First Premier specializes in subprime credit cards. If you have bad credit, you’ve probably already discovered that it can be hard to find an unsecured credit card, but you may want to think twice about applying for a First Premier credit card. All First Premier Bank credit cards share one thing in common: very high fees.
First Premier Cards Go By Many Names
First Premier Bank offers several credit cards, but they’re all basically the same. You may get pre-approval letters for the Aventium Classic, Aventium Gold, Centennial or First Premier Bank credit card. Here’s a run-through of each.
The Aventium Classic is a Mastercard from First Premier with a whopping $75 annual fee for a measly $300 credit limit. Your account will also be hit with a processing fee of $95 at the beginning. To get around the Credit CARD Act, which limits the amount of fees that can be charged immediately and during the first year, your annual fee is dropped to $45 for the second year and beyond, but a $6.50 monthly servicing fee is added, which means the fees actually jump to $123 a year after your first year!
Even worse, the card has a 49.9% interest rate, which means you will never pay down that balance that you carry forward. That’s significantly higher than even the worst store cards. The card is also laden with excessive hidden charges, such as the $3.95 fee to access your online statement.
The First Premier Gold Mastercard has similarly high fees. This card has a $95 processing fee that you will pay immediately, plus a $100 annual fee for the first year in exchange for a $400 credit limit. After the first year, you will get a lower annual fee of $45 plus a new monthly servicing fee of $6.25, which means your fees will climb to at least $120 a year after your first year is up.
Even more shocking, you also get charged a fee to raise your credit limit. Every time your account is eligible for and approved for a CLI, a fee of 25% of the amount of the increase is charged to your account.
The Centennial Classic is also issued by First Premier Bank with the same features of their other card. In exchange for a $300 limit, you pay a $75 annual fee the first year, which then drops to $45 a year with the addition of a $6.50 monthly servicing fee, which adds up to $123 a year after the second year. The APR on this card is a whopping 36%.
Despite the different names and slightly different APRs and fee structures, all First Premier credit cards are very similar and all are fee harvester cards designed to get the most money legally possible out of you.
What About First Premier Secured Cards?
First Premier Bank does offer a couple of secured credit cards: the First Premier Bank Secured card and the Centennial Secured card. If your credit score is so low that you cannot get approved for an unsecured card, secured cards are a good way to go to rebuild your credit history. Unfortunately, First Premier doesn’t do much better with its secured cards, though.
The Centennial Secured card requires paying a deposit of 100% of the credit line you want, along with processing fees, a $75 application fee, maintenance fees and more. The same goes for the First Premier Bank Secured card. Along with these massive fees, you get an equally high APR of no lower than 39.9%, and you do not get your deposit back unless you close your account.
If you want to rebuild your credit, skip First Premier completely.
Instead, we recommend a different card. The Capital One Secured Mastercard is one of the best around. You pay an initial deposit of $200 to $3,000, to get a $200 to $3,000 limit. The card has no annual fee. And there are no hidden fees, processing fees or other gotchas.