How to Compare First Progress Credit Cards
#1. Annual Fees
There are two reasons to consider the annual fee. First, it’s a cost of having the credit card. Let’s take the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card, for example.
It has a $39 annual fee. If you keep the card for 3 years to build credit, it will cost you $117 just to have a secured credit card. You don’t get any rewards or benefits except for the credit building.
Second, the annual fee takes away from your credit limit. Let’s say you put down $200 (the minimum) to build your credit. Right from the start, you’ll have reduced available credit because the $39 comes off your credit limit.
Think about whether you’ll carry a balance. If you’re taking the credit card just to build credit and will use the card but pay the balance in full each month, you may choose the card with the highest APR and lowest annual fee.
You won’t care about the APR because you won’t charge anything you can’t pay off in full. But, if you’ll use the card to carry a balance, consider the Platinum Prestige credit card. You’ll pay a higher annual fee but will get the lowest APR First Progress offers – 12.24%.
#3. State Availability
First Progress secured credit cards aren’t available in every state. Currently, you can’t apply for the card in Iowa, Arkansas, New York, and Wisconsin.
4 Benefits of First Progress Credit Cards
It’s important to look at the benefits of each credit card to determine if it’s a good fit for you.
#1. Great Cards to Build Credit
First Progress secured credit cards report to all three credit bureaus. If you use it wisely (not charging too much) and paying your balance off in full, you can build a solid credit history and improve your credit score over time.
#2. Easy to Qualify For
As long as you’re a citizen of the United States and have money to put down on the card, you’ll likely get approved.
First Progress has a few factors they consider, but never your credit score. If you can prove you have the capability to use and pay off the card, you’re a good candidate.
#3. Accepted Nationwide
First Progress credit cards are accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted. They look just like a ‘regular’ credit card – no one will know it’s a secured credit card.
#4. No Minimum Credit Score or Credit History Required
Most secured credit cards require a certain credit score or length of credit history, but First Progress doesn’t.
The card helps you build credit so that you have an established credit history and credit score when you’re ready to apply for an unsecured credit card or other loans.
How Do First Progress Credit Cards Compare to Other Cards?
#1. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t require a credit check, just like First Progress credit cards. It has a $35 annual fee and 17.39% APR. You need a credit history with OpenSky, but it doesn’t have to be a ‘good’ credit score.
OpenSky reports to all three credit bureaus and offers credit lines as low as $200. Like First Progress, the OpenSky credit card doesn’t offer any rewards.
#2. Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card is a credit building credit card, but it’s unsecured, unlike the First Progress secured options. This means you don’t need a security deposit, and you don’t even need great credit.
The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee, and it pays 1% cashback on all purchases, and after 12 months of on-time payments, it pays 1.5% cashback. It also offers special cashback promotions at certain merchants.
The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card has a 12.99% – 26.99% APR and doesn’t offer balance transfers. It does report to all three credit bureaus to help you improve your credit score.
#3. Self Visa® Credit Card
The Self Visa® Credit Card is a secured card like the First Progress credit cards. To get the Self Visa® Credit Card, you must have a Self-Credit Builder Loan Account.
The credit builder loan is like a personal loan, except you don’t get the proceeds – they go in a bank account until you pay the loan off. Your payments are reported to the credit bureau to help you build credit.
Once you make 3 on-time payments with your credit-builder account, you can apply for the Self Visa® Credit Card.
The credit card has a $25 annual fee and 23.99% APR. You don’t need a security deposit, though since you must have a credit-builder account to get the credit card, they use your credit-builder account as the collateral.
#4. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is another option that many people favor because it has no annual fee and it pays you cashback.
You can deposit between $200 – $2,000 depending on what you can afford, and you’ll earn 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases, with 1% earned everywhere else.
The APR starts at 10.99% for 6 months and increases to 22.99% for the remainder of the time you have the card.
Discover reports your payments to all three credit bureaus and automatically reviews your account at 8 months to see if you qualify for an unsecured credit card.
#5. Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One offers flexible security deposit requirements and doesn’t have an annual fee.
You may get a $200 credit line for as little as $49 deposited, depending on your qualifying factors. If you make your payments on time, Capital One may increase your credit line after six months without the need for a higher deposit.
Since Capital One has many unsecured credit card options, too, you may be able to upgrade after 6 months to a year.
First Progress Credit Cards FAQs
What is the Credit Limit for First Progress Credit Cards?
The First Progress credit cards all have a minimum credit limit of $200 but go up to $2,000. Your credit limit depends on the amount you can deposit.
Can You Use First Progress Credit Card Anywhere?
Yes, the First Progress credit card (any of the three) is a Mastercard that you can use anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including stores, restaurants, grocery stores, and more.
How Do I Pay My First Progress Card?
The easiest way to pay your First Progress card is online, but you can also make payments by mail or by at 866-706-5543.
Are First Progress Credit Cards Good?
As far as secured credit cards with no credit check go, First Progress credit cards are good. They have a hefty annual fee, so make sure you don’t qualify for any of the cards with no annual fee first.
If you don’t, First Progress credit cards provide great alternatives, especially if you use them only for a short-term solution until you build better credit.
Are First Progress Cards Hard to Qualify For?
No, First Progress credit cards are easy to qualify for – you don’t need a specific credit score or credit history length.
If you apply over the phone or by mail, it could take as long as 3 weeks to get an answer, though. If you apply online, they respond faster in most cases.
Bottom Line: First Progress Credit Cards
If you need a secured credit card and don’t qualify for any of the ‘free’ options, First Progress credit cards may be a good alternative.
I suggest using them to build credit and then get a better-unsecured card with lower fees and doesn’t require a security deposit.