic upgrade to an unsecured card
The Discover It® Secured Credit Card card wins out overall against the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card.
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card vs. BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured credit card and the BankAmericard® Secured credit card share the following features:
- They offer no rewards.
- They report to all three credit bureaus.
- They give you free access to your FICO credit score.
- They charge a 3% foreign transaction fee.
You’ll probably need a credit check to apply for the BankAmericard® Secured credit card, and it has a considerably higher APR of 24.24% (variable) than the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard®—although this won’t matter if you pay your bills on time every month.
However, the BankAmericard® Secured credit card also has many advantages, including:
- $0 annual fee
- Balance transfers allowed
- Upgrade to an unsecured card
- Higher potential credit limit of $300–$4,900
If you want to pay a smaller security deposit (and already have or don’t mind opening a Synovus bank account), then the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card lets you get away with a smaller deposit of $200. Otherwise, the BankAmericard® Secured credit card has a number of points in its favor that make it a better option for most borrowers.