First Premier Bank Credit Card: Avoid This Deal
First Premier Bank
has been sending its offers that prey on consumers who may
not always read all the fine print who
are known to have bad credit records.
These deceptive offers are also being sent to college students
with a limited credit history.
Here are some aspects of one offer (product code 5044-01) that came
into the Cagey Consumer's hands that had been sent to one such student:
Here are comments from others about First Premier Bank's
credit card offers:
deceptive return address
The return address specifies that the
mailing piece is from the Office of the Chief Bank Officer,
suggesting that the recipient has received the personal attention
of an important official of some (unspecified) bank.
false "Reply Required" marking
The outside of the envelope is marked in red with the
legend "Reply Required, MasterCard Issuance Pending",
falsely indicating that the recipient has a legal
obligation to reply.
misleading "documents registered" legend
The outside of the envelope is marked
"DOCUMENTS REGISTERED: The person identified in window has been
assigned the enclosed Bank Documents".
This completely meaningless statement is intended to give
the recipient the impression that the person is legally
responsible for reviewing the contents.
Inadequate disclosure of mandatory fees
In addition to an annual fee of $50, there is a monthly fee
that equates to $72 per year, a one-time acceptance fee of
$119, and a one-time processing fee of $19.
The only one of these mentioned on the front of the letter
is the $19 processing fee.
No toll-free number for additional information
The "information line" provided is not a toll-free number,
thus discouraging the recipient from asking questions.
Credit Card Scams
Don't fall for the credit card scam being sent out by some of
the credit card companies promising a credit card to
help you rebuild your credit record.
The offer states that you can receive a MasterCard or Visa Card with a
maximum $2500 limit and all you have to do is sent
a check in the amount of $29.00.
Now what you
actually receive is a credit card with a $250.00 limit
that has been pre-charged with an "Acceptance Fee"
of $119.00, a "Participation Fee" of $6.00 and an
"Annual Charge" of $50.00.
The card you receive already has $175.00 charged to the card before you
receive it, leaving you a $75.00 balance of available credit.
In reality it is costing you $204.00 to get a credit
card with a $75.00 credit limit.
The card also promises
a credit increase
"if you make all of your payments on time for six months and pay
substantially more than the minimum amount due each month",
"Credit Limit Increase Review Fee" of up to $50.00 is
assessed if you are granted an increase.
You are much better off to deal with a company like Providian Bank
who also helps people to establish or reestablish credit
without misleading claims and exorbitant charges.
(multiplex.com [Wayback archive])
(Similar info is at
www.avana.net/~jshankar/alerts1.htm [Wayback archive])
A recent (just one of many) direct mailings from First Premier
offers in at least 14 pt type on the front of the mailing piece:
Guranteed unsecured $250 minimum VISA card
However, on the reverse and in 4 pt type buried in the middle of
legal mumbo jumbo is:
Processing Fee: $35.00
Acceptance Fee: $119.00
Monthly Participation Fee: $6.00 ($72.00 annualized)
In fact, their "fees" total $276.00 for $250 of unsecured credit.
Now, maybe this is legal, but I doubt anyone would not make the
same offer of anyone else.
This company obviously preys upon poor people and those who have
suffered financial difficulties.
Bad Credit Card Deals Targeting Those with Bad Credit
(Bank Rate Monitor)
Take the Future Card, an unsecured credit card being marketed on the
Internet, offered by First Premier Bank, Sixou Falls, S.D.
It carries a 19.9 annual percentage rate;
a $98 one-time program fee;
a $70 set-up fee;
and a $5 monthly participation fee.
Customers end up paying $228 in
fees alone for a credit limit that could be as low as $250.
First Premier Bank twiki page
Financial Services Alerts
Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
February 13, 2003