The First PREMIER® MasterCard® is for people with bad credit who have few alternatives when applying for a credit card. Consumers beware. This card has a high APR and lots of fees. This card is attainable by nearly anyone with a checking account. It is for consumers with bad credit but who can afford to pay their bill in full each month.
The APR on purchases and cash advances is a hefty 36.0 percent. Cash advances will incur a fee of $6 or 5 percent of the amount of the advance (whichever is greater).
The card also has a number of setup and maintenance fees. First, there is a $95 one-time processing fee which you must pay up front. Then there’s a $75 annual fee for the first year, which drops down to $45 for every year thereafter. You’ll also pay a $6.25 per month ($75 per year) monthly servicing fee after the first year.
To clarify, the first year will cost you $170 ($95 processing fee plus $75 annual fee). The second year and every year thereafter will cost you $120 ($45 annual fee plus $75 in monthly servicing fees).
The maintenance fees, taken from your bank account before you even start to use the card, cut into the initial $300 credit limit, making your true initial available credit just $225. Additional cards cost $29 each year and also cut into the credit limit.
The foreign transaction fee is within the normal range at 3 percent. Late or returned payments incur a fee of up to $35.
Perhaps the most surprising fee is the credit limit increase fee, equal to 25 percent of the amount of the increase. Furthermore, the credit limit increase might kick in automatically when the account is 13 months old, whether the account holder requests it or not. The only way to get out of the fee is to notify the bank within 30 days of your statement that you don’t want the increase. We are not aware of any other credit card that imposes this fee.
The terms and conditions are difficult to find online. The best way is to click here, then choose “apply for credit card” from the small menu at the very top. Then click the tab for “Fees, Rates, Costs & Limitations.”