First Premier Bank Mastercard Detailed Review (2021)

First Premier Bank Mastercard Detailed Review (2021)

Table of Contents

The First Premier Bank Mastercard is issued by First Premier Bank, which is headquartered in South Dakota and has been in the credit card business since 1989. It advertises the First Premier Bank Mastercard as made for those with “less than perfect credit.” 

The Premier card is a rare unsecured credit card designed for people with low credit scores. In most cases, lenders willing to give credit cards to people with bad credit limit their offerings to secured cards. 

While you don’t have to put down a security deposit with the Premier Bank card, you’ll definitely pay in other ways. The card is riddled with fees, including an annual fee, program fee, monthly fee, and more. 

Due to its lengthy list of fees and 36% annual percentage rate (APR), the First Premier Bank Mastercard is a pricey card to have in your wallet. Unless you’re absolutely out of options and desperate to get a credit card, it’s wise to look elsewhere.

First Premier Bank Credit Cards

1. First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard

REGULAR APR (%)36% variable
ANNUAL FEEUp-to $125 first year, $49 annually.
REWARDS EARNING RATEThis card does not offer a rewards program.

2. First Premier Bank Credit Card

  • Choose which account management options are right for you.
  • Build credit with First PREMIER*
  • Fill out an application and know in 60 seconds if you’re approved!
  • *Build credit by keeping your balance low and paying on time every month.

3. First Premier Bank Mastercard Credit Card

  • Choose which account management options are right for you.
  • Build credit with First PREMIER*
  • Fill out an application and know in 60 seconds if you’re approved!
  • *Build credit by keeping your balance low and paying on time every month.

4. First Premier Bank Secured Credit Card

  • HERE FOR YOU – NOW & IN THE FUTURE – Since 1989, First PREMIER Bank has worked to help individuals and families with less-than-perfect credit obtain the credit they need to improve their financial health.*
  • Reports to consumer reporting agencies help you monitor your financial progress to begin your credit building journey (build credit by keeping your balance low and paying on time every month)
  • MAKING A DIFFERENCE. TOGETHER – As the 12th largest issuer of Mastercard credit cards, First PREMIER Bank understands customer needs and is there for those who may be denied by other issuers
  • Use available credit for basics like gas and food when you need them
  • Courteous, caring customer service: that’s what First PREMIER is all about
  • PREMIER puts control in your hands, just ask to be evaluated for a credit limit increase after 12 months
  • A refundable security deposit means you get your money back if you have a zero balance and the account is closed
  • If approved, fund your Security Deposit to open your account. Once open, you will have the opportunity to build your credit limit up to $5,000
  • *Build credit by keeping your balance low and paying on time every month.
  • Credit scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any First PREMIER® Bank product.

What Are the Pros of the First Premier Bank Mastercard?

The primary advantage of the First Premier credit card is that applicants with poor credit can still get approved. As a Mastercard, this card is accepted at millions of merchants in the United States and around the world. This card also has a grace period of 27 days, so cardholders have time to pay their monthly statement balances in full to avoid interest charges. You’ll get a free quarterly FICO score included on your monthly bill as well.

What Are the Cons of the First Premier Credit Card?

Unfortunately, this card has many more cons than pros. This card has very high fees, even for a card that is designed for those with poor or damaged credit.

  • High interest rate: The First Premier credit card has one of the highest interest rates around. Its has a 36% APR (as of 12/19/2019), which is about double the average.
  • High set-up fee: There is a one-time processing fee up to $95. If you do not pay that fee within 85 days of approval, your application will be withdrawn.
  • High annual fee: The annual fee the first year—which ranges from $50 to $125—will cut into your credit limit. For example, if you receive an initial credit limit of $300, there will be an annual fee of $75 for the first year and your available credit limit will be just $225 at first. The annual fee is less for subsequent years, but still enough to make a dent in your spending power.
  • Monthly service fee: The monthly service fee that the First Premier Bank Mastercard imposes after the first year are unusual. This monthly service fee is between $6.25 and $10.40 after the first anniversary of opening the card.
  • High credit limit increase fee: Upon approval, your credit limit will range from $200 to $1,000. You can be considered for a credit limit increase once your account has been open for 13 months. If you demonstrate responsible payment behavior and card use, most credit card issuers will increase your spending limit for free. First Premier Bank, on the other hand, will charge you 25% of the credit limit increase. You must reject the credit limit increase within 30 days to reverse the credit limit increase and avoid the fee.
  • Honestly, there is a fee for just about everything: These fees include a 3% foreign transaction fee, a late fee up to $39, a return item charge up to $39, an annual authorized user fee, a copying fee, a wire transfer fee, and an express delivery fee.
  • No cash back rewards: While not unusual for a credit card for poor credit, it’s still a bummer that the First Premier credit card doesn’t offer any cash back rewards.

