This is one of the most expensive secured cards on the market!
Okay, so your credit sucks. You already know that means you will probably have to pay a few bucks to get a credit card. But what First Premier Bank charges is more than just a few bucks. Their secured card is one of the most expensive out there. Review for yourself…
High fees + low limits = bad deal
The annual fee on First Premier’s secured credit card is $50. That’s quite high for this type of card. There are others which are $20 cheaper, at least.
Now paying $50 annually is definitely not ideal, but it wouldn’t be that bad if the credit limit was higher. Unfortunately, when you first open the account the most you can start with is a $200 deposit. If you try to deposit more than that, this is what the application says…
So why would they say that – when at the same time – they also say “you will have the opportunity to build your credit limit to a maximum of $5,000.”
If you can have a $5k credit limit, why won’t they let your deposit be more than $200?
The reason is because they want to charge you more fees to get a higher limit!
Translation? You can pony up a $200 security deposit for a $200 credit limit. If you want to try and get a higher limit down the road, you will have to:
(a) Wait until your account has been open a minimum of 13 months
(b) Pay a 25% fee on the amount your credit limit is increased.
What they’re charging, to put it bluntly, is a complete ripoff.
First of all, if you’ve managed your account responsibly for 13 months, you could probably apply for an entry level unsecured card from a different issuer and get approved with a $500 to $2,000 credit limit.
But instead, what the First Premier secured credit card does is charge you a ridiculous 25% fee on any amount of a credit limit increase.
That means to get $500 to $1,000 in additional unsecured credit, you would have to pay them a fee of $125 to $250. And don’t confuse this with your security deposit. A deposit is refundable, but you will never get the money back from these fees.
I don’t know of any other secured credit cards that operate like this.
And then there are more fees…
Fees and high APRs can be expected on these types of cards. On this one you have a 19.90% APR (which is alright for this type of card) and here are the other fees that come along with it…
Now playing devil’s advocate for a moment, it’s true that you will also find many of these same fees on other secured cards, too.
On the other hand, a couple of these fees are an unusual money grab; the $29 additional card fee and the $3 statement copy fee.
Verdict? First Premier should be your last choice!
I can’t think of one logical reason why anyone in their right mind would choose to apply for this card. You can probably get a better deal with a secured account from just about any other bank or credit union.
Not to mention, First Premier doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to calling their customer service department, so that is just one more reason to cross them off your list.
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This review was written or last updated in 2013