First Premier Bank
|Founder||Thomas Denny Sanford|
|Headquarters||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
|Miles Beacom (CEO)|
|Revenue||US$ 87.65 million (2016)|
|US$ 24.95 million (2016)|
|Total assets||US$ 1.551 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|Parent||United National Corporation|
First Premier Bank, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the 13th largest issuer of MasterCard brand credit cards in the United States. The bank is known for specializing in a wide range of subprime credit cards that are marketed to individuals with low credit scores.
The bank was founded in 1986 by T. Denny Sanford. The typical First Premier Bank MasterCard user uses the card for about 18 months before moving to another card with better terms; Sanford described the company as offering a "lifeline" for those with poor credit.
In 2007, the bank settled a case with the New York Attorney General who claimed the bank used deceptive practices to market its credit cards. The bank paid $4.5 million as part of the deal.
As of December 2010, Premier Bank was reportedly offering a credit card with a 79.9% interest rate and a $300 limit. This was cited by Senator Bernie Sanders as an example of what he called "extortion and loan sharking".
As of August 2011, Premier Bank is offering a credit card with a 49.9% interest rate and a $300 limit. Additionally, it requires an initial activation fee of $95, and a $75 annual fee the first year. After the first year, the annual fee becomes $45 and a $6.50 monthly servicing fee is added (a total of $125 in fees annually). Cash advances are charged a minimum fee of $6 and limited to 10% of the total credit limit for at least the first 90 days. Any credit limit increases are charged a limit increase fee of 25% the amount of the increase, and increases may happen automatically after the first 13 months, though the customer may request the automatic increase be reversed within 30 days and the fee will be refunded. The contract also allows Premier Bank or any third party it chooses to contact customers via cell phone or text message even if the number was obtained without the consumer's consent via a third party.
In 2014 it was announced that First Premier Bank sued cardhub.com for allowing customers to view rates and terms and also letting users review the card.
First Premier Bank's CEO, Dana J. Dykhouse, was referenced in a 2014 piece in the Argus Leader as belonging to a group of would-be local benefactors who the author wrote, "should quit gouging poor people who can't make it from paycheck to paycheck, or don't qualify for regular credit cards. ... Loan sharks who charge an obscene profit just because they can don't make good community leaders."
In April 2018, John Kiernan of WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked the First Premier Bank MasterCard poorly (1 stars out of 5). He wrote that the card had excessive fees, low credit limit and a high annual percentage rate that made it a bad choice for most users.
- Whelan, David (September 22, 2007). "Dying Broke". Forbes. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
- http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/12/10/HP/A/41780/Sen+Sanders+Held+a+Tax+Cut+Filibuster.aspx Senator Bernie Sanders Speech 3:01:10
- https://www.applyformypremier.com/CardDetails.aspx?appid=GY1108061548D3W9R retrieved 8-6-2011
- Nipe, Sue (18 December 2014). "Letter: Community benefactors reap profits from poor". Argus Leader. Retrieved 15 April 2016.