Last Updated: August 2, 2022
Foreign transaction fee:
Cash advance fee:
3% or $10 (whichever is greater)
Bank account requirement:
Are you struggling to take out a credit card because you have a poor or no credit score? Then you may want to consider getting a secured credit card that doesn’t require a credit check when you apply. The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® from Synovus Bank is such an option. So, should you consider getting one?
We’ve done extensive research and compiled a detailed First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card review to assist you with your decision.
Application Process and Requirements
One of the reasons people choose the First Progress Platinum Elite credit card is that the application process is online. This means you don’t have to visit a branch to sign papers and wait for approval. Simply go to the First Progress website and choose the Elite Mastercard®. Fill in your personal details and make sure you don’t leave anything out of your application because there is a possibility that the company will decline it due to incomplete information.
Most importantly, there’s no minimum credit score requirement. Your approval odds wouldn’t be affected even by a discharged bankruptcy in your credit file.
To qualify for the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard®, you must meet the following basic criteria:
- Be 18 years or older
- Be a US citizen
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Have a qualifying Synovus Bank account
Notably, this card is not available for citizens of Arkansas, Iowa, New York, or Wisconsin. Yet, it’s accepted both nationwide and globally wherever merchants take Mastercard.
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Review
Before you decide to apply, you should first consider everything the card has to offer you. In this next section, take a look at the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card fees, security deposit, and credit limit to see if this is the right card for your financial needs.
Security deposit & credit limit
Before you can start using your First Progress Platinum Elite card, you’ll have to pay a minimum deposit of $200. This amount is refundable, so you will get it back once you decide to close your account and pay off your balance.
The $200 becomes your initial line of credit, so bear that in mind when making your minimum deposit. You can increase your line of credit by increasing the deposit you choose to pay. With the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard, you can put in a maximum deposit of $2,000, but it can’t exceed this amount.
You can apply for a First Progress Secured Credit Card limit increase if you call their customer service after your application has been approved.
All credit cards charge certain fees. The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® is no different. This secured option comes with an interest rate of 21.49%, which you can avoid if you don’t carry a balance. The annual fee is $29, which is lower than the other credit cards offered by First Progress.
Notably, the annual fee is due upon account opening. This means you’ll automatically have a balance of $29 on your first statement, eating into your initial credit limit. So, if you provide the lowest allowable deposit of $200, your available credit will be $171 in the first month.
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® will also charge you for any cash advances you make at ATMs. This is $10 or 3% of the amount, whichever is greater. And if you make purchases in another country or buy goods in a currency other than US dollars, you’ll be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee.
First Progress will also charge you a fee of up to $29 for late payments. And if you make more than one late payment within a six-month time frame, you’ll be charged a fee of up to $39.
Report to credit bureaus
If improving your creditworthiness is on your agenda, you’ll be happy to know that First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® reports your payment activity to all three major credit card bureaus. This means that if you’re a responsible cardholder making on-time payments, you’d be able to boost your credit score. Yet, there’s no option to upgrade to an unsecured card even after improving your standing.
One of the downsides to the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® is that it doesn’t offer any cashback rewards when you swipe your card.
This, however, is the norm with secured credit cards. Their main purpose is to help you build or rebuild your score. So incentivizing you for making purchases would be rather counterproductive. In this sense, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® is ideal for car rentals, hotel bookings, and minor spendings. Larger or regular purchases are not advisable.
When you choose this credit card, you can download the First Progress app, giving you 24/7 access to your online account. For now, however, the application is Android-only. Nevertheless, iOS users can easily access the First Progress website from any device because it’s mobile-friendly.
With the First Progress online payment option, you can check your balance and statements. So you don’t need to phone the credit card issuer if you want to check the progress of your account.
Free real-time access to your credit score
When trying to rebuild your credit, monitoring your progress is truly your first line of defense. The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® offers free real-time access to your credit score and ongoing credit monitoring powered by Experian. This feature is highly appreciated by consumers, helping them adjust their credit-building efforts to the actual impact on their standing.
First Progress credit card complaints
Even though the First Progress Platinum Elite credit card offers many benefits, some cardholders are not happy with it. Many have complained about the customer service stating that they’re hard-to-reach and not helpful. Others have said that it took over a month to receive their card.
