Make no mistake about it: This card is meant for people with little or no credit and few options for a credit card. The ongoing interest rate is lower than some competing cards, which could save you some money as you try work toward building (or rebuilding) your credit history. However, if you’re looking for a low interest rate on a secured credit card, there are other options available. If you’re looking to avoid fees, there are plenty of secured cards that can help you do that, too. Our advice is to look elsewhere for a secured credit card. There’s no compelling reason to choose this one—and plenty of reasons to stay away.
Free FICO score
Low-ish interest rate
No cardholder perks
Poor customer service
High fee to increase credit limit
- Free FICO score: Each quarter, you’ll get a new FICO score update listed on your bill. You can use this to help you track changes in your credit score.
- Low-ish interest rate: Many of the better secured credit cards also come with higher interest rates—but not by much. Still, it’s best to pay off your balance on a secured card every month to build your credit. Do that and you won’t pay any interest at all, whatever the interest rate.
While the free quarterly FICO score is a nice perk, you can get free FICO scores, updated monthly, elsewhere. And you won’t even need to sign up for a credit card to get it.
- No cardholder perks: This card is about as bare-bones as they come. You can expect other cards to offer perks like rental car collision insurance, travel assistance hotlines, and more. This one doesn’t.
- Poor customer service: There aren’t very many websites featuring actual customer reviews of this card, but the ones that are around almost universally list poor customer service as a defining feature of this card.
- High fee to increase credit limit: You’ll start out with a $200 credit limit. First PREMIER might bump that up after 13 months, but it’ll cost you a whopping 25% of the increase amount. For example, if First PREMIER were to boost your limit by $300, you’d be charged $75.
The credit limit increase fee is charged automatically whenever First PREMIER increases your unsecured credit limit. Cardholders have 30 days to reject the increase and be refunded the fee.
First PREMIER Bank is one of the lesser-known names in the credit card world and doesn’t offer any particularly flashy customer service perks. You can manage your account online and call in to an automated 24/7 phone number. In our experience, it can be difficult to get ahold of an actual live human on the other end of the phone. However, First PREMIER Bank does provide you with four quarterly FICO score updates per year on your bill, so that’s handy.
The First PREMIER Bank Secured Card is about as secure as you can expect with any credit card. Again, there aren’t any special features here such as Social Security number monitoring or the ability to lock your card from a mobile app. There is a mobile app you can use, but it’s equally slim on features.
First PREMIER Bank Secured Card’s Fees to Watch Out For
Aside from its OK interest rate, the First PREMIER Bank Secured Card comes with some steep fees: a $50 annual fee, a $29 authorized user fee, and the 25% credit limit increase fee. First PREMIER will also charge you fees to copy your statement ($3 per copy) and to deliver a replacement card ($35). Finally, leave this card at home if you travel abroad, otherwise you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee if you use it to make purchases.