- Annual percentage rate (APR): 35.99%.
- Purchase intro APR: None.
- Rewards: None.
- Annual fee: $75 for the first year, then $48 per year.
- Late fee: $29 to $40.
- Credit score: Poor to Fair (300-669).
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The First Digital Mastercard credit card offers some significant benefits for consumers with a less-than-perfect credit history.
- Designed for applicants with bad credit: The First Digital Mastercard is designed especially for people with poor credit, and those who are struggling to raise their score. In general, it can be very difficult to get approved for unsecured credit cards.
- With First Digital, however, applicants need nothing more than their personal details and an active checking account to qualify.
- The card is unsecured: You don’t need to pay a security deposit for the First Digital Mastercard. The initial credit limit is $300, for which you will pay a $95 program fee and $75 for the first year. The credit limit may also be raised if you are responsible with your spending and payments for one year.
- Online application is very easy: Another major advantage of the First Digital Mastercard is how easy it is to apply for one. You can do it all online, and you only have to provide basic information about yourself.
- The wait time for approval is also short in most cases. In about a minute, you should know whether you’ve been approved or not.
- In case you have any issue with your application, you can contact the customer service center, which operates 24/7.
- The physical card will arrive in about three weeks, though you can opt for expedited processing (at a fee) to receive it even faster.
- The card reports to all three credit bureaus: For users looking to improve their credit, a card that reports to all three credit bureaus, as First Digital does, is a great option.
- As long as you stay on top of your payments and remain within your spending limit, you can expect to see a slow but steady improvement in your credit score over time.
- Note, however, that late or missed payments will not only attract heavy penalties but will also be reported and will adversely affect your credit report.
The First Digital Mastercard does have some disadvantages that you need to weigh before you apply.
- Numerous fees: Users should expect to pay fees while using this card. Apart from the annual and the initial fee, there is a credit limit increase penalty, an additional card fee, and an expedited telephone payment charge.
- High interest rate: Credit cards designed for users with bad credit usually have annual percentage rates (APRs). However, even for a bad-credit card, the First Digital Mastercard has an unusually high APR of 35.99%.
- For comparison, the average interest rate for credit cards was 16.28% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Federal Reserve.
- Limitations to card use: Credit cards are often useful while traveling. They save you from the hassle of having to carry physical cash, and they are significantly cheaper than withdrawing foreign currency from an ATM. However, the First Digital Mastercard does not work outside of the U.S. or when making purchases in a foreign currency.
- Moreover, you can’t use it to prepay at fuel pumps, which could prove to be a dealbreaker for drivers.
- No rewards or cash back: This card does not offer any rewards or cash-back programs. However, such perks are not standard in cards for people looking to improve their credit.
Read on to find out exactly what you can hope for with the First Digital Mastercard.
What Can You Expect From the First Digital Mastercard?
This card is for users looking to improve their credit or for those who need a starter credit card. For that reason, the functionality is limited. For example, the initial credit limit is pretty low, which means you can’t use the card to make large purchases.
The First Digital Mastercard also reports your account standing to all three credit bureaus every month, so you need to stay on top of your payments to ensure your credit score goes up. To be on the safe side, keep your balance low and pay off any purchases before the due date. Your bank may take time to process payments, so pay at least a few days before the due date to be on the safe side.
Keep the Fees in Mind
Fees are normal for credit cards, especially those geared toward people with bad credit. Some of these are mandatory, while others depend on your usage. With poor credit, you can expect to have to pay an annual fee or make a security deposit. The First Digital Mastercard, however, charges some fees that aren’t common.
For example, you need to pay $95 to open your account. This is an unsecured card, so you don’t have to provide a security deposit when opening your account. Instead, you have to cover the $95 “program fee” and $75 for the first year’s annual fee.
From the second year onward, you will pay $48 annually. You will also pay a $6.25 monthly servicing fee (an additional $75 a year). Added up over two years, you will have paid up to $293 in fees.
You may have to deposit a similar amount to get a secured credit card. However, with a secured option, you may be entitled to get the deposit back when you close the account. The First Digital card will give you no such refund.
There are other fees to consider:
- You need to pay a fee every time your credit limit gets increased. The cost is equivalent to 25% of the amount by which your limit has increased.
- You can pay $35 to have your card delivery expedited.
- There is a $10 fee if you want to pay your bill by phone.
- There is a $29 fee for each new card you register under your account.
The above fees are avoidable, but they could surprise you if you are not aware of them.
One of this card’s strong points is its authorized user policy. You can easily add or remove authorized users from your account. When you add an authorized user, they will receive a credit card under your name, and you will be responsible for fees and transactions on that card. Note, however, that you will pay an additional $29 annual fee for each extra card you add to your account.
Who Should Get the First Digital MasterCard?
If you have poor credit and have gotten rejected for standard cards, then the First Digital Mastercard is likely one of the only options you will have. This card gives users a chance to improve their credit and get their finances in order. After enough timely payments, your score should rise, giving you access to standard credit cards.
On the other hand, this is an expensive card, and you should be careful not to let the fees accumulate. Don’t miss any payments and keep your balance low, as the interest charges are exceptionally high.
If you can afford to pay the deposit on a secured credit card, it may be a better option for you. Many of these cards have lower interest rates and fewer fees than the First Digital Mastercard, and you will be entitled to get your security deposit back when you close your account.
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