First Savings Credit Card Review

The AmEx Centurion “black card” is by invitation only. The same can be said about the First Savings MasterCard. But that’s where the similarities end!

If you have a bad credit history, there’s a chance you may receive a First Savings credit card application in the mail. So who are these guys? Should you take them up on their offer… or quickly take their invitation to the shredder?

Deciphering their identity?

The website listed for this card is firstsavingscc.com. If you go there, the first thing you will notice is how antiquated the website is! This one makes Craigslist look modern.

When I looked, the date in the homepage’s footer said 2010. Worse yet, one of the internal pages listed 2006! Considering how long ago that was that’s highly suspicious, to say the least.

Determining their identity wasn’t an easy exercise and required a fair amount of online sleuthing, to be sure. Yes, they do clearly identity themselves as “First Savings Bank” but there are a number of financial institutions with similar names. In fact, when I used the FDIC bank finder it said there were 373 institutions containing those words in their name:

FDIC search results

So which bank issues this credit card? Well surprisingly, not even the website’s privacy policy or contact information is much of a clue. They list a Post Offic Box in Sioux Falls, SD… but that’s not very insightful, considering that almost credit card companies operate out of either this city or Wilmington, DE. Why you ask? That’s because South Dakota and Delaware don’t have usury laws capping interest rates like all other states do. Little wonder credit card issuing banks congregate in those two shadowy corporate havens.

But I finally solved the mystery with one of the First Savings Bank credit card agreements:

credit card contract

It’s a division of FSB in Beresford, SD. You will find their website at firstsavingsbanks.com but I combed it over and saw no mention of credit cards, so it appears as though they operate the card division completely separate. Here’s the information that the FDIC lists about them:

First Savings Bank FDIC info
So, the card invitations from First Savings Bank are not a fraudulent scam. First Savings Bank is a 100% real and legitimate FDIC-insured bank. However, just because they are a legally registered banking entity doesn’t necessarily mean they are offering a good consumer value with their MasterCard.

First Savings card terms

Annual fee$75
Authorized user fee$20 authorized user fee
Late payment feeUp to $25 or up to $29 late payment fee (one or the other depending on card offer)
Credit limit$300 minimum credit limit. Their application says “If you are assigned the minimum credit limit of $300, your initial available credit will be only about $225.” If you scroll further down in the fine print you will see this: “Initially, you will be issued a MasterCard® with at least a $300 credit limit, up to a maximum of $1,500.”
APR29.9% interest rate for both purchases and cash advances. This might not be as bad as what First Premier Bank charges for their uber-expensive cards for bad credit, but paying 29.9% is still quite outrageous and far above average!

If you have horrible credit, is it worth paying that much to get a card? Not in my opinion.

I imagine most people people apply for a First Savings credit card because they feel it’s the best they can qualify for or simply don’t know. However, even with bad credit, you can apply for a secured credit card with an annual fee of less than half that amount. Simply put, I don’t know why someone would pay $75 per year for an unsecured card with a limit as low as $300.

An alternate offer?

First Savings Bank does have another credit card offer and its terms are actually good! Unfortunately I haven’t heard from anyone who has been invited to apply for it. The only reason I know it even exists is because the credit card agreement for it can be found on their website:

  • No annual fee
  • 15.6% interest rate for purchases and cash advances. This is not an “as low as” rate, but rather the only rate they list for the card. This is a fairly good APR considering that it’s the same for everyone.
  • $10 late payment fee. This is one of the lowest late payment fees I’ve ever seen.

In summary, these would be excellent credit terms for someone with bad credit. Unfortunately, the evidence would indicate that few if any people with bad credit ever get this offer.

My best guess (I’m totally speculating here) is that maybe they give this to their local South Dakota banking customers or as an upgrade down the road. It is the only First Savings Bank MasterCard credit card worth getting.

Conclusion?

First Savings Bank is a legitimate banking organization. Their credit card is on the up and up. However, the $75 price tag is hard to swallow since there are many, many less expensive alternatives available in the marketplace, even for those with less than stellar credit. You should see if you can qualify for a better deal elsewhere before accepting their “invitation to apply”.

