Because it’s a secured credit card, the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card requires a security deposit that you have to pay upfront. The deposit, which can be as little as $200 or as much as $5,000, then determines the credit limit you’ll get on the card.
In addition to the deposit, the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card comes with a lot of fees. Although fees are common with credit cards for bad credit, the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is still relatively expensive, so we wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re having problems getting approved for other cards.
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The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is an accessible card for people with poor credit or no credit. Because it’s a secured credit card, you have to put down a security deposit—between $200 and $5,000—and your credit line will be equivalent to the security deposit you pay.
In addition, the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card comes with a $50 annual fee plus extra fees if you want additional cards. This means you’ll need to pay quite a lot upfront, especially if you want a larger credit line (although the payments will be taken directly from your credit limit).
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card’s high APR is fairly normal for cards geared toward credit building, as are the lack of rewards and the limited benefits.
On the plus side:
- You won’t need a checking account to get the card.
- You won’t have to pay monthly fees or account-opening fees.
- You can make cash advances and foreign transactions.
- The maximum credit limit is higher than many other secured credit cards (so you don’t have to restrict yourself to only small transactions).
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card has the tools you need for credit building, but it’s an expensive option. We’ve seen much more favorable offers on the market for secured credit cards, so we recommend giving this one a miss and looking for better deals instead.
PREMIER Bankcard® Secured Credit Card Important Details
Basic Card Details
- Credit card issuer: First Premier Bank
- Annual fee: $50
- Regular APR: 19.90% (variable)
- Security deposit: $200–$5,000
- Grace period: 27 days
- Credit limit: $200–$5,000
- No checking account required.
- Credit limit based on your deposit, from $200 to $5,000.
- Cash advances are available.
- Foreign transactions are available.
- Balance transfers are unavailable.
- Unsecured credit limit increases are available after 13 months of responsible card use.
- Free FICO credit scores appear on your monthly statements.
- You can add other cardholders for a fee of $29 per year per person.
- Credit reporting to bureaus.
- Fraud alerts.
- Not available to applicants in New York or Wisconsin.
PREMIER Bankcard® Secured Credit Card Feature Breakdown
In this section, we’ll look at some of the most important features of the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card.
- Annual fee: $50
- Cash advance fee: $8 or 5% (whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Late payment fee: Up to $39
- Returned payment fee: Up to $39
- Additional card fee: $29 per year
- Credit limit increase fee: 25% of the credit increase amount
Note that PREMIER Bankcard will charge you fees before you even begin using your credit card, as they’ll deduct fees from the amount of credit they initially give you. For example, if your initial credit limit is $200, your initial available credit will be only about $150 (or possibly even less if you want additional cards for other people to use).
The $50 annual fee will then continue to be charged to your credit account yearly until you close your PREMIER Bankcard® account.
If you don’t pay your PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card balance in full each month, you’ll pay interest. The interest you’ll pay each year depends on your APR (“annual percentage rate”).
The following rates apply:
- Regular APR: 19.90% (variable)
- Cash advance APR: 19.90% (variable)
- Minimum interest charge: $1
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card gives you a grace period of 27 days (beginning on the first day of the new billing cycle). The grace period allows you time to pay your bills in full without racking up any interest charges.
If you pay off your balance in full by the due date, your purchases during the grace period won’t accumulate interest. However, if you carry a balance from previous billing cycles, you’ll have to pay interest on any charges you make to your card during the grace period.
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card doesn’t give you any rewards.
Many rewards cards are unavailable to applicants with poor credit or limited credit histories. However, cards with cash back do exist for holders of lower credit scores. So if rewards are important to you, look for other credit cards that offer rewards to bad-credit or no-credit borrowers.
The most notable benefit you get with the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is the FICO credit scores that come with your monthly statements. It’s important to track your credit score so that you know where your credit stands and which credit cards and loans you can qualify for.
You’ll also get fraud alerts. PREMIER Bankcard monitors your credit card account activity in case of fraudulent activity. If they see abnormal spending patterns or anything else unusual, they’ll alert you, either by SMS or by telephone.
