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First PREMIER® Credit Card Reviews + Top 3 Alternatives
If you put yourself in the right perspective, just about everything has pros as well as cons. For instance, an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet sounds like it’s all pro — until two hours later when you can’t move for being so full. Found the con.
The same can be said about the wealth of choices available for bad-credit credit cards for rebuilding damaged credit. On the one hand, options allow for more customization and provide room for competition. On the other hand — how do you choose?
The Pros: Bad Credit and Bankruptcy OK
First PREMIER Bank was established in 1986 and quickly expanded, with the bank currently ranking as the 10th largest issuer of Mastercard credit cards in the US. First PREMIER is popular for its subprime credit card offerings, which cater to the poor-credit (credit scores below 650) consumer market. This means that those with low credit scores who would be turned down for unsecured credit from most mainstream issuers are more likely to qualify for a First PREMIER credit card.
In fact, First PREMIER’s credit requirements are extremely flexible, and the issuer will consider applicants with a variety of credit backgrounds, including those who have recently undergone bankruptcy. First PREMIER offers several different cards from which to choose, however little distinguishes one from the other. All the options will offer the same terms, rates, and fees.
The Cons: High APRs and Low Credit Limits
Of course, as with most things in life, not everything about the First PREMIER credit cards is all rainbows and unicorns. For the most part, however, the cons presented by the First PREMIER stable of cards are inherent in just about any unsecured subprime credit card, and they aren’t necessarily limited to First PREMIER.
One example of a con universal to subprime cards is the high interest rate you’ll be charged for carrying a balance from month to month. That said, First PREMIER charges a particularly high rate even for a bad-credit credit card, charging a 36% APR on new purchases and cash advances alike. The easiest way to avoid getting stuck with high interest fees is to pay off your entire balance before the end of your billing period.
The low credit limit may also be a bummer for some customers, as subprime credit cards, First PREMIER included, tend to limit your available credit line to avoid the risk you’ll default on a large amount. Don’t expect a credit limit higher than $500 for your First PREMIER card (or most other unsecured subprime cards). If you need a higher limit, try a secured credit card.
Another negative you’ll experience with a First PREMIER card will be the fees associated with opening and maintaining your credit card account, starting with the one-time program fee charged when you open your account. You’ll also see an annual fee, the size of which will vary with the size of your credit limit. Expect to pay at least $75 for the first year’s annual fee.
3 Additional Credit Card Options for Bad Credit
For all that the cons may be similar across the subprime credit card market, that doesn’t mean each card is the same as the next. You should consider all of your options before choosing a card to ensure you select the best card for your individual financial situation and credit-rebuilding needs.
Among our other expert-rated options for credit cards for bad credit are other unsecured credit cards, store credit accounts, and secured credit cards, with something designed to help just about any credit scenario.