Written or last edited on February 2016

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

I have had this card since Dec 16- started off with the $350 credit line. Made payments right at minimum and definitely way over minimum. I received a credit increase in August to $600. Do whatever you feel is going to be best for you. Desperate, not desperate- you know your own financial standing just be diligent in your research. No grace period means NO grace period. If you make a payment that hasn’t reflected prior to the due date, call and make sure that the minimum payment is covered. That interest is really high… but only applies if the payments aren’t made in full by the next billing cycle. If this CC is to rebuild your credit, don’t let it get maxed and avoid making small payments. Sure, it has a $75 annual fee. I can honestly say that I can spend $75 in a day on things that are not helping my credit. That’s $6.25 a month- sucks but alas that is the name of the game. The times I have called for assistance I’ve received great customer service. I called in cordially and they responded the same way.

I have had this card for a few years. I got it to rebuild my credit, which I have done (credit score above 700). I called them to ask them to waive my annual fee as my other cards have all done so (I paid this card off last year) and was told that they do not do that, and my options were to close the account. I was told by another source that closing credit accounts can be detrimental to your credit score for a time, and I assume they know this. Really poor customer service and i won’t be using this card anymore. When my credit had stabilized enough to buy a home I will dump this card.

Just My Two Sense

WTF – they charge you a late fee if you are one day late! No grace period, really??

I agreed to the ridiculous $75 annual fee on a $350 credit line. And I even agreed to the 30% interest rate. But, no grace period on payments! No way!!

Out of curiosity I responded to a First Savings pre-approved offer online a couple weeks ago. They didn’t give me a response right away; they told me I’d get it in the mail. Eagerly hoping I’d get approved for something, my mouth dropped when I received correspondence from First Savings but didn’t feel a bumpy card in the envelope. I was rejected for “not having a credit history.” DUH? I paid off my car in 2014 and recently received cards from Lumber Liquidators and the much-maligned First Premier Bank. I was hoping to transfer the card balance to a new lower-interest card. I had a First Savings card back in the early 2000’s but filed bankruptcy in 2011 when my salary decreased after returning to work after a layoff (BR discharged). First Savings is a crock. First Premier surprisingly gave me a high limit – I can live with the high interest until the “big boys” grant me unsecured credit for 10% or less. Plus FP lets you pay over the phone with your debit card for no fee. Just pay more than the minimum and do it often. The same people from First Savings offered me a Blaze card; after reading the bad reviews, I trashed the solicitation.

I just cancelled this First Savings card. I made a large payment almost two weeks ago, still not reflected on card. Made a smaller one the day before yesterday — it’s on there. When I called, I was told it could take up to two weeks for a larger payment to clear as they had to make sure bank cleared payment. I was told if I wanted it done immediately, I had to prove it. No thanks, goodbye.

Susie, how did you cancel your card? Did you call or request it in writing?

Also, when you made the large payment, was it online or by check? Thanks!

First Savings is not a great bank. They used to be a Savings and Loan and were an OK but very Old School place to bank with. After becoming a bank, apparently they got greedy. Old school bank/Big Bank fees. I pulled all my accounts when I discovered they were charging me fees on my savings (or anti-saving account is what it should have been called!). I moved all my money somewhere else because I refuse to pay to give loans to someone (isn’t that something only a bank could come up with?). I wouldn’t bother doing business with these guys.

I applied for first savings card and i got the maximum limit offered of $1500.Had to call during business hours since they dont give you the limit when you apply.

The Capital One card shown on this thread DOES have an annual fee of $59 charged once a year. I get it every August.

Can you make payments online for the first savings credit card?

I have a question do you have to pay the 75 dollars in order to activate your card because for some reason I’ve called the number and it doesn’t help to activate my card it’s just a machine with offers

No. The $75 is not an activation fee and you do not need to pay this to have the card work. This $75 will be on your 1st bill and will be billed annually (yearly).

