PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Credit Card review
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PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Overview
Designed for people trying to rebuild their credit, the First Premier credit card has flexible approval requirements. It reports your account activity to the three major credit bureaus and typically can improve your score in 18 to 24 months if you use it responsibly. However, you might want to check the fine print before applying as First Premier comes with some hefty fees.
Browse the review below to learn more about this card’s rates, fees and benefits to help you decide if the First Premier is right for you.
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $45 to $125 depending on the credit limit
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 36 percent
Current sign-up bonus/welcome offer
This card does not currently have a sign-up bonus or welcome offer, which is often the case with cards for rebuilding credit.
Key cardholder perks
The First Premier credit card offers a number of features that can help you manage your money better, including a mobile app and digital wallet. Here’s a closer look at the main benefits you’ll receive as a cardholder.
Text and email alerts
First Premier provides free text and email alerts about your most recent transactions, available credit, payment history and more, which makes it easy to keep tabs on your finances.
For a small monthly fee, you can get credit protection that will pay for your credit card bill in the event of an emergency. The fee is calculated based on your end-of-month balance and costs $0.89 per $100. Protected events include disability and involuntary job loss.
First Premier offers a free digital wallet service to keep your card details safe when you shop online.
Free FICO score
You’ll get your FICO score for free on your monthly statements, which can help you track your progress while building your credit.
If you want to monitor your credit more closely, you can sign up for Premier Credit Manager. The program costs $3.99 per month and gives you access to your Experian credit report twice a month as well as your Experian VantageScore every two weeks. It also monitors your credit report and alerts you when there are any changes.
Rates and fees
First Premier has a high APR and costly fees, making it one of the more expensive credit cards for people with poor credit.
The APR for purchases and cash advances is a whopping 36 percent, which is more than double the current average interest rate for credit cards. If you carry a balance, you could rack up hundreds of dollars or more in interest charges.
This card also has several fees that vary depending on your credit limit. One of them is an annual fee that costs between $45 and $125. There’s also a one-time program fee that ranges from $55 to $95.
Additionally, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee that costs up to $10.40. However, First Premier will waive or reduce this fee for the first year, which can help offset the cost of the program fee.
First Premier also charges 3 percent for foreign transactions, up to $39 for late or returned payments and $29 for an additional card for an authorized user.
If you want a higher credit limit, which you can apply for after 13 months, you’ll have to pay another fee that’s equal to 25 percent of the increase.
How the First Premier credit card compares to other credit cards for bad credit
Like First Premier, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is designed for people trying to rebuild their credit and does not require a credit check. However, it’s a secured credit card, requiring a deposit to gain access to your credit line which can range from $200 to $3,000. As for the costs, the annual fee is lower at $35 and it has a much more appealing variable APR of just 17.39 percent.
If you want to go the unsecured route, an option to consider is the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card. You can submit a prequalification request to see if you are likely to get approved without hurting your credit score. If approved, credit lines start at $300, the annual fee ranges from $0 to $95 and the variable APR ranges from 17.99 percent to 23.99 percent.
Best cards to pair the First Premier credit card with
If you’re trying to improve your credit, it’s a good idea to have more than one well-managed credit card as it can help to build your credit faster.
You may want to pair your First Premier card with a secured credit card, like the OpenSky Secured card mentioned above. The APR and annual fee are competitive and the deposit is refundable so it may help you keep costs down. Browse the rates and terms of the best secured cards on the market to see if one may be the right fit for you.
Once you begin to build your credit, you will qualify for more cards with better rates, terms and perks. Look for cards that offer rewards so you can earn money as you use the card versus paying to have it. For example, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card approves users with less-than-perfect credit and offers unlimited 1.5 percent back on all purchases at an annual fee of $39.
Bankrate’s Take — Is the First Premier Credit Card worth it?
The First Premier credit card is designed for borrowers with bad credit or no credit who are looking to repair or build it. If you have a decent credit score, you’ll be better off choosing a credit card that has more benefits and lower fees.
But even if you have poor credit, First Premier may not be the cheapest option. There are other cards marketed toward subprime borrowers that have lower APRs and annual fees.
First Premier Bank reviews on the BBB website also tend to be negative, so you may want to find a company that has a higher level of customer satisfaction.