A cash advance is when you use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM. Cash advances are allowed on the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card.
However, there are cash advance fees of either $8 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater). These fees are relatively high, so you should only make cash advances on this card in an emergency.
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card also has limitations on how much money you can take out through cash advances. Initially, when you open your account, you’ll have a cash advance limit equivalent to 10% of your credit limit.
After 90 days, your cash advance limit will increase to 50% if you fulfill the following conditions:
- Your credit account has two consecutive months of activity on your payment history.
- You’re up to date with your payments and haven’t had any return payments (payments where you didn’t have enough credit to cover the transaction) in the previous 60 days.
For example, if you start with a credit limit of $1,000, your cash advance limit will start at $100 (i.e., you can take out up to $100 in cash advances). If you meet the required conditions, your cash advance limit may then increase to $500 after 90 days.
Not all credit cards permit foreign transactions, but the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card does.
When you use your credit card abroad, you’ll be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. These fees appear as a surcharge on your credit card bill.
To open a PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card, you’ll have to make a minimum deposit of $200. The security deposit is refundable, so you’ll get your money back if you close your account after paying off all your remaining debts.
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card comes with a credit limit of $200–$5,000. $5,000 is its maximum credit limit, so you can’t exceed this.
PREMIER Bankcard will charge some of your fees before you begin using your card and will deduct these fees from the amount of credit they initially give you. For example, if you have an initial credit limit of $200, you’ll end up with an initial available credit of $150 (or possibly even less if you want additional cards for other people).
Credit Limit Increases
You can get an unsecured credit limit increase 13 months after opening your account if you’ve used your card responsibly and paid your bills on time. You won’t need to put down additional deposit money, but you will have to pay a fee. This fee will be equivalent to 25% of your credit limit increase.
Credit reporting is an important part of building credit, as your credit report is based on the information your lenders send to the credit bureaus.
Lenders aren’t legally required to report your credit history; many lenders report to only one or two of the major credit bureaus, if any. First Premier reports to credit bureaus every month, including the three major bureaus.
Because the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card reports to the credit bureaus, it’s great for building credit. However, you must keep up with your monthly payments to benefit your credit score; your credit will suffer if your payments are late.
Credit Score Requirements
The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is for people who have no credit or are new to credit. The website specifies that people with credit scores under 500 are eligible for the card (it’s unclear whether this refers to FICO or VantageScore credit scores, but most lenders use FICO).
Many issuers of secured credit cards claim that they do not check applicants’ credit or take credit scores into account. However, it seems likely that PREMIER does run a credit check when you apply for the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card, given that they suggest approximate credit score thresholds for applicants.
PREMIER also cautions that you’re not guaranteed an offer even if your credit score meets their criteria, so they’re likely to take factors other than your credit into consideration when they’re deciding whether to approve you for one of their cards.
As the credit score requirements for the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card are minimal, and secured credit cards are low risk for lenders, your approval odds are good. In fact, First PREMIER Bank says that you can still be approved for the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card even if you have no credit score or prior credit history at all.
Application and Approval
You can apply for a PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card on the PREMIER Bankcard website.
As mentioned, you don’t need a checking account to apply, but the process will probably include a credit check.
Once you’ve applied, you may have to wait 7–10 business days for a decision. If necessary, you can check the status of your application by calling (800) 947-1444 (when you’re prompted, choose option 1).
Managing Your Account
You can login and manage your PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card online or download the Android app or the iOS app.
You can use the PREMIER Bankcard website to make payments from a personal checking account, or you can make online debit card payments.
Alternatively, First PREMIER Bank has a Bank-by-Phone service you can call at (800) 315-6350.
You can also mail checks or money orders to the following address (allowing 5–7 days for delivery):
First PREMIER Bank
PO Box 5529
Sioux Falls SD 57117-5529
You can ask to add extra cardholders to your PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card account. To do this, log into your online banking account, and click “Additional Card Request.”
