Is the First Premier credit card worth it? | May 2018

Review: First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card – May 2018

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If you’re trying to improve your credit and have trouble qualifying for a credit card, this card could help as an alternative to payday or installment loans.

  • Get this card if… You’re looking to build your credit and move away from short-term loans.
  • Pick something else if…You don’t want to pay the steep application and annual fees.
  • Recommended poor to fair credit range of 300 to 600 to apply.
Product NameFirst PREMIER® Bank credit card
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )36% variable
Annual fee$Varies by credit limit (up to $125.00 per year)
Cash Advance Rate36% variable
Card TypeMastercard
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 27 days
Returned Payment Fee$35
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
3% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$1
Minimum Credit ScorePoor (Below 660)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Min credit limit
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
$300
Max credit limit
This credit limit may not be issued to you immediately on application. This is the maximum credit limit for this card which must be applied for or offered to you after you are approved and have already opened the account.
$500
Annual fee$Varies by credit limit (up to $125.00 per year)
Returned Payment Fee$35
Late Payment Fee$38.00
Cash Advance Fee$6.00 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater

Let’s face it — this is an expensive card when compared with other credit cards on the market. It costs $95 to get the card, plus an annual and monthly fee — and it carries a whopping 36% variable APR. It’s a tough sell for a credit card.

However, your overall cost for the First Premier Credit Card is substantially less than what you’d pay for to take out payday loans over a year.

A $300 payday loan vs the First Premier Credit Card

How often you take out a short-term or payday loanCost of a typical payday loan including feesCost of using your First Premier Credit CardYour potential savings
Once a year$115.72$215It’s $99.28 cheaper to use a payday loan than use the First Premier Credit Card if you take out only one short-term installment loan a year and pay it off in full.
Three times a year$347.16$215You’d save $132.16 with the First Premier Credit Card over a payday or installment loan.
Five times a year$578.60$215You’d save $363.60 using the First Premier Credit Card over a payday or installment loan.

We calculated the payday loans as a 27-day loan at 521.43% interest and assume full payment at the end of the term with no rollovers. We also assume that you’d pay off your purchases in the 27-day interest-free grace period, remain a cardholder for 12 months and pay the minimum monthly fee.

The perks

  • Poor or no credit accepted. You can get approval with a credit score as low as 300.
  • Could save you money. Though this card has high fees, you could save money if you’re someone who takes out multiple payday loans each year. First Premier offers better repayment terms and lower interest than most payday loans.
  • Build your credit. This credit card reports to all three credit bureaus, so with regular, on-time payments you could improve your credit.

What to watch out for

  • Fees. The First Premier Credit Card has a $95 application fee, a first-year minimum fee of $75 — falling to $45 to $49 the following year — and a monthly fee of $6.25 to $10.40 after the first year. You’ll even pay monthly fees even if you are not carrying a balance on this card.
  • High APR. The 36% variable interest rate is significantly more than you’ll find with other cards.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the First Premier Credit Card, you’ll need at least $245 to cover the deposit and fees. First Premier Credit Card determines your credit limit based on your credit score.

You also must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (or 21 if you’re a permanent resident of Puerto Rico).
  • Live in any US state except for New York or Wisconsin.

When you apply, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your full name, address, phone number and email address
  • How long you’ve lived at your current home
  • Your Social Security number
  • Whether or not you have a checking or savings account

How do I apply for the card?

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

  1. Go to the First Premier Bank site and click Apply Today in the green box at the bottom of the page.
  2. Answer a few questions about your financial situation and click Continue.
  3. Enter your personal and contact information and click Continue.
  4. Your information is sent for approval.

How long will it take to get approved?

You’ll get a response within a minute of submitting your application. In some instances, First Premier will take an additional seven to 10 days to determine approval and send you a response by mail. If you have questions about the status of your First Premier application, call 800-987-5521.

I got the First Premier Credit Card. Now what?

  • Keep a close eye on how much you’re spending. The First Premier Credit Card is expensive and is better suited to build your credit and fund emergencies rather than everyday expenses. You don’t want to get caught spending money on interest on top of fees.
  • How to make payments. Make on time payments by phone at 800-987-5521, mail or on its site.
  • How to avoid interest.To avoid interest, pay your minimum payments on time or your balance in full. If you make payments in increments, make at least the minimum payment by the due date each month. The payment due date will be on the same day every month.
  • Keep your account in good standing. By making ontime payments and paying your balance each month, your could improve your credit. This can increase your ability to qualify for a credit card with less fees and a lower APR.

What customers are saying about the First Premier Mastercard

The Better Business Bureau gives First Premier Bank an A+ rating, but of the 11 reviews on the site, the bank has 10 negative. Most site poor communication and customer service. Though, First Premier attempts to resolve issues on the BBB site.

Bottom line

The First Premier Credit Card comes with hefty fees that are most attractive for people getting out of the payday loan cycle and looking to build their credit. Because of the high fees, consider only keeping this card only as long as you need it to avoid paying too much in fees.

Frequently asked questions

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