This card from First Savings is very similar (almost identical) to the BLAZE card which is issued through them as well. Having experienced bankruptcy after the housing market collapse, I needed to rebuild
my credit. I have both cards and would rather pay a $75 fee for each (initial CL $350 each) than $175 for a First Premier Card with a $700 limit plus maintenance fees. I like that First Savings posts payments (and purchase credit refunds) in a timely manner. The best part about both cards is that you can take out a cash advance at a 2% charge of the amount when more prestigious cards charge 5% or a minimum of $10 whichever is higher. Trust me, it is usually the higher one of $10. That’s a difference of almost $8 per cash advance based on a $100 taken out. I have had both cards for a few months now and am looking forward to the CL increases in a few months with responsible payment behavior at which time I am able to offer further comments.

There are much better credit card offers out there, don’t waste your time and money on this credit card. I had my reasons for getting one in 2011 but in 2015 this is the worst credit card I have. They take advantage of those in NEED. Lesson learned.

1) old school website with no moderns conveniences
2) $75.00 annual fee
3) 29% interest rate
4) office hours only Monday-Friday
5) no auto-pay
6) no access from my smart phone
7) must mail in correspondence

This credit card is not worth your hard earned money unless you are desperate.

I am still appalled at the absurdity of our government allowing these shady operations to continue when everyone knows these “banking” practices put people into a worse situation. 1. By accepting the card at its exorbitant interest rate, the customer is then listed for other companies to offer cards at the same inflated rate, making the customer believe that this is the best they can do. 2. It indicates to other companies that the customer has bad credit even if they don’t. 3. Once the this becomes the pattern, the credit card company does not automatically offer a lower interest rate even after the person has proven they are stable, on-time bill-paying customers. This becomes a well thought out, and deliberate trap. My suggestion is to research which companies do not operate out of SD or DE and, at least, do something for you; give to charities you’re interested in, or support like-minded organizations and/or non-profits… One such card is CREDO, the phone company that works toward putting a portion of their profits to various organizations that range from environmental, social, governmental. Were the customers decide where their points should go toward the areas of their concerns.

Are all these comments legit?

i got a rely by mail

I received a letter from First Savings Credit Card stating because of my exceptionalmanner I have handled my account ,that my credit line could be increase if I presented the informatio they requested. So far I have not been able to get through to the service center of the company. I need help to contact the proper department to get the information to them. Thank you, Perry Ground

I enjoy my First Savings Credit Card. I’ve never had a problem. I started out with $750 I like the payments are quickly to be posted there’s no monthly maintenance fee. I can live with $75 annually there’s many people out there that have excellent credit and they pay $150 dollars for an American Express??
I recommend this card if you are looking to rebuild credit is a straightforward credit card.

I have had a card with them for over 12 years. I started out with a limit of $300 and my limit is now $2500. I’m still paying the high intrest rate and stupid $6 a month fee. I’m thinking about closing this account but it is the longest standing account that I have at this point. They have also listed my account under the negative section of my credit report for one missed payment in the whole 12 years, which sucks.

This card is only a couple of notches above First Premier. First National / Blaze / First Savings, they’re all from the lender. They do give you a grace period on your purchases and you pay no interest if you pay in full. They usually give the lowest you the lowest credit limit they can offer which is $350. They won’t tell you what your credit limit is when you’re approved but chances are that it’s probably the lowest amount they can approve you for. They do post your payment next business day which is nice because with subprime cards like First Premier it takes 8 days for your payment to post unless you pay an “express payment” fee. With Credit One, your payment post in 4 days (usually). If you read any reviews that someone got a CL above $1000, it’s probably a planted review. On the offer letter they say credit limits of up to $1500 but in parenthesis tell you that most people receive a $350 CL. They charge a $75 annual fee as well. The offer of a $1500 CL is clearly there to get people to apply as I doubt that they ever offer a CL that high. Like First Premier, you’ll see little to no CL increases on your account. If your credit is in the fair range you’re much better off applying for Capital One or Barclays.

Also, not sure why others are only commenting on Merrick and Capital One when this is supposed to be a forum for the First Savings CC.

