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Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, First Premier Bank was founded in 1914. It provides an array of financial services in the South Dakota region and throughout the United States, and has over 1.5 billion dollars in assets.
With over 2,200 employees in South Dakota alone, First Premier Bank is a large regional employer. It is the 13th largest issuer of MasterCard credit cards in the United States, in partnership with its sister organization, Premier Bankcard.
This First Premier Bank review will discuss what accounts are offered to consumers as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using the bank.
What Accounts Are Offered to Consumers
First Premier offers a number of different types of accounts for consumers, including checking and savings accounts, and debit cards. The type of account that a customer qualifies for will depend on a number of factors, including whether they have another account at First Premier Bank.
There are two types of checking accounts available through First Premier Bank: Free+ Checking and Reward Checking. Free+ Checking offers interest on accounts that maintain a minimum balance of at least $500, and requires an initial deposit of $50 to open an account. With a Free+ Checking account, consumers have access to free online or mobile banking, free bill pay, free mobile deposit, a free debit master card, and access to more than 23,000 surcharge-free ATMs. There is no monthly fee for the Free+ Checking account.
With a Reward Checking account, there is no minimum monthly balance and no monthly fee. Consumers must deposit $50 to open an account, and they will earn interest on a tiered schedule based on the amount in their account. However, in order to be eligible for a Reward Checking account, a customer must have a monthly deposit relationship of $15,000. As with the Free+ Checking account, the Reward Checking account gives users access to free online or mobile banking, free bill bay, free mobile deposit, a free debit master card, and access to more than 23,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Customers with a Reward Checking account also get a reward rate on new or renewed Certificates of Deposit of $500 or more, free checks and cashier checks, and free automated transfers.
In addition to checking accounts, First Premier Bank offers Debit Cards and ATM services. These cards are offered through their checking account program, with purchases deducted from customers’ personal checking account balances. The bank’s debit card features include zero liability protection for unauthorized purchases, a lock/unlock switch for greater security, Apple Pay services, and free online and mobile banking.
First Premier Bank also offers a number of savings accounts, including a Regular Savings account (minimum $50 to open, $50 minimum balance), Money Market Savings account (minimum $500 to open, $500 minimum balance), Super Money Market Savings account (minimum $25,000 to open, $25,000 minimum balance), Certificates of Deposit (minimum $500 to open, $500 minimum balance) and Buck-A-Moo Kids Savings (minimum $50 to open, $50 minimum balance). Other than the Certificates of Deposit, each of the savings accounts either charges a monthly fee or does not pay interest if the account falls below the minimum monthly balance.
In addition to banking services, First Premier Bank offers credit cards to individuals with poor credit history. It is the 13th largest issuer of MasterCard credit cards in the United States. These cards tend to have high fees — including initial processing fees, annual fees and monthly service fees — and high interest rates, making them incredibly costly for most users.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using First Premier Bank
When it comes to banking services, First Premier Bank offers strong options for checking and savings accounts. The Free+ Checking account has a low minimum initial deposit, and offers interest if you maintain a balance of at least $500. That is a significant advantage over many other checking accounts, which typically do not offer interest on balances. However, most consumers will not qualify for the Reward Checking account, which requires you to have a separate account with $15,000 in deposits at the bank.
A First Premier savings account has a relatively low minimum initial deposit, which make it a smart way to get started on savings. However, consumers should be aware that if they fall below the minimum balance, they will be charged fees, which can quickly eat up their savings and reduce the earnings on their accounts.
Consumers should also be wary of the credit cards offered by First Premier Bank through its sister organization, Premier Bankcard. While these cards may offer credit to people with poor credit histories, it is extremely expensive and will likely result in consumers falling further into debt.
Author: Jeff Gitlen