| Last updated on February 16th, 2024
First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- 19.24% (Variable) Regular Purchase APR
- 25.24% (Variable) Cash Advance APR
At a Glance
The First Latitude Select Mastercard Secured Credit Card can help you build a positive credit history with financial responsibility and regular payments, all for a $39 annual fee.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- Earn 1% Cash Back Rewards on payments made to your First Latitude Secured credit card account. • Past credit issues shouldn’t prevent you from getting a credit card with great benefits & rewards! • Choose your own fully-refundable credit line - $200 to $2000 – based on your security deposit. • Build or rebuild your credit!¹ • Accepted wherever Mastercard® is accepted • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus • No minimum credit score required for approval! • ¹Cardholders who keep their balance low and pay their credit card bill on time every month typically do see an increase in their credit score. • *See Important Disclosures for complete offer details
- Regular Purchase APR: 19.24% (Variable)
- Cash Advance APR: 25.24% (Variable)
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Annual Fee: $39
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $30
- Minimum Deposit Required: Minimum refundable deposit of $200.00 up to $2,000.00*
- You have little-to-no credit history and struggle to get approved for other credit cards
- You want to establish a credit history or improve your credit score
- You can submit a minimum of $100 for the security deposit
- You don’t intend to carry a balance from month-to-month
In-Depth Review: First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
The First Latitude Select Mastercard is a secured credit card designed for anyone who may have had credit issues in the past and who wants to rebuild credit while earning cash back rewards. The First Latitude Select Mastercard is serviced by First Progress (itself an issuer of three secured cards) and Synovus Bank, First Progress’ parent company.
How Does a Secured Card Work?
You might think all credit cards act the same: you are given a line of credit, and you can make purchases off of that line, which you must repay. Yes, this is how all credit cards operate, but how that line of credit is opened differs dramatically based on card type.
Secured credit cards, like the First Latitude Select Mastercard, require collateral to “secure” the loan. This collateral takes the form of a cash deposit. The amount you deposit equals the credit line, which in turn acts like any other credit card would, by making purchases and then paying those purchases off by the due date (plus interest, if applicable), thus replenishing the credit line. Should you close your account, you will receive your security deposit back (minus any outstanding charges or fees).
Because these card types require a deposit, they often come without needing a credit check. This means that when you apply for a secured credit card, there is no hard inquiry on your credit report.
How to Get the Card
Like other secured credit cards, the First Latitude Select Mastercard requires a refundable deposit to open. The card has a refundable credit limit of between $100 and $2,000. Your deposit must be from $100 to a $2,000 maximum – you decide how much to deposit. If your application is approved, your credit limit will equal your deposit amount (less the $25 annual fee for year one. Once paid, your credit limit will match your deposit amount).
A $100 credit line may sound meager. Still, for someone with limited resources, it can be a lifeline that can help them build credit towards renting an apartment, getting a loan, or another financial event. Many secured cards feature a minimum deposit of $200, making the $100 minimum with First Latitude much more accommodating.
Because First Latitude prefers cardholders to have a bank account to make monthly payments, using your primary checking account with the card might be a good idea. This can streamline the credit-building process with the addition of autopay.
Credit Building Benefts
The easiest way to build credit with a secured card is by making small purchases and paying them off before the statement due date. Payment history is the most critical factor in a person’s credit score, followed closely by credit use – or credit utilization.
Credit utilization refers to how much of your available credit you are using. Say you get the First Latitude Select Card, for example, and make a $100 deposit; A $30 purchase would amount to 30% of your total credit use.
Lenders prefer borrowers to use 30% of their credit or less, as it shows that your finances aren’t stretched. Because of this, it is crucial to keep your credit use low – even with a secured card with a small deposit. Don’t worry – you can still use your card as usual; ensure you consistently make payments to refresh the credit limit – and make sure your credit use is never more than 30% overnight – just in the off chance the lender might report your credit file that evening.
These basic steps can help you build credit quickly with First Latitude. The card reports all usage and payment activity to all three national credit bureaus every month (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), meaning as few as six months with the card can yield impressive results.
How to Earn Cash Back Rewards
Cash back rewards typically aren’t found in credit cards for rebuilding or establishing a positive credit history. Fortunately, First Latitude is looking to reward cardholders as committed to building their credit as First Progress is, by offering cash back rewards with the card.
Cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases made with the First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card. Rewards are automatically applied to the cardholder’s account and apply as statement credits. While 1% back isn’t industry-leading, very few secured credit cards provide rewards, making this offer tempting.
The First Latitude Select Secured is a full-feature Mastercard credit card. This means cardholders can expect the following basic Mastercard protections:
|Zero Liability Protection
|Mastercard Global Services
|ID Theft Protection
Here is how the First Latitude Mastercard stacks up with two rival secured cards:
Things to Consider
Despite what you might think, secured cards don’t feature extremely high-interest rates. The deposit requirement of secured cards makes them less risky to lenders, meaning cardholders can expect a decent, fixed APR.
The First Latitude Select has an annual fee of $39, which is on-par for cards of this type. The card also requires a one-time program fee of $19.95, payable when applying.
Prepaid and debit cards are available to consumers with poor or inadequate credit scores, but these products generally do not offer credit and do not report to the major consumer credit bureaus. Some prepaid and debit card programs carry monthly membership fees or carry a charge for reloading funds to the card.
A secured card is a real credit card that extends credit based on a security deposit provided by the cardholder rather than relying on the applicant’s credit history. Aside from the security deposit requirement, a secured card works just like any major (Visa®, Mastercard or American Express®) bankcard. The cardholder can revolve a balance by paying only the minimum monthly payment, or avoid finance charges by paying the balance in full each month. Activity on the First Latitude Select Secured Mastercard Credit Card is reported monthly to all three major credit bureaus to help speed the accumulation of new credit history in the cardholder’s credit files.
- First Latitude offers an optional Expedited Processing Service for $19.95. With the Expedited Processing Service your secured credit card will be processed up to 7 days faster and is only available if you use a debit or prepaid card to fund your security deposit. The $19.95 will be applied to your debit or prepaid card account along with the security deposit amount selected to fund your secured credit card.
- Existing First Latitude Card customers can enter the secure Online Customer Center or write to the bank at:
First Latitude Card
P.O. Box 9053
Johnson City, TN 37615-9053
- No, not at this time.
First Latitude Card Ratings
Should You Apply for the First Latitude Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card?
Overall, the First Latitude Select Mastercard Secured Credit Card hits many of the right notes while avoiding some of the missteps with other similarly marketed credit cards. The annual fee with the card is modest, the minimum-security deposit is lower than with most other cards, and the everyday APR is highly competitive.
Some applicants might seek rewards card options, with the Surge Select Secured Mastercard a good choice in that area. While earning rewards and enjoying the exact APR as First Latitude might sound appealing, the Surge also features an annual fee of $69 – considerably higher than First Latitude.
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