I have never had a problem with First Savings….pay your bill ON TIME, pay more than the minimum, don’t run the card to the maximum, and just be a good customer and this will be a decent card to rebuild with! Simple as that. Merrick started me with $800 and doubled to $1600 in 7 months and NO annual fee.

Kathleen Dintaman

my credit limit now is 2000.

I’ve had this card for over year, started with a 300 dollar limit, make all payments on time, and I’ve yet to see and increase! I’ll definitely be getting rid of this card asap!

Kathleen Dintaman

I opened my first capital one card about 18 years ago.For every credit increase I had,my allowed amont went up.after 10 years of faithful and ontime payments, I got all the money I paid in , backto my surprise..I trust capital one!

I just received my pre approved offer in the mail today. I went ahead and went through the process online to accept the over and was approved right away! However, it didn’t state what my initial credit line would be. I will not know until I receive my credit card in the mail. Is this typical with first savings? Just a little info on my credit background…i came our of bankruptcy in May 2013. I started rebuilding right away. I have a capital one auto finance loan, a USAA secure visa card, a capital one MasterCard, a credit one visa card, a first premier MasterCard, a firestone (CFNA) credit card, and a target red store credit card.

I received a pre-approved offer in the mail today. I recently came out of bankruptcy (May 2013) and I have started rebuilding my credit with an auto loan from Capital One Finance, a Capital One secured card, a USAA secured card, an unsecured Credit One visa card, a Firestone Card (CFNA), a Target Card, and a First Premier Credit Card. I was went online to accept the First Savings Credit card offer and was approved right away. It didn’t tell me how much my credit limit would be though…just wondering what I’ll end up with. Thanks all.

My first savings card was hacked yesterday.
Someone used it 15 times for the same amount
at the same gas station in flint michigan.
That’s 300 miles from me. No red flags for
First savings! Filed a dispute and they said it will
Take 2 months. Merry Christmas! Thanks for ruining
My family Christmas !

got approved for this card today–want to make small purchases/pay off/rebuild credit–anyone looking DO NOT GET a FIRST PREMIER CARD!!! what a ripoff they are –beteween the interest and the “service charge” it never goes down

I use to have a first premier for 2 years then i paid it off and close it limit of 700$ they charge me 14.49 monthly!!!!

Where can I apply for this credit card

I think this credit card is awesome for people with bad credit. I got approved right away for $1500 credit limit. Like the other people in this forum, just keep a low balance each month, no more than $300-$400, pay your bill each month in full and you dont get charged an interest. Simple as that. For those of you with a credit score of 700 or higher, it’s better off applying for other credit cards with a better offer in interest rates. In the meantime, for those people with bad credit as me, this would be an ideal card. Im really even surprised they gave me such a high initial credit line. I am satisfied with the First Savings credit card. The $75 is worth it. They have to make money so leave at that but Im improving my credit scores by having this card. So just AWESOME.

Alvin, what was your score when you applied? You’re right… to get a $1500 CL with a score below 650, that’s pretty good. Avoid Barclaycard at all cost.

the barclay card is good i started off with $500 credit limit and in 5 months it was 1500 with barclay

I have not had a problem with this card and if your credit is not good then this is not a bad option. Although everyones situation is different I can say that if you pay off your statement balance in full every month, you will never be charged interest and your credit score will go up. Try not to carry a balance if you can avoid it. I put on my card only what I know I can afford to pay when the statement comes in. Also one other nice thing about this card is that when you make a payment, your funds are almost immediately available. Many other cards of this nature make you wait for 9 business days before they release the full credit to you.

I have never had an issue with this card and i have been a member for years. They continue to raise my limit, however i tell them to leave it at $300 for my safety 🙂 .

Hi Carlo –

Could you please tell me how often do they raise your limit ? Do they wait for your FIRST increase like most that wait for Six on time payments ? After the FIRST increase, how often do they raise your limit, every Three Months, Every Six Months ???

I received a pre-approved application in the mail and since my Credit is SHOT I am trying to re-build my FICO Score so it’s worth the $75 Annual Fee for me and a MUCH better deal than First Premier with their Annual Fee PLUS a Monthly “Service Charge” !

