First PREMIER Bank Gold Mastercard Review

Possibly the Worst Credit Card to Build Credit

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The First PREMIER Bank Gold Mastercard is the epitome of the high-fee, low-value credit card. It’s meant for consumers with low credit scores or no credit histories who may not qualify for better cards, and the fees and high interest rate reflect the additional risk the bank assumes. However, we do not recommend this card as a first-choice credit-building card, due to the number of fees it has. 

First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard

First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 36% variable
Annual Fee Up-to $125 first year, $49 annually.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
for Fees
for Rewards
for Credit

The First PREMIER Bank Gold Mastercard is aimed at people looking to establish or improve their credit score. Nevertheless, people who are building credit have better options.

Learn how credit scores work, and then consider applying for a secured card. While secured cards usually require a refundable deposit, they’re still generally cheaper than this option.


  • Accessible for applicants with poor credit

  • Free FICO credit score


  • High set-up, annual, and monthly fees

  • High interest rate

  • High credit limit increase fee

Pros Explained

  • Accessible for applicants with poor credit: First PREMIER Bank will approve almost anyone for this card, even if you have bad credit. Even so, you have many other options for rebuilding credit. 
  • Free FICO credit score: Each month, you’ll get a statement with your quarterly FICO score printed on it. This will help you keep track of your credit as it rises with good use. Our recommendation? Once your score is high enough to qualify for better cards, ditch this one. 

Cons Explained

  • High set-up, annual, and monthly fees: It’s not uncommon for credit cards to charge annual fees. What is uncommon is for a credit card to charge monthly fees as well. You’ll also have to pay a one-time “program fee” in addition to the usual fees other credit cards charge. (More details on those at the bottom.)
  • High interest rate: This card charges about double the average credit card APR. It’s on the high end, even for credit cards marketed towards people with bad credit. 
  • High credit limit increase fee: One of the ways to boost your credit score is by getting a higher credit limit. If you’ve demonstrated responsible payment behavior, most issuers will do this for free. In contrast, with First PREMIER Bank, you’ll pay a fee of 25% of the credit limit increase. For example, if your credit limit increases by $200, you’ll pay a $50 fee.


The APR on this card is so high that active duty military members and residents of New York and Wisconsin can't get it—the rate violates consumer protection laws in those states, as well as the Military Lending Act.

Other Features

  • Premier credit protection: If you lose your job involuntarily, are hospitalized, go on unpaid family leave, or become disabled, this program may cover your minimum payments for a period of time. You have to opt in to this service, and it’ll cost you 89 cents for every $100 of your outstanding balance covered per month. For example, if you have an outstanding balance of $200, it’ll cost you $1.78 for that month. 

Customer Experience

First PREMIER Bank doesn’t get stellar reviews from its cardholders. While the company does have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, it only received a 1-star rating from its customers. Furthermore, there are over 1,000 complaints against this specific credit card alone, which received an average 1.5-star review from customers. While the bank has a mobile app, it doesn't appear to serve credit card customers.

One plus? The company does give you a quarterly FICO score update each month on your statement. 

Security Features

You can expect standard security features with the First PREMIER Bank Gold Mastercard. It does offer two notable features:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection: You can register for free credit monitoring services through this program. If you ever are the victim of identity theft or if you even lose your wallet, resolution specialists can help you set things right.
  • Single bureau credit monitoring: Mastercard will monitor your TransUnion credit file for unusual activity or changes that may indicate fraud. 

Fees to Watch Out For

The First PREMIER Bank Gold Mastercard hits cardholders with a lot of fees from sign up to statement copy. These fees are especially outsized considering the low value that this card delivers. 

  • Program fee: $25-$95, depending on creditworthiness, and charged once to open the card
  • Ongoing annual fee: $75-$125 during the first year, and $45-$49 thereafter
  • Monthly fee: Up to $8 per month for the first year; up to $10.40 per month thereafter
  • Authorized user fee: $29 per year
  • Credit limit increase fee: 25% of the amount of the increase
  • Copy fee: $3 per statement copy 
  • Express delivery fee: $35 per rush order on replacement cards
  • Wire transfer fee: $5 per transaction
For First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard
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See how this card stacks up to the competition
First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard
First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 36% variable
Annual Fee Up-to $125 first year, $49 annually.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.