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Credit Card Reviews

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card Review

First Progress offers three cards for those who are trying to rebuild their credit card. This version has the lowest annual fee, but the highest standard interest rate.

Pros:

  • Modest annual fee
  • Reports to all three national credit bureaus
  • No credit history or minimum credit score required

Cons:

  • High standard interest rate
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • No upgrade path to an unsecured card

Experian Review

The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard is a secured card designed for those with credit problems who want to rebuild their credit. Its annual fee is just $29, which is lower than many standard unsecured cards targeted at people with bad credit. In fact, it requires no credit history or minimum credit score for applicants. However, it offers few cardholder benefits and no standard unsecured card once your credit scores improve.

Easy to Qualify

Like many secured cards, there's no minimum credit score needed for the Platinum Elite Mastercard, and you don't even have to have a credit history. This makes it ideal for people with a poor credit score due to job loss, foreclosure, bankruptcy or other problems. All you really have to do is submit a refundable security deposit of at least $200, and the amount of your deposit becomes your card's credit limit.

Help Building Credit

This card reports to all three national credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), so as long as you make all your payments on time, your credit has a good chance of improving. First Progress doesn't list any cardholder benefits, such as travel insurance or purchase protection, but since this is a Mastercard, you can at least expect a $0 liability policy. First Progress doesn't offer standard unsecured cards, so if you want an unsecured card once your credit improves, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Fees to Consider

This card has a small $29 annual fee, which is much lower than many unsecured cards for applicants with poor credit. However, some major banks offer secured cards with no annual fee. This card has the highest standard interest rate of all three First Progress cards, but at least you have a 25-day grace period to pay in full and avoid interest. It charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you'll want to avoid using it on trips abroad.

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