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America's Worst Credit Card Offer?

The average American household gets credit card advertisements in the mail every so often. Most are by serious banks that are offering a serious credit card offer that often involves special benefits such as zero interest for an extended period or airline miles or some sort of saving benefits at participating retailers. But then there's those nonsense credit card offers from First Premier Bank which really disgrace the good name of MasterCard in what has to be the very worst of terms for any credit card offered that I know of.

Most good credit cards don't charge an annual fee, except for some special business class of cards from American Express who offer almost unlimited credit lines to some businesses almost like a small business loan organization. But American Express is a very good company.

First Premier Bank not only charges an annual fee of $48, plus a $29 account set up, a $95 program fee (whatever that is supposed to be), plus a monthly service fee charged at $84 a year, and if you want a second card, well that's only another $20. And guess what, this company only offers a credit line of $250 to many users, leaving them just $71 in credit left all these fees, unless you opt for the second card option, then you have a giant $51 credit line to spend.

Of any credit card that I know of, this has to be the absolute worst of the worst of terms. It is probably persons with bad credit, young people, minorities and others that this company targets. There is even a cash advance credit limit of just $25 for many users.

Many lower income persons with bad credit may think that they are getting a credit card. But this First Premier Bank MasterCard is hardly much more than a great deal of fees and probably even worse than those absurd prepaid cash "credit cards".

The fact of the matter is that lower income persons will only continue to be victims of all sorts of high fee schemes or other schemes because of their weak financial position in society and their history as being bad credit risks. Some states like Oregon sought to tighten up the rules on some schemes such as those cash advance or pay day loan businesses, and many have closed up shop when they were restricted to charging much lower interest rates. But the bad terms credit card schemes will only likely exist for a lot longer because they are far more difficult to control. But the fact of the matter is that one should never have to pay an annual fee for a good credit card except for those special class of American Express Business cards that work like small business loans to business users.

Ripoff Report on the Internet features many complaints from unhappy users about First Premier Bank and their outlandish fees for their MasterCard scheme. It is almost surprising that MasterCard doesn't set some rules down with First Premier Bank and restrict them to fairer and more upfront terms with their users. First Premier Bank had to pay a $4.5 million dollar settlement in a case brought against them by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In one case, a man had two $250 limit cards issued by First Premier and only spent just $51 before canceling the cards, but wound up $1,017 in debt to them in fees.

Unfortunately, there are many schemes that target the lower income in society, and not every person can understand the terms of a contract that they sign. First Premier Bank wants you, or better yet, your money.

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Rating: 3.2/5 (8 votes cast)

Comments (3)

Only spend $1000 in fees and we'll give you $50 in credit? My, they can do that?

Linda, believe it or not there was actually an even worse credit card offer that existed until 60 MINUTES highlighted the story and it finally resulted in a federal arrest of the owner. In Florida a cocaine dealer who was a native of Cuba started a credit cars scam company that promised credit cards to the public using a telemarketing scheme. This drug dealer got access to the bank account numbers of victims and started making large unauthorized cash withdrawals from the checking accounts of the victims.

And it turns out that this cocaine dealer bought a huge mansion and yacht with all the cash he was taking in and living like a billionaire with a lavish lifestyle, which was quite a path from a small time crook living in Cuba.

This drug dealer/credit card scammer actually never really delivered a real credit card but some card where you could buy some overpriced merchandise from a catalogue on credit on those awful "long easy credit" terms that have ripped off the poor for generations.

This drug dealer also set up about 30 scam operations, each one using a name that sounded very similar to legitimate companies. Yet small piecemeal problems state Attorney Generals and consumer agencies wasn't enough to put this scammer away until he was finally arrested on drug charges by the Feds only after 60 MINUTES did a story.

First Premier Bank may not be quite as bad as this scam. But they're plenty bad enough that tougher federal action is needed on operations like this with excessive fees and extremely low amounts of actual offered credit. The fact of the matter is the MasterCard offered by First Premier Bank is not a serious credit card offer but mostly a money making scam aimed at victims with lower credit ratings or persons unable to understand complex legal agreements and terms. Elderly, young people, poor and minorities are very likely the most common victims of such scams. Government agencies need to keep the credit card businesses honest and outlaw such excessive fees, etc.


More people need to know they can check out companies like this one at ripoffreport.com. Unfortunately, if they can't get a credit card, they probably don't have easy access to the internet. It's pretty amazing that in a market economy such credit cards can actually reel in buyers. Shows you how little people read.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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