Thank you for your help !

I received an increase at about the 5 month mark-$750 to $1000. Very pleased with them.

This credit card is a joke they changed my due date six times and every time they charged me a late fee also they called me 50 times every time to say where is our money it is late, Never get one of these they will never up ur amount it will stay at $300 for ever.

Ive had this card for abt 3 mos. My credit limit is $1500. I have never gone over $300 in expenditures including the $75 fee. Card is not bad at all. Pay your bill on time, keep a low balance, and use responsibly. Before approving me they requested verification of my current address. I faxed them a phone bill & less than 5-business days I had a card with $1500 limit. Although there are other credit card options out there, Im not sure another creditor would have given me $1500 limit with a credit score at 640 give or take. I would love suggestions if u know otherwise as my credit score has been consistently climbing for 3 years.

only give $300 to start and never ever increase from my experience

Anthony,
You definitely can get a much better card if your FICO scores are around 640. You should check out the rebuilding forum on the MyFico website. I learned a great deal over the last year. I was able to increase my FICO scores from low 600’s to close to and mid 700s as a result of the information that I learned (TU Fico score = 776, Equifax Fico = 700, and Experian Fico score = 693)

Tracy, I don’t know what planet you’re on but I don’t see a whole lot of creditors making offers of credit to someone with a FICO score of 640. Even if the fair range, other than Capital One, if your score isn’t above 700 forget about anything but subprime lender making an offer!!

with a 640 score you can get a card over 1500. Barclaycard will give u over 1500 and capital one.

It’s true about Capital One. I started out with a low credit limit in March of this year. By May or June, my limit was increased to $3200. So far, I love Capital One! I received a pre-approved FSM invitation today. I think I will shred it.

WHAT’S WITH THE CHEESY FAKE REVIEWS? IT’S AS BAD AS FIRST PREMIER. HACKS

I have had this card for a year and i love it. It increased my credit limit and allows me to pay online.

All of these positive reviews of the FSCC are clearly planted so that it seems like a good product. The fact is, it’s not. If you’re late on your payment your account freezes. No acceptions. I had a credit limit of over $1000 and hadn’t paid my initial $75 when it was due. I went out with my friends and offered to pay for dinner with this card and I was declined because of the tardiness on my bill. Something that wouldn’t happen with reputable credit cards. The $75 is a a secure way they will generate some sort of revenue off of you. I would suggest strongly to stay away.

Um, most credit card companies (including Capital One) will freeze your account if you don’t make at least the minimum payment on your card when it’s due. Why would a creditor keep extending you credit when you don’t even make the minimum payment due on your card. You talk about planting reviews but you must be trolling to make a idiotic statement like that…

Have had this card since September. No issues at all…the terms are pretty typical for these breed of cards and are a LOT better than they used to be before the CARD ACT…read the terms and as long as you know what you’re getting into, it should be no big thing.

Was approved for $1,000, use it often but never let more than 10% report at statement time, payments are credited and funds released quickly. It’ll serve my needs until next year when I get approved for better cards.

I have had this card for three years. I started with 0 credit. I got a secured 1st premiere credit card, got HSBC cc offer accepted it and then got 1st savings no annual fee offer in the mail. I have never been late on paying monthly and use about 50% of limit and pay down to 0 or 10% every month.

I’ve had this card for over a year and I’m completely happy with it, despite the low credit line. You pay it off every month and the interest doesn’t matter because there isn’t any. The annual fee is charged every year, and when it came due I called them to cancel the account, to avoid the fee; they immediately offered to waive the fee. Try that with Chase or Citi and see how you make out! The only better card I know, for “starter credit” is from Merrick Bank; they start you out with $500 and after you’ve made 7 monthly payments with no overdrawing, they double the credit line, automatically. Their interest is high too, but again, interest is avoidable; just pay the total every month and your interest rate is zero.

I was kinda worried until I read this. I really hope that you are right about this card. I got an offer in the mail and when i was approved it just seemed too easy to be legit. I sure hope I didn’t just mess up my credit. Thank you for making me feel a little bit better.