First Premier Bank Mastercard Customer Reviews

It’s only good if you have AWFUL credit. They charge a monthly fee just to have the card and then you pay interest on purchases that were made long ago. When I first received t, there was already a charge for the annual fee so I had a $700 limit but really only was able to use about $400 on it. I havent charges anything else because my goal is to get the money sucking card paid off and cancel it. PLEASE DO NOT get this card unless you are totally DESPERATE!!!


I gave first Premier one star, because it was the first catd tgat i received once i started rebuilding my credit. But i am begging eveeyone who reads tgis to never do business with First Premier. They take advantage of people who are in desowrate situations. They habe the highest interest rates and thats not enough. They hit you with a monthly fee, just for having an account with them and they charge the maximum annual fee. They even play this trick with a hardship plan if you beg and plead. Once you start making the amount that is agreed upon on a hardship plan, they will send you a statement that aaks you to pay a diffetent amount. Next, they tell you that its your own fault, because you should have ignored the statement and continued to follow the previous agreement and therefore they kick you off of the hardship plan. People, please do not do business with First Premier. Get a secured account to start with or go with another credit card company. Tell everyone you know that First Premier Bank will take advantage of you and rip you off. 


First Premier Bank Mastercard Fees

First Premier hits you with three kinds of fees just to have an account. The amount of each fee depends on how big of a credit line you get approved for:

  • Program fee: This is a one-time fee charged when you open the account. It ranges from $55 to $95.
  • Annual fee: This ranges from $75 to $125 in the first year and $45 to $49 after that.
  • Monthly fee: This is charged in addition to the annual fee, and it ranges from $6.25 per month ($75 a year) to $10.40 a month ($124.80 per year). First Premier cards with smaller credit limits don’t charge monthly fees in the first year, but they do so afterward.

The higher your credit line, the higher your fees. Federal law limits how much credit card issuers can charge in fees during the first year an account is open. Those fees can’t add up to more than 25% of the credit limit. The “program fee” doesn’t count in that, because it’s charged before you even open the account. But the annual and monthly fees do. And in all cases, First Premier fees hit 25% on the nose or just a hair short. For example:

  • If you have a $300 credit limit, your first year’s annual fee is $75, and there are no monthly fees. Your total fees are $75 — exactly 25% of your limit.
  • If you have a $600 credit limit, your first year’s annual fee is $79, and the monthly fees add up to $79.20. Your total first-year fees are $149.20 — 24.9% of your limit.


The fees above are just the ones required to have an account. First Premier’s fees for late payments and returned payments are in line with industry standards, but then again, those fees are capped by federal regulations. Here are a couple that are not:

  • Credit limit increase fee: The issuer begins reviewing your account after 13 months to see if you’re eligible for a credit limit increase. Sounds great, right? The problem is that if First Premier approves you for an increase, you’ll pay a fee of 25% of the increase. So if your limit gets bumped from $300 to $400, a $25 fee will pop up on your statement. And this can happen without you even asking for an increase. If First Premier ups your limit (and hits you with the fee), it’s on you to reject the increase.
  • Additional card fee: If you want to add a cardholder to your account, it’ll cost you an extra $29 a year.
Credit LimitProgram FeeAnnual FeeMonthly Fee
$300$95$75 the first year then $45$0 the first year then $6.25 a month
$400$95$100 the first year then $45$0 the first year then $6.25 a month
$500$95$125 the first year then $49$0 the first year then $10.40 a month
$600$75$79 the first year then $49$5.85 a month the first year then $8.25 a month
$700$55$79 the first year then $49$8 a month the first year then $10.40 a month
$1,000$25$79 the first year then $49$8 a month the first year then $10.40 a month

Who Is This First Premier Bank Mastercard Right For?

This card should be considered only by those who have poor credit, don’t qualify for other unsecured credit cards and are unwilling to open a secured credit card account. Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros with this card, and it seems to do more harm than good for cardholders with poor credit. Instead of helping them move toward a better score, it saddles them with unnecessary fees and increases the risk of a missed payment of other error.

>>Expert Tip: Want a better credit card? Build good credit in the long term by paying all of your bills on time, keeping your debt levels low and adding a mix of credit accounts.

However, if this is the only card you can get approved for, you can likely open up more options after a year of making payments on time and working on your overall credit profile. At that point, you can switch cards and get rid of the monthly servicing fees that happen in the second year.

How to use your First Premier credit card

Due to its high APR and long list of fees, it’s best to limit yourself to using the First Premier card as a credit-builder card only. This means using it sparingly and paying it off every month. 

