About First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card
The First Progress Platinum Prestige is a Mastercard credit card offered to consumers who have bad credit scores and are trying to rebuild their credit.
Because this card is being marketed to specific consumers, it has a specific set of rates, fees and conditions that are different than what you’d normally find with more well-known credit cards.
However, this unique mix of features is pretty standard for bad-credit credit cards.
As you’ll find out later in this review, though, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card has a few excellent features that make it a strong contender for the best card on the market for consumers with low credit scores.
Before we get there, though, let’s lay out what you can expect from this review:
- An overview of rates and fees
- An overview of benefits
- An overview of the Platinum Prestige’s user & expert reviews
Once we help you understand each one of these areas, we’ll wrap up with a simple list of the pros and cons, as well as our recommendation as to who would be a good fit for this card.
The First Progress Platinum Prestige Card’s Rates and Fees
Most credit cards that are created for consumers with bad credit scores have a system of rates and fees designed to make you pay out-of-pocket for using the card.
Annual fees are something you’ll find on most credit cards whether they’re made for consumers with low credit scores or high ones.
For example, the Total Visa has yearly fees of more than $130 and the Build Card’s annual fee tops $70.
The Platinum Prestige has an annual fee of $49, which is right in the middle of the pack of the cards of this type we’ve reviewed.
The Total Visa has an annual fee of $48 ($75 the first year) and the Credit One Platinum has an annual fee that ranges from $0 to $99.
In most cases, a credit card’s annual fee isn’t that big of a deal because you usually get something in return for that fee.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card, for example, has an annual fee of $69, but you get frequent flyer points every time you make a purchase and 3,000 free points on your cardmember anniversary.
Most credit cards for bad credit don’t have any perks that go along with the annual fee. What’s interesting, though, is that one of the few cards without an annual fee – the Discover it Secured – actually has a rewards system that gives you cash back on nearly every purchase you make.
The Platinum Prestige, unfortunately, doesn’t come with free cash or frequent flyer points/miles.
The idea is that credit card companies know that consumers with bad credit have an elevated risk of not paying their balances.
Annual fees without perks are a great way for financial institutions to get cash from their customers, which cuts down on how much money they could lose if you end up not paying your balance.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
While annual fees can be annoying because you can’t avoid them, your APR is one of those things you can avoid by paying off your balance in full every month.
Of the five credit cards we reviewed in our guide on the best credit cards for people with bad credit, the Prestige Platinum offered the lowest APR: 9.99%
What’s crazy about this interest rate is that it’s lower than what you can get with credit cards reserved for people with excellent credit.
Here’s a quick comparison of how the Platinum Prestige’s APR stacks up against the competition:
- USAA Secured American Express: 10.65%-20.65%
- Credit One Platinum: 16.15%-24.65%
- Discover it Secured: 23.74%
- Total Visa: 29.99%
As you can see, there’s a huge spread of APR’s for the USAA Secured and the Credit One Platinum. Only the borrowers with the best credit scores will get the lowest APR’s. If your score is in the 500’s, expect to get the higher APRs.
Like the Platinum Prestige, the Discover it Secured and the Total Visa have a single APR.
We mentioned earlier that you’ll only face interest charges if you don’t pay off your balance in full by your due date.
If you don’t do that, then the credit card company uses a simple formula to figure out how much interest you’ll pay.
They divide your annual percentage rate by 365 to calculate your daily interest rate. They then multiply that number – .000273 – by the balance you had each day that you were being charged interest.
So, if you had a $300 balance on a day you were charged interest, that day’s interest fee would be $0.08.
That doesn’t seem like a lot of interest, and it’s not. A lot of that has to do with the low APR and the low overall balance.
If your purchases are subject to interest, the Platinum Prestige’s fine print says that your minimum interest charge will be $1.50.
This means that, if your total interest fees are less than $1.50, you’ll be charged $1.50.
Your credit limit is determined by the amount of the security deposit you put down. The lowest possible credit limit you can have is $200. However, if you want your initial deposit to be more than that, there are a few things you should know.
We scoured the Platinum Prestige’s fine print and found that, if you want to deposit more than $200, “your initial deposit and corresponding Credit Limit must be at least $350 and may not exceed $2,000.”
You can ask First Progress for a credit-limit increase, but, according to their fine print, the maximum credit limit you can have is $5,000.
