What's a Brief History of First PREMIER Bank?


Quick Answer

First Premier Bank of Sioux Falls, South Dakota is notorious for its high-interest credit cards. In 2010, the First Premier Bank MasterCard was voted the Nation's worst credit card by Consumers Union, the publishers of Consumer Reports magazine.

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Full Answer

First Premier bank, founded by T. Denny Sanford, is known for marketing cards to customers with what they call "less than perfect credit." The cards have been marketed under a variety of names, including Centennial and Aventium. Travis Plunkett, the director of the Consumer Federation of America, described the First Premier credit cards as charging, in his words: "close to loan-shark interest rates." In 2010, Senator Bernie Sanders described First Premier's methods as "extortion and loan sharking."

In December 2010, they marketed a card at 79.9 percent interest, and the up-front fees for the cards have reached $180 for a credit line of $300. In 2007, there was a judgment against the bank to refund $4.5 million to New York customers for employing illegal and deceptive tactics. In 2014, the bank sued cardhub.com for allowing customers to view rates and terms and allowing users to post reviews of the cards. As of 2015, they are the 10th largest issuer of Visa and MasterCard brand credit cards in the United States.

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