First Digital Mastercard Review
The First Digital Mastercard is an unsecured credit card marketed toward people with less than perfect credit. While it might be able to help you boost your credit score by making your payments on time, the high annual percent rate (APR) and long list of fees can make this an expensive card to own.
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What Is the First Digital Mastercard?
Also known as the First Digital NexGen Mastercard, the First Digital Mastercard is issued by Synovus Bank, which is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.
Perhaps the only perk with this card is that it reports to all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Unfortunately, this card has a sky high APR of 35.99%, which is high even for a credit card geared toward individuals with poor credit.
Additionally, the First Digital Mastercard comes with numerous fees, including an annual fee and a program fee. Because these fees are assessed up front, they automatically reduce your credit limit.
First Digital Mastercard Overview
The First Digital Mastercard is an unsecured credit card, which means you don't need to make a security deposit to open the card. It's also a Mastercard, so you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Because the First Digital card is aimed at people with bad credit, you don't need a good credit score to apply. Once you're approved, however, you must pay a one-time program fee to activate your card.
Unlike some credit cards marketed toward those with poor credit, the First Digital Mastercards requires a checking account to apply. The application is available online, and First Digital's website says you can get a decision in as little as 60 seconds.
First Digital Mastercard Fees
If you're interested in the First Digital Mastercard, it's important to familiarize yourself with the fees, which you can find in the First Digital card's summary of terms. For starters, the annual fee is $75 for the first year and then $48 for subsequent years.
There is also a "program fee" of $95, which is assessed one time. Interestingly, the First Digital card doesn't charge a monthly maintenance fee for the first year, but it kicks in a $6.25 monthly fee ($75 annually) once you've had the card for a year.
If you want to add an authorized user to your account, you must pay $29 per additional card. Synovus Bank will also charge up to $40 for late or returned payments.
The APR for the First Digital Mastercard is 35.99%. If you opt for a cash advance, you'll pay $10 or 3% of the amount advanced, whichever is greater.
The First Digital Mastercard is also one of the few credit cards that charges a fee for credit limit increases. For every credit limit increase you receive, you must pay 25% of the limit increase.
For example, if you receive an increase of $100, Synovus Bank will charge you a one-time fee of $25. This fee is deducted from your limit increase, which means your credit limit really only increases by $75.
Pros vs. Cons of the First Digital Mastercard Credit Card
The First Digital Mastercard has its share of pros and cons, with the drawbacks outweighing the potential benefits. Here's a rundown of what to expect.
Widely accepted - The First Digital card is a Mastercard, so you can use it just about anywhere in the world.
Reports to all credit bureaus - The First Digital credit card reports to all three major credit bureaus. This means you'll get credit for your on-time, regular payments, which can help you increase your credit score.
Easy approval - The First Digital Mastercard's website states "perfect credit is not required to get approved." If you've been turned down by other credit card lenders, you might have a better chance of getting a First Digital card.
High APR - At 35.99%, the First Digital Mastercard has one of the highest interest rates you'll find for any credit card.
Annual fee - The First Digital card charges a $75 annual fee for the first year. While the fee drops to $48 after the first year, this is still a relatively high annual fee.
Program fee - If you're approved for a card, you must pay a one-time program fee of $95.
Monthly maintenance fee - You won't pay a monthly maintenance fee during the first year, but the First Digital card charges a $6.25 monthly service fee after the initial year is up.
First Digital Mastercard Reviews
While there are a handful of finance industry reviews available for the First Digital Mastercard, consumer reviews are hard to come by. One online reviewer stated that the card offers an opportunity to rebuild your credit if you're gearing up to make a big purchase, such as a new home.
Alternatives to the First Digital Mastercard
If you're put off by the First Digital Mastercard's high fees and interest rate, you'll be happy to know there are several alternatives that make it possible to get a credit card even if you have bad credit.
1. Capital One Secured Mastercard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured card, which means you must make a security deposit to use the card. However, you can choose to deposit $49, $99, or $200.
Even better, the Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn't charge an annual fee. At 26.99%, its interest rate is much lower than the First Digital Mastercard's APR.
2. Citi Secured Mastercard
At 22.49%, the Citi Secured card's APR is considerably lower than the First Digital Mastercard's interest rate. There is also no annual fee.
3. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky Secured Visa credit card does charge a $35 annual fee, but its 18.95% APR is low for a credit card designed for people with bad credit.
There is no credit check when you apply, and OpenSky reports your payment history to all three major credit bureaus. Subject to approval, you can choose a security deposit ranging from $200 all the way up to $3,000.
First Digital Mastercard FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding the First Digital Mastercard.
What Credit Score Is Needed for a First Digital Mastercard?
The First Digital Mastercard website doesn't state a minimum credit score required to get approved for a credit card. However, First Digital states explicitly on its website that perfect credit isn't a requirement.
According to myFICO, a "poor" credit score is anything under 580, while a "fair" credit score ranges between 580 and 669.
Where Do I Apply for the First Digital Mastercard?
It's easy to apply for a First Digital Mastercard. You start by visiting the First Digital Mastercard website, where you'll see a button that says "apply now."
From there, you'll be taken to the online application, which will ask you several questions about your personal information as well as your finances.
When you're finished filling out the application, you can submit it online. According to First Digital's site, you should receive a decision within 60 seconds.
What Bank Issues the First Digital Mastercard Credit Card?
The First Digital Mastercard is issued by Synovus Bank.
If you have poor credit and you've tried without success to qualify for a credit card, you might have better luck with the First Digital Mastercard. However, it's important to be wary of the card's high fees and interest, which can make the First Digital Mastercard an expensive card to own.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.