Your security deposit is kept in a deposit account with First Progress and acts as collateral just in case your account goes into default and you don’t pay your outstanding balance.
Late and Returned Payment Fees
If you make a late payment on your account, you’ll be charged up to $38. If, for some reason, the payment you make on your balance is returned, you’ll be charged up to $27.
The Benefits of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Credit Card
It’s really hard to pinpoint any benefits to this card except for the fact that you can have an initial credit limit of up to $2,000.
While that seems appealing, $2,000 is a lot of money to tie up for a secured credit card.
We also see the card’s low APR as another benefit, as it beats out all of the popular credit cards for people with bad credit.
Reviews of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card
One of the things we like to do with our credit card reviews is check out some of the reviews the card gets from users and experts.
This helps you get a well-rounded sense of what people are saying about this card’s strengths and weaknesses.
More than 1,400 reviewers on Wallet Hub Gave the Platinum Prestige card an average of 3 stars. The site’s credit card editor John Kiernan gave the card a 2.7 out of 5 stars, noting that the card has a low annual fee but knocking it for its “hefty” annual fee.
We disagree with his assessment of the card’s annual fee, as $49 is, in our experience, a middle-of-the-road amount that isn’t surprising for a card intended for consumers with low credit scores.
CardRates credit card expert Toby Sembower gave the card a 2.9-star rating, saying, “We like this card because you’re guaranteed approval, making it great for someone with bad credit or no credit. No processing and application fees, either!”
We’re hesitant to say that First Progress “guarantees” that someone will get their card, but we believe this could be inferred from the fact that the First Progress website says that you don’t need a credit history or minimum credit score to get the card.
Doctor of Credit
Doctor of Credit wasn’t too thrilled with this secured credit card, calling it one of the worst secured credit cards on the market.
“It has a massive annual fee which will eat into funds that card holders should be putting aside for their emergency funds or putting towards paying off other debt they have,” their closing statements said.
We disagree with the use of the word “massive” to describe the annual fee. We think this is a little dramatic and certainly not accurate.
Our Final Thoughts on the First Progress Platinum Prestige Credit Card
If there’s one thing we found surprising about the critiques of the Platinum Prestige, it’s the repeated criticism of the card’s annual fee.
You see, there are two main types of consumers who will get this card. One has good financial habits and has bad credit scores because an unforeseen emergency put them in debt.
There’s another kind of consumer who just doesn’t have good habits and their flaws have ruined their credit scores.
For the first type, yes, the annual fee may be high. They pay their bill on time every month and APR is never a factor. For these people, the Discover it Secured may be a better choice since it offers rewards and doesn’t have an annual fee.
For the second type of consumer, the Platinum Prestige is actually a great fit because they most likely don’t pay their balance off every month and will have to pay interest on their purchases. The annual fee is well worth the cost of the interest you’ll save.
With this debate cleared up, we’ll move into what we think are the pros and the cons of this card, as well as the type of consumer who might enjoy using the Platinum Prestige.
Pros of the Platinum Prestige Mastercard
This card’s greatest strength is its APR. No other bad-credit card we’ve reviewed has such an incredible interest rate.
The Discover it Secured has a low-end APR of 10.65%, but that low interest rate will most likely go to borrowers with credit scores near or above 650.
We also like that a minimum credit score or credit history isn’t required, although we can’t say for sure that anyone who applies for this card will be accepted.
Cons of the Platinum Prestige Mastercard
We’d be hard-pressed to say that this card has a true drawback. While we aren’t going to go as far as to say the card’s $49 annual fee is “hefty” or “massive”, we would say the fee is higher than other cards that we’ve reviewed.
The USAA Secured Card American Express, for example, has an annual fee of $35, and the Discover it Secured has no annual fee.
Who Might Be a Good Fit for the Platinum Prestige Mastercard
We believe, based on our research, that this card is a great option for consumers who have a hard time paying off their balance every month.
In time, we’d hope that you can nail your budget and have enough money to pay your credit card in full, every month.
But, until that time comes, we think this card is a great option for you because the APR is so low.
The Final Word: A Great APR
Overall, we think the First Progress Platinum Prestige stands out from the crowd because of its low APR.
While it may not have the rewards program of a Discover it Secured or the $35 annual fee of the USAA Secured, its 9.99% APR should warrant serious consideration.