Credit Cards Cards for Bad Credit

PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard Review

overall rating

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The PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard is an unsecured card for people who want to establish or rebuild credit. However, the trade-off for not putting down a security deposit is sky-high fees.

PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard®

Overall Rating
PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard®
On First Premier Bank's Secured Site.
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 (%) 36% variable
Annual Fee $50-$125 based on creditworthiness for the first year, then $49 annually
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all low cost cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard is not one of our top-rated credit cards for bad credit. You can review our list of the best credit cards for bad credit for what we think are better options.

Full Review of First Premier Bank Gold Mastercard

  • Card activity reported to credit agencies

  • Free FICO Score access

  • Sky-high fees

  • Extremely high APR

  • Costly credit limit increase fee

Pros Explained

  • Card activity reported to credit agencies: PREMIER Bankcard reports credit card activity to the major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—each month. If you make all of your payments on time, this can help boost your credit score. According to FICO, your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. While most credit card companies report payment activity to credit bureaus, not all do. Before submitting an application for a credit card, double-check that they report your activity so you get credit for making your payments on time. 
  • FICO score access: This card features the ability to check your FICO score. While many credit card companies offer this feature, it’s still a nice benefit to have because it allows you to monitor your progress.

Cons Explained

Sky-High Fees: While this card is unsecured and doesn’t require a security deposit, it still comes at a hefty price. You’ll have to pay a number of fees, including: 

  • Program fee: This one-time fee to open the account must be paid upon application approval. 
  • Annual fee: The annual fee is deducted from your credit limit, reducing your initial available credit. 
  • Monthly fee: You’ll be billed a monthly fee as long as your account is open. 
  • Penalty fee: If your payment is late or returned to you, you’ll pay up to $39. 
  • Additional user fee: Adding a relative or partner to your account incurs an annual fee of $29 per card, which is deducted from your available credit. 
  • Express delivery fee: If your card is lost or stolen, you’ll pay a $35 express delivery fee if you need a replacement card right away.

Your fees are dependent on the credit limit you qualify for: 

If your credit limit is: Your program fee will be: Your annual fee will be: Your monthly fee will be: Your initial available credit will be:
$200 $95 (one-time fee) $50 your first year, $45 after that $0 for the first year, $75 after that ($6.25 per year) $150
$300 $95 (one-time fee) $75 your first year, $45 after that $0 for the first year, $75 after that ($6.25 per year) $225
$400 $95 (one-time fee) $100 your first year, $45 after that $0 for the first year, $75 after that ($6.25 per year) $300
$500 $95 (one-time fee) $50-$125 based on creditworthiness for the first year, then $49 annually $0 for the first year, $124.80 after that ($10.40 per year) $375
$600 $75 (one-time fee) $79 your first year, $49 after that $70.20 for the first year ($5.85 per month), $99 after that ($8.25 per month) $515.15
$700 $55 (one-time fee) $79 your first year, $49 after that $96 for the first year ($8.00 per month), $124.80 after that ($10.40 per month) $613

To put those fees in perspective, let’s say you were approved for this card with a $600 credit limit. In your first year as a cardholder, you’d pay:

  • $75 program fee
  • $79 annual fee
  • $70.20 monthly fee, assessed $5.85 per month

All told, you’d pay $224.20 in non-refundable fees. Given this high cost, you may want to consider applying for a secured card instead. Even though secured cards require a security deposit, the deposit is refundable, so you get the money back. The Platinum Secured Mastercard from Capital One has no annual fee and a minimum security deposit of $49 for qualified applicants. If you make your first six monthly payments on time, you may qualify for a higher credit line.

  • Extremely high APR: The PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard has a high APR on purchases. According to The Balance's calculations, the average APR for all credit cards that assessed interest was 20.45% as of January 2022, the last available data. At 36%, the APR on the PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard is more than double that average rate. If you carry a balance at such a high APR, you could end up paying hundreds more than you originally charged. To avoid costly interest charges, aim to pay off your statement balance in full every month.
  • Costly credit limit increase fee: If you make all of your payments on time and practice good credit habits with this card, you could qualify for a credit line increase. More spending power is usually a good thing, except the PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard has a credit limit increase fee. Every time you’re approved for a credit limit increase, you’ll be charged 25% of the amount of the credit limit increase. For example, if your credit line is increased by $100, you’ll be charged a $25 fee.

Initially, you’ll only have $75 in additional available credit, thanks to this fee. The credit limit increase fee is unusually high, even for a card designed for people with bad credit. For another option, consider the Blaze Mastercard, This unsecured card for people rebuilding their credit has a $75 annual fee, but you can qualify for a credit line after keeping your account in good standing and making on-time payments—without a credit limit increase fee.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Motivated to create positive credit history
    Credit Builder

According to a May 2019 survey by CNBC Select and Morning Consult, nearly one in four Americans reported being unable to get approved for a credit card. The most common reasons for being denied credit include insufficient credit history and missed payments.

If you’re one of the millions of people who have struggled to get a credit card, the PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard is an option for building or rebuilding your credit. PREMIER Bankcard reports payment activity to the credit bureaus. Making on-time payments will help you qualify for other lines of credit later on.

Standard Benefits

  • Free FICO score access
  • Online account access

Cardholder Experience

The PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard is issued by Premier Bankcard, a privately-owned regional bank. As a smaller card issuer, Premier Bankcard was not included in the rankings in the J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

You can access your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week online, or contact customer support at 800-987-5521.

Security Features

PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard cardholders can take advantage of the Mastercard ID Theft Protection, an identity theft monitoring and alert program. If suspicious activity is found, Mastercard will send you a notification and help you take action to fix the problem.

Our Verdict

While the PREMIER Bankcard Mastercard is an unsecured credit card you can potentially qualify for with bad credit, its sky-high fees and APR make it extremely expensive. Unless you’ve exhausted all other options, it should be avoided.

Most consumers would find a secured credit card more cost-effective. Many secured cards, like the Discover it Secured card, have no annual fee. Over time, you can qualify for an unsecured card with consistent on-time payments and get your security deposit back. It’s a good idea to shop around to find a card that doesn’t charge so many fees so you can hold on to more of your hard-earned money while you build your credit.

Next Steps
For PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard®
on First Premier Bank's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard®
overall rating
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 (%) 36% variable
Annual Fee $50-$125 based on creditworthiness for the first year, then $49 annually
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.