For example, make a few small purchases with your card each month and then pay them off in full. That way you don’t accumulate any interest and you get credit for making your payment on time. 

If you make this a habit, you can improve your payment history, which accounts for 35 percent of your credit score and is one of five factors that affect your score.

4 Alternatives to the First Premier Bank credit card

If you’re wary of the First Premier card’s high fees and 36% APR, there are several excellent alternatives available. Even if you have bad credit, the following credit cards may be within your reach.

1. OpenSky Secured Visa

The OpenSky Secured Visa is a secured credit card, which means you’ll need to come up with a security deposit. You can choose to deposit anywhere between $200 and $3,000, and your deposit is 100% refundable.

There is no credit check required to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa, making it a top choice for people with bad credit. The card also reports to all three credit bureaus, so you get credit for paying your bill on time. 

The OpenSky Visa has a $35 annual fee, but the APR is just 17.39%, making it a much more affordable card than the First Premier Mastercard. 

2. Indigo Platinum Mastercard 

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is an unsecured credit card designed for those with less than perfect credit scores. There is no monthly service fee and the APR is 24.90%. 

On the downside, the Indigo Platinum card comes with an annual fee for most borrowers with bad credit. Depending on your creditworthiness, you’ll pay $0, $59, or $75 the first year and then $99 in subsequent years.  

However, the card reports to all three credit bureaus, which makes it a good card for rebuilding your credit. It’s also more affordable than the First Premier card. 

3. Discover it Secured Mastercard

The Discover it Secured Mastercard is a secured card, but it’s a rare card for bad credit that actually offers a nice rewards program. Cardholders get 2% cash back up to $1,000 per quarter on food and gas purchases and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

Even better, Discover matches your rewards the first year, so you get double rewards. Discover also starts automatically reviewing your account at eight months to determine if it will return your security deposit. 

There is no annual fee and no monthly fee with the Discover it card, and you can start with a security deposit as low as $200. The APR is 22.99%, and Discover reports to all three credit bureaus.   

4. Milestone Unsecured Mastercard

If you have poor to bad credit, the Milestone Unsecured Mastercard might be a better option. It has an easy application process that won’t hurt your credit score. That’s a big difference from your typical credit card, which requires a hard pull. It does have a high ongoing APR at 24.90%, plus an annual fee ranging from $35 – $99.

First Premier Bank Credit Card vs. The Competition

First PREMIER® Bank Mastercard Credit CardCredit One Bank® Visa® Credit CardSecured Mastercard® from Capital OneMilestone® Mastercard® – Less Than Perfect Credit Considered
Annual Fee$75 – $125 1st yr, $45 – $49 after$0 – $99$0$35 – $99*
Rewards BonusN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rewards RateN/A0 – 1% Cash BackN/AN/A
Purchase Intro APRN/AN/AN/AN/A
Transfer Intro APRN/AN/AN/AN/A
Regular APR36%17.99% – 23.99% (V)26.99% (V)24.9%
Editors’ Rating1.0 / 53.0 / 55.0 / 53.0 / 5

First Premier credit card FAQs

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding the First Premier Bank Mastercard.

Does First Premier increase your credit limit?

Yes, First Premier offers credit limit increases after you’ve used your card responsibly for at least 13 months. However, there’s a 25% credit limit increase fee on the amount of your increase. 

What credit score do you need for a First Premier credit card?

First Premier doesn’t explicitly state what kind of credit score you need to qualify for a card. However, the card is specifically marketed toward those with bad credit, and several reviewers stated they were approved even with a recent bankruptcy.

Is First Premier a secured credit card?

No, the First Premier Bank Mastercard is an unsecured credit card, which means you aren’t required to pay a security deposit to open your account. However, the fees associated with this card are comparable to the money you would pay for a secured card. 

What is the annual fee for the First Premier credit card? 

The annual fee for this card depends on your credit limit, which is determined by your creditworthiness. You’ll pay anywhere between $75 and $125 the first year and then an amount between $45 and $49 in subsequent years. 

Can I withdraw money from my First Premier Bank credit card?

You can get a cash advance from your First Premier Bank Mastercard. You’ll pay $6 or 5% of the amount advanced, whichever is higher, plus 36% interest on the balance. 

Should I close my First Premier Bank credit card?

Generally, you should avoid closing a credit card even if you no longer use it, as it’s important to keep as much of your credit history intact as you can. The length of your credit history affects your credit score, so closing a card can lower your score.

However, cards with a high annual fee and expensive monthly fees like the First Premier card might not be worth keeping open. If you’re paying hundreds of dollars of fees every year, it’s probably best to try upgrading to a card with better terms.

Check out this Video: