First PREMIER Bank Secured Credit Card Review

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If you’re trying to build credit, the First PREMIER Bank Secured Credit Card might look tempting because it offers a slightly lower interest rate than some of its competitors. But that choice could come back to haunt you due to this card’s suite of fees, especially if you’re hoping to increase your credit limit down the road.

First Premier® Bank Secured Credit Card

overall rating
2.2
First Premier® Bank Secured Credit Card
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 (%) 19.9% variable
Annual Fee $50
Allows upgrade to unsecured card No
Pay deposit in installments No
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
1.3
for Rewards
2.3
for Credit
3.7

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

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.

Pros
  • Free FICO score

  • Low-ish interest rate

Cons
  • No cardholder perks

  • Poor customer service

  • High fee to increase credit limit

Pros Explained

  • 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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.   

Customer Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.

For First Premier® Bank Secured Credit Card
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CURRENT CARD
First Premier® Bank Secured Credit Card
overall rating
2.2
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 (%) 19.9% variable
Annual Fee $50
Allows upgrade to unsecured card No
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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. First Premier Bank. "Terms and Conditions. Information About Fees, Rates and Important Disclosures." Accessed Jan. 31, 2020.