If you’re skeptical about applying for this card based on First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® secured credit card reviews from users, you may consider one of the alternatives below. There are different types of credit cards – three secured and one unsecured option that may be a better fit for you.
|First Progress Platinum Elite||First Progress Platinum Prestige||First Access Visa® Card||Applied Bank Secured Visa®||First Progress Platinum Select||OpenSky® Secured Visa®|
|APR||21.49% (variable)||11.49% (variable)||34.99% (fixed)||9.99% (fixed)||15.49% (variable)||18.89% (variable)|
|Deposit||$200 – $2,000 (refundable)||$200 – $2,000 (refundable)||$95 non-refundable set-up fee||$200 – $1,000
|$200 – $2,000 (refundable)||$200 – $3,000 (refundable)|
|Type of card||Secured||Secured||Unsecured||Secured||Secured||Secured|
|Credit limit||$200 – $2,000||$200 – $2,000||$300||$200 – $5,000||$200 – $2,000||$200 – $3,000|
|Annual fee||$29||$49||$75 for the first year. After that, $48 annually.||$48||$39||$35|
|Foreign trans. fee||3%||3%||N/A||3%||3%||3%|
|Cash advance fee||3% or $10||3% or $10||None for the first year. After that, 3% or $10.00.
|5% or $5||3% or $10||5% or $6|
The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® secured card has many of the same features as the First Progress Elite, including the available credit card limit. The main difference is that Progress Prestige has a lower APR of 11.49% compared to the Elite card’s 21.49% rate. This makes it a better option for those who plan to use it for regular purchases. Yet, the Platinum Prestige’s $49 annual fee is considerably higher.
The First Access Visa® Card is an unsecured card, which doesn’t require a deposit. However, it does charge a $95 non-refundable set-up fee. Unlike First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard®, First Access Visa® offers a one-year introductory period which spares users from paying a cash advance fee. However, the annual fee is higher in this first year ($78). After that period it drops to $48. Also, compared to First Progress Platinum Elite, this unsecured card has a much higher APR of 34.99%.
Along with First Progress Platinum Prestige, Applied Bank Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card offers the lowest APR (9.99%) from our list of alternatives. However, some of the fees involved are higher. It’s also of note that unlike First Progress, Applied Bank offers a credit increase option, which gives cardholders access to up to $5,000 spending power.
The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card has many of the same features as the Platinum Elite card. However, it has a lower APR of 15.49%. The $39 annual fee is not significantly higher, while the other charges involved are literally the same.
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® has a lower APR of 18.89% (variable) compared to Progress Elite, and it allows a higher maximum deposit of $3,000 which becomes your line of credit. On the other hand, OpenSky’s credit card has exceptionally higher cash advance and foreign transaction fees compared to the Elite card. And if First Progress’ bank account requirement is a dealbreaker for you, OpenSky is the obvious choice for you.
The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® could be a viable solution for people who have bad credit, thus limited access to financial products. The application process doesn’t involve a credit check. Besides, the First Progress Platinum Elite may also be the best credit card for young adults or college students looking to build up their scores.
Yet if you’re concerned about the negative First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® reviews from cardholders, you may want to consider one of the alternatives mentioned above.
- Quick online application process
- No credit checks required
- Monthly reporting to all three major credit card bureaus
- Decent line of credit
- Poor customer service
- No upgrade path to an unsecured card
- High cash advance fees
How long does it take to get First Progress credit card?
After you’ve been approved for your Platinum Elite credit card, it could take up to two weeks to get the plastic. You can also opt for Expedited Processing, which takes up to 10 days, and it will cost you $19.95.
Does First Progress refund deposit?
Yes, First Progress Platinum Elite is a secured card that requires users to put down a refundable security deposit as collateral. To get your deposit back, you must pay your balance in full and close the account.
How to close First Progress credit card?
To cancel your First Progress credit card, you must call the company’s customer care line. You should also ensure that you’ve settled any outstanding balances before making an account closure request.
Does First Progress increase credit limit?
Yes, First Progress does increase credit limits on all their secured cards, including the Platinum Elite. To request a credit increase, simply call customer care to assist you.
How do I pay my First Progress online?
To pay your First Progress credit card, you can download the app on your phone or log into your account on the company’s website. Take a look at the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® secured credit card review above for more details.