Designed to help those with poor credit ratings get themselves out of that situation, First Progress offers its customers a secured credit card. For the most part, secure credit cards work like any other credit card, but you have to have the entire account credit limit in an account that you cannot use for any reason, but you can get it back once you decide to close out the account. While this might seem contradictory to the way credit cards usually work, there are some situations where people have no other option to raise their credit scores.
If you have a First Progress secured credit card and need to make a payment on your account or get your online access set up, you may do so by following the directions in the guide written below. Make Your Payment Online Click the link in the green box near the bottom of this page to navigate to the First Progress credit card portal When you get to the landing page, click the tab that says “Customer Center” You should now be on the Customer Center Login page.
Enter your online ID and password into the fields labeled as such and click the “Save this Online ID” check box to store your online ID for future logins. Click the blue “Login” button Navigate to the account bill pay section of the site Enter your payment information and choose the amount and date you want to pay your bill. Verify that your details are correct and submit the payment After you finalize the payment, you no longer need to be on the site and you can either close your browser or navigate away from the website If This is Your First Time On the Site For those of you who have yet to log in on the site before, follow steps 1 and 2 on the list above and then click the link under the log in area that says “Click here.
” New text entry prompts will appear that will ask you to enter your account number and the last four digits of your SSN. Enter them then click the “Login” button. Since this is your first time, you will be presented with some forms to get your account’s log in credentials set up. Just follow them to complete your account creation and then follow steps 4 through 6 to finish your bill payment.
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I’ve noticed that many of you are trying to find the best information you can about secured credit cards. Hey, I get it. The recession trashed a lot of credit scores. And when the media tells you the recession is over, it doesn’t really help you if you can no longer qualify for a great deal on a credit card, does it? Finding the right secured card is tough, but it’s a good way to rebuild your credit history.
Let’s take a look at First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card. Whew! That’s a long name. This card is issued by Synovus Bank. The issuer reports to all three major credit bureaus. This is the most important feature for a secured card because without this reporting, your credit history won’t improve. You have to be a U.S. resident to qualify for this First Progress card, but note that the home page says this card isn’t currently available to residents of Arkansas, Iowa, New York, or Wisconsin.
Rates and fees Just so you know, First Progress offers three secured credit cards. They’re all somewhat similar, but there are some differences among the cards regarding rates and fees. APR for purchases: You get a variable rate of 14.99 percent. Balance transfers: Not applicable. APR for cash advances: You get a variable 19.99 percent APR. Plus, there’s a 3 percent transaction fee. Remember that interest on a cash advance begins immediately.
So don’t get one. Ever. Penalty rate: There isn’t a penalty rate. You also get a 25-day grace period, so you should have no problem making on-time payments. Pay your balance in full during the grace period and you don’t have to pay any interest. Annual fee: It’s $39, which isn’t too bad for a secured credit card. Foreign transaction fees: The fees are 3 percent. Other fees: Late payment fee of up to $35, expedited phone payment is $10, returned payment fee is up to $25, and more.
Read the fine print carefully. Related: First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card Review Security deposit and credit limit: Your security deposit must be a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $2,000. Your credit limit equals your security deposit less $39 for the annual fee. Your credit limit can be increased with the issuer’s approval. The maximum limit you can obtain over time is $5,000.
You don’t earn interest on your deposit, so don’t put more money in this account than you need to. Bottom line In the disclosure statements for the First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card, it notes the following: “Payments you make on your Account will not increase your Available Credit until we are assured that the payment has not been dishonored. This payment hold may take up to ten (10) days.
” So if you make a $100 payment and your credit limit is $500, you can’t assume that you have access to that $100 part of your $500 credit limit until ten days has passed. On the Credit Boards, I noticed a commenter said that it’s possible for your online balance to appear as if the payment has been applied, but that you still won’t have access to that portion of your credit limit unless 10 days has passed.
So if you get this First Progress card, just be aware of this glitch. Track the timing of your payment so you won’t end up having your card denied because the issuer thinks you’ve exceeded your credit limit. Other than this 10-day hold issue, this First Progress secured credit card isn’t too bad. I give it a solid sideways/partial thumbs up. I love that the APR is reasonable and that there aren’t tons of ridiculous fees that I often see with secured cards.
By the way, the First Progress secured credit cards are lower middle-tier cards on my list of The Best (and Worst) Secured Credit Cards. These cards are much easier to get approved for than the cards in the top tier on my list. Have any of you used this card? If so, have you had problems with the 10-day hold thing? I’d love to know what you think about it. It’s so awesome when y’all share your experiences.
Note: This review was updated on June 18, 2013. Credit card agreements change frequently. So my review is based on the information that was in effect today. Be sure you read all the disclosure statements carefully before applying for a credit card.