Review of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Card is a card that could help you build, or even re-build, your credit profile. It's always important for consumers to carefully research any card they are considering, so let's take a close look at the pros and cons of this card to see if it is right for you.
Key Features of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Card
The low interest rate and long grace period make the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® a standout among secured credit cards. Here is a breakdown of the card's key features:
- 9.99% variable APR
- $49 annual fee
- 25-day grace period
- Credit lines between $200 and $2,000 with matching refundable security deposit
- Payments reported to all three bureaus
- No minimum credit score or credit history required
Advantages of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
The First Progress Platinum Prestige has a low APR, which is ideal for cardholders who carry a balance each month. If you are going to use your card for large transactions, having a low interest rate will minimize your debt during repayment.
All of the secured cards featured on SecuredCardChoice.com report payments to all three credit bureaus. That isn't the case for all secured cards though. You could consider that a perk for this card, since it will help boost your credit score as long as you make at least the minimum payment on time every month.
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The card also has a 25-day grace period, allowing you plenty of time to pay off your entire balance without incurring any interest penalty.
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® can be used for car rentals, hotels and anywhere else Mastercard is accepted. It is a full-featured card with no minimum credit score required, making it a smart choice for a variety of card users.
Disadvantages of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
If you need a card with a high credit limit, First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card may not be the best choice for you. It only accepts security deposits of up to $2,000, while some other secured cards accept up to $5,000.
If you have a pending bankruptcy on file, you may not qualify for the First Progress Platinum Prestige card. This is a stipulation for many secured credit cards for fear that you may open the card, then include it in the bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy is complete, you should be able to qualify for a number of secured credit cards.
The cash advance APR for First Progress Platinum cards is quite high. This is charged in addition to the cash advance fee, and the charges start immediately. You cannot avoid cash advance APR by paying off the balance within the grace period. Interest will add up from the start of the transaction. If you reserve cash advances for emergencies, this may not be an issue. If you occasionally use your credit card for cash advances (not recommended at all), this may not be the best card for you.
Is the First Progress Platinum Prestige a Good Secured Card?
Overall, First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® is an excellent secured credit card. That doesn't necessarily mean it is a good fit for everyone. To determine if this card is right for you, you need to evaluate how the fees align with your lifestyle.
If you are going to carry a balance each month, a high interest rate can significantly impact the amount you owe. At that point, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card would be a great choice for you. This is ideal for people who have had trouble managing credit cards in the past. Old habits are hard to break, so it may take you a while to get used to paying off your balance each month. Having a card with a low interest rate will lower the overall charges you face.
If you pay off your credit card balance in full each month before the grace period, you will not incur interest charges. This is a smart credit card practice to maintain because it helps prevent unmanageable debt and keeps your credit utilization rate low. If you are confident in your ability to do this, you may prefer a card with a lower annual fee. A higher APR would not be an issue because you'd be able to avoid the interest by always paying off your balance in full.
How to Make the Most of Your Secured Credit Card
Whether you choose the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card or a different secured card, there are some tactics you can use to maximize your credit building opportunities. Start by comparing secured cards to make sure you choose the right one for your needs. This will provide a good foundation for your financial journey.
Only use your card for purchases you know you can repay. The easiest way to do this is to use your card in place of a debit card. Then use the money you would have spent from your bank account to pay off your credit card balance. If you need to use your card for a larger purchase, create a manageable payment plan before completing the transaction.
Make at least your minimum monthly payments on time each month. Payment history accounts for more than one-third of your FICO credit score. It is vital to show a history of on-time payments.
You can also benefit from maintaining a low balance on your secured credit card. This will impact your credit utilization, which is the ratio of amount owed on your card compared to the amount of credit available. If you charge $1,000 against your $2,000 credit limit, you have a utilization rate of 50%. Finance experts say to keep this rate below 30% for optimal credit building.
Finally, make sure you treat your secured card as a credit card, not a prepaid card. You may have funded your line of credit, but the card itself still functions as a credit card. If you make a late payment or skip a payment entirely, your credit is going to suffer. If you charge the entire balance, you'll continue paying interest on it until you pay it off. Put yourself in the mindset of a credit builder, not a spender. That is the best way to benefit from a secured credit card.