Note that you may have to pay a fee of $29 for each additional cardholder.
If you need help with your PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card, you can call the customer service number: (800) 987-5521.
Lost or Stolen Cards
If your PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is lost or stolen, contact their customer service immediately at (800) 987-5521 (and select option 6).
Should You Get the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured Credit Card?
The main advantage of getting the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is that it has a comparatively high maximum credit limit (which can benefit your credit score by making it easier to maintain a low credit utilization rate, the percentage of your credit that you’re using).
However, a higher credit limit will come at a cost, as you need to put down an equivalent security deposit.
Additionally, the card’s high APR, lack of rewards, and high fees make it a worse deal than you’d get with many other cards for credit-building. As such, we recommend looking for other secured credit cards with lower fees before you consider applying for a PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card.
Who is this card for?
- Holders of lower credit scores who want to build credit: The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is suitable for people with low credit scores or even no credit history. If you’re new to credit or you’ve had rejections for other credit cards, you may still be eligible for the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card.
- People without a checking account: The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is available to people with no checking account. So if you don’t already have a checking account, you don’t need to open one at the same time you get a PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card.
To decide whether the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is right for you, take a look at how it measures up against other secured credit cards available to new borrowers or those with lower credit scores.
PREMIER Bankcard® Secured Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
While both these secured cards are for bad or limited credit holders, the Discover it® Secured credit card has several advantages over the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured:
- The Discover it® Secured credit card doesn’t charge annual fees.
- The Discover it® Secured credit card allows balance transfers and gives you a reduced intro APR of 10.99% for balance transfers.
- The Discover it® Secured credit card gives you cashback rewards.
- The Discover it® Secured credit card waives the fee for your first late payment.
The major disadvantages of the Discover it® Secured credit card are that it has a higher APR of 25.99% (variable) and a lower maximum credit limit of $2,500 (vs. $5,000 for the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card).
If you specifically need a credit limit over $2,500, go with First PREMIER Bank. For other purposes, the Discover it® Secured credit card is a clear winner.
PREMIER Bankcard® Secured Credit Card vs Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
These two credit-building cards share the following features:
- No monthly fees or account-opening fees.
- No rewards.
- No intro offers or welcome bonuses.
- Free access to your credit score.
However, the Capital One Platinum Secured credit card has several advantages over the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card:
- It has no annual fees, foreign transaction fees, or credit limit increase fees.
- It gives you a credit limit that exceeds the size of your deposit, whereas The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card only gives you a credit limit equivalent to your deposit.
- It gives you credit limit increases sooner than the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card does.
The main disadvantages of the Capital One Platinum Secured card compared with the PREMIER Bankcard® alternative are that it has a higher APR at 26.49% (variable) and a lower maximum initial credit limit at $1,000 (vs. $5,000).
However, the Capital One Platinum Secured is overall the cheaper and better option, and we recommend it over the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card if you’re eligible.
PREMIER Bankcard® Secured Credit Card vs. U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card
Like the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® credit card is for people who want to improve their credit scores, and both cards require deposits paid upfront.
The two cards have a lot in common:
- They both have a maximum deposit of $5,000.
- They both give you an initial credit limit equal to the deposit you put down.
- Neither card offers rewards, intro offers, or welcome bonuses.
- Neither card has monthly fees or account-opening fees.
- Both cards give you free credit scores.
- Both cards let you make foreign transactions (with a 3% fee).
The major differences between them are that:
- The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® credit card has a higher APR of 27.74% (variable).
- The PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card has annual fees and credit limit increase fees, whereas the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® credit card has neither.
- The minimum deposit for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® credit card is higher at $300 (vs. $200 for the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card).
As such, the PREMIER Bankcard® Secured credit card is slightly cheaper in the short term if you only want to put down the minimum security deposit. However, unless you’re likely to carry a balance—which is a bad idea for both of these cards due to the high APR—the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® credit card is much cheaper in the long run.