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Credit Needed
Limited

First PREMIER Bank MasterCard Review

Top Features

Cash Back on Gas
Cash Back on Groceries
Cash Back on Other
Annual Fee
$75 - $120

Full Review

Amber Stubbs Managing Editor
As one of the most controversial credit cards on the market, the First Premier Bank Classic MasterCard offers a straightforward proposal for consumers on rocky financial paths. Qualify for this card, pay some significant fees, and get a small line of credit from a lender that furnishes data to all three major credit reporting agencies. It's an expensive trade that only makes sense for a very small percentage of Americans.

Heavy fees, small credit lines
This card charges an upfront processing fee, something that very few credit card issuers do. In this card's terms and conditions statement, First Premier explains that the fee helps offset the significant risk attached to issuing credit cards for poor credit. Although the bank once allowed new cardholders to bill this fee to their accounts, federal rules now prohibit the practice. Therefore, you'll need to pay the fee before you even receive your new card.
Many other lenders waive their credit cards' annual fees during the first year. This card actually does the reverse: the first year's fee is nearly double the annual fee you'll pay in future years. Although the card carries no rewards or rebates, the annual fee falls into the same range usually applied to cash back cards or rewards cards. In addition, a maintenance fee that costs more than a few fancy lattes lands on your tab every month. A very high APR will make you think twice about letting a balance linger beyond your grace period.

Break glass in case of emergency
This card is best only for consumers who need to start rebuilding credit after breaking off relationships with other major lenders. Seeing the value in a card like this requires understanding how companies consider information on your credit report when extending personal loans, underwriting insurance policies, or even evaluating an employment application. This account works like a defibrillator on the stalled heart of your credit history, giving you at least one credit reference you can point to when talking to prospective lenders or employers.
Our credit history counts for more than ever before, and First Premier offers consumers with very poor credit profiles the opportunity to rebuild -- at a price. Credit utilization, on-time payments, and length of credit relationships all play important roles in calculating your credit score. If you intend to use this account to boost your credit score with this account, plan on using it sparingly and paying your balance in full every month. After you have successfully rehabilitated your FICO score with a secured card, you even get your deposit back. Recognize that you'll also have to stick with this card for at least a few years, since closing your account can cause the kind of credit score drop you're trying to avoid.

How the First Premier Bank Classic MasterCard compares to other credit cards for poor credit
It's hard to find a major credit card that gets worse rankings from reviewers and consumer agencies than this card. First Premier makes an easy target because it actually operates within all federal and state guidelines for credit card issuers, while taking them to extremes. However, we've seen far worse offers from upstart banks, usually marketing predatory lending products by mail to consumers who recently experienced bankruptcy, foreclosure, or repossession.
Fortunately, many retail banks and credit unions provide secured credit cards that can help you rebuild your credit profile with far fewer costs. At national banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America, your total security deposit and first year's account fees only cost a little more than First Premier's nonrefundable service charges. Capital One uses its own database to determine whether you can qualify for a partially secured credit card, also at a much lower cost than First Premier.
This page was last updated on May 03, 2018

This card compared to other cash back cards

Cash Back on Gas
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
1%
Cash Back on Groceries
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
2% at grocery stores
Cash Back on Other
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
1%
Purchase Intro
APR:
None
APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases
Period:
15 months
APR:
N/A
Regular APR
36% Fixed 
17.24 - 25.99% Variable 
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable) 
This card is best for consumers with a bad credit history who would like the convenience of a credit card.

Should you switch to the First Premier Bank Classic MasterCard?
No, but we can't make that decision for you. First Premier Bank discloses every fee, service charge, finance charge, and discretionary cost related to this card. They make no attempt to hide what this card costs. As Curtis Arnold pointed out in a 2010 commentary, it's ultimately up to you to decide whether it's worth spending money on fees in exchange for a pristine trade line on your credit report.
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

First PREMIER Bank MasterCard details

Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Period:
n/a
Purchase Intro:
APR:
None
Regular APR:
36% Fixed
Annual Fee:
$75 - $120

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Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
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  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey‚Ą†
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good