First Premier Bank Company Profile:
Name: First PREMIER Bank
Headquarters: 601 S. Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104.
Phone Number(s): 800-501-6535; 800-501-6535; (605) 357-3000, 605-333-6132, 605-367-1365, 678-212-3004, 800-987-5521, 877-635-2563.
CEO: Mike Beacom
Annual Revenue: US$ 87.65 million (2016)
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/premier-bankcard/
Founded in 1999, First PREMIER Bank is a privately owned commercial bank with 17 branches in South Dakota and, together with affiliate PREMIER Bankcard, over 2,300 employees. First PREMIER Bank handles a full range of banking and financial services, including the issuance of credit cards.
PREMIER Bankcard, an affiliate of PREMIER Bank (both companies are owned by the same holding company) is the service provider for First PREMIER Bank credit cards. PREMIER is one of the top 20 issuers of Mastercard® credit cards in the US. It focuses on providing Mastercards to people with shaky credit, which likely explains why it is so often involved in debt disputes with its customers.
All told, First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard have issued millions of credit cards to consumers throughout the US.
First PREMIER Bank has received complaints from a great many consumers. The Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs are two online repositories that offer a reasonably accurate cross-section of the nature of these complaints.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Complaints:
The First PREMIER Bank BBB profile displays an “A+” rating -- which can be safely ignored, given how many businesses with overwhelmingly negative consumer reviews also receive A+ BBB ratings. More tellingly, it received only one star out of five possible stars through customer reviews. The BBB has resolved 1,057 complaints concerning First PREMIER Bank over the last three years, with 409 of these being resolved during the last 12 months. First PREMIER Bank is not BBB accredited.
Following is a synopsis of the content of a few of the above-mentioned complaints, the truth of which this office is not necessarily in a position to confirm or refute:
- Charging too many fees -- an activation fee, an annual fee, a fee for raising the credit limit, etc. This was the single most frequent complaint.
- Targeting minority credit profiles.
- Ruining someone's credit due to a bank billing error.
- Billing errors (perhaps due to identity theft) leading to multiple overdraft fees being assessed against the consumer.
- Contradictory advice from customer care staff.
- Failure to answer customer care phones.
- Placement of false, derogatory claims on customer credit records.
Consumer Affairs Complaints:
Consumer Affairs, like the BBB, is a private consumer watchdog, albeit a less well-known one. Consumer Affairs has collected a variety of complaints about First PREMIER Bank, including:
- Placing false debts on customer accounts;
- Calling a customer several times a day, and hanging up whenever she answered.
- Calling late at night and early in the morning;
- Failing to post payments on time, and then penalizing the customer (and her credit score) for the resulting delay.
- Committing credit card fraud against a customer;
- Charging the customer late fees because their own app crashed, which made it impossible for the customer to pay on time.
Legal Action Against First PREMIER Bank:
It is important to note that since First PREMIER Bank is a bank rather than a debt collection agency, it is a first-party creditor, rather than a third-party creditor, with respect to disputes with most consumers. In other words, First PREMIER Bank is typically the party that loaned money or extended credit to the consumer, rather than a third party hired merely to collect the debt.
The significance of this fact is that loan or credit agreements between banks and consumers typically include arbitration clauses that prevent disputes from going to court. This is why a bank, rather than a debt collector, could be expected to be named as a defendant in fewer lawsuits than a debt collection agency. When a lawsuit is filed, it often seeks to invalidate an arbitration clause. Typically, arbitration cases are not a matter of public record.
Despite the obstacles to filing a lawsuit against a first-party commercial creditor such as a bank, the following lawsuits (among others) have been filed against FIrst PREMIER Bank:
Start Fighting Back Today! Call Paul.
It may seem to you that your creditors hold all the cards. But they don't -- they just want you to think they do. If you are having creditor harassment/abuse problems with First PREMIER Bank, or with another creditor or debt collection agency, call consumer rights lawyer Paul Mankin by calling 1-800-219-3577 or by filling out the online contact form at the bottom of the page, and start fighting back today! You owe it to yourself to fight back against creditor abuse.