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First Digital Mastercard®: Boost Your Credit with Cash Back

Cory Santos

| Last updated on February 13th, 2024

First Digital Mastercard®

First Digital Mastercard®
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Poor / Fair
Mastercard Processing Network
$75 1st year, $48 after* Annual Fee

First Digital Mastercard®

  • 35.99%* Regular Purchase APR
  • 35.99%* Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The First Digital Mastercard® is a sleek and simple card designed for rebuilding credit. With its chrome-like appearance and full Mastercard features, you’d never guess it was available for anything less than perfect credit. Yet that’s exactly what Synovus Bank (the credit card issuer) offers with this card: a speedy approval process for a $300 credit limit, to help you take your credit to the next level.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your First Digital Credit Card • Checking Account Required • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit) • Build up your credit history with a card that reports to all three major credit bureaus every month. • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t. • *See Rates, Fees, Costs & Limitations for complete offer details • See Cash Back Rewards Programs Terms & Conditions for details
  • Regular Purchase APR: 35.99%*
  • Cash Advance APR: 35.99%*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10, or 3% of the amount of the Cash Advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $75 1st year, $48 after*
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • You have struggled to qualify for other lines of credit
  • You need a credit-building card with quick and easy approval
  • You don’t need to transfer or otherwise carry a balance
  • You want the full benefits of a Mastercard

In-Depth Review: First Digital Mastercard®

Applying for a credit card with bad credit can be difficult, making it harder to improve your score. That’s where cards like the First Digital Mastercard® come into the picture. First Digital is an issuer where perfect credit is not required for approval. If you can handle a few fees and avoid the high APRs, this card makes it easy to obtain a credit line and start working on your credit. Plus, having the full spread of Mastercard features behind you makes it easier to focus on meeting your financial goals.

How to Get the Card

The First Digital Mastercard is not available to residents in the following U.S. states:

  • New York
  • Wisconsin

Quick and Easy Online Application

One of the most appealing features of the First Digital credit card is its streamlined application process. Unlike other credit cards, this offer doesn’t require an in-person application or a call to customer service. Not only can you apply completely online in minutes, but you can also expect a decision just as fast. The program claims that approval takes as few as 60 seconds.

Here is a breakdown of the card’s credit requirements and rules for applicants:

Application Requirements
Age Applicants must be at least 18 years of age
Social Security Number (SSN) Applicants need to provide a SSN to prove that they are a U.S. citizen and eligible to apply.
U.S. address Applicants must provide a United States mailing address. PO Boxes are not allowed
Proof of income You need to provide proof of your income, including demonstrating you can make the minimum monthly payment
Bank account Applicants need to provide a valid checking or savings account to link to the card for payments.
Credit Bad credit (sub 500 FICO Score) or better required

The easier credit requirement is another feature that makes this card great for building credit. The whole point of a card like this is that it’s meant for those with less-than-perfect credit – so you don’t need an excellent score to get approved. Of course, the trade-off is high APRs, common among cards that don’t rely so heavily on credit scores. However, if you tend to carry a balance, this will only adversely affect you.

First Digital Card Benefits

Upgradeable Credit Limit

Upon having your First Digital credit card application approved, you’ll receive an initial $300 credit limit (minus the start-up fees, which we’ll get to in a minute). This initial credit limit is slightly higher than you would expect for most secured credit cards, giving you more wiggle room for spending.

However, once you’ve had the card for a while, you become eligible for a credit line increase. Upgrading your credit limit can do wonders for your credit improvement efforts; the higher your limit is, the easier it will be to keep your credit utilization ratio down – a major factor affecting your FICO and VantageScore credit scores.

It’s important to note that each credit limit increase on the First Digital Mastercard comes with a fee, which constitutes a small percentage. This means that regardless of the amount of your limit increase, it will be slightly reduced initially by this fee.

Mastercard® Benefits

Not all credit improvement credit cards come backed by Mastercard. Fortunately, the First Digital credit card does. But what does this mean exactly? Mastercard’s seem to come in all shapes and sizes, but certain features apply across the board:

Zero Liability Protection Mastercard Global Services ID Theft Protection

  • Mastercard Global Service provides virtual emergency assistance whenever and wherever you need it. If you misplace your card, you can request an emergency replacement and get help using ATMs.
  • Zero Liability Protection means you’ll never have to panic if you find unauthorized transactions on your bill. Report them so Synovus Bank and Mastercard can take care of the rest.
  • Complimentary identity Protection means you can elect to receive notification of any suspicious activity relating to your credit card account, personal information, and otherwise sensitive data.

Earn Cash Back Rewards

The First Digital Mastercard® is one of several subprime cards that offers basic cash back rewards. Cardholders enjoy 1% cash back rewards on all First Digital Credit Card payments. Statement credits are the only redemption option, and that is automatic. Still, these rewards aren’t massive, but they are an incentive to build credit – and can help offset your monthly statement.


More and more subprime credit cards are offering basic cash back rewards, meaning more consumers can enjoy the benefits of rewards. Here is how the First Digital Card compares with two similar offers:

First Digital Mastercard® First Access Visa® Aspire® Cashback Rewards
Rewards Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your First Digital Credit Card Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your First Access Credit Card Earn a 3% cash back reward on gas, groceries and utilities, plus 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases‡
Starting credit $300 $300 Up to $1,000
Annual fee $75 1st year, $48 after $75 1st year, $48 after As low as $85
Network Mastercard Visa Mastercard

Things to Consider

Certain rates and fees are associated with any credit card, especially those meant for building or rebuilding credit. The First Digital Mastercard is no exception, so it’s important to understand its fees so you won’t be caught off-guard once you become a cardholder. In addition to the credit limit increase fee, the following fees apply a one-time program fee, an annual fee, and a monthly service fee.

If this sounds like a hefty cost to pay for a credit card, consider this: it’s not much more than you’d pay for a secured credit card. Meanwhile, First Digital offers an unsecured credit line that you can use to rebuild your score. You’re also eligible for credit increases, which many secured cards don’t offer unless you contribute more to your security deposit.

You should also be aware of the fees the card charges. There is a one-time $95 program fee, a variable annual fee, plus a monthly maintenance fee of $8.25 a month ($99 per year), though First Digital waives this for the first year.

First Digital Ratings

What is First Digital Bank like to deal with as a card issuer? Here is a selection of ratings for the card and the bank:

Should You Apply for the First Digital Mastercard®?

This isn’t necessarily a card meant for paying off debt but rather for repairing credit afterward. The high APRs here are completely avoidable as long as you make your payments in full each month. While the fees aren’t as avoidable, they allow access to the card for many despite blemished credit. Fortunately, the 1% cash back on payments made to the card is a benefit that can help recoup some of those fees.

Overall, the First Digital Mastercard is what you make it. If you’ve struggled to get other credit cards due to poor credit, this offers a quick solution to turn your score around. You won’t have to worry about having excellent credit to get approved, and you won’t have long to wait for a decision.

First Digital offers those with subpar credit a credit card that reports to all three major credit bureaus every month (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) plus enjoys the impressive reach of the Mastercard payment network, meaning no matter where your travels within the United States take you, chances are your First Digital Card will be accepted.

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