First Savings Credit Card Review 2020
The First Savings Mastercard is designed for people who want to repair a bad credit score. As an invitation-only credit card, it's only available to those who receive a pre-qualified offer in the mail.
Because the First Savings Mastercard is unsecured, there's no need to put down a security deposit. On the other hand, this card can come with high fees depending on your creditworthiness.
What Is the First Savings Credit Card?
The First Savings credit card is a Mastercard issued by First Savings Bank. Marketed toward individuals with poor credit scores, it's an unsecured credit card with a subprime interest rate that varies depending on your creditworthiness.
If you've made credit mistakes that pulled down your score, or you're new to the world of credit and need to establish yourself, the First Savings card might be a good choice. However, those with low scores can end up paying a high annual percentage rate (APR) as well as an annual fee.
First Savings Credit Card Overview
Unlike a lot of other credit cards, the First Savings Mastercard features six different offers. The offer you receive depends on your credit score, along with other factors such as your income.
One of the drawbacks of the First Savings card is that you can only apply if you receive an invitation in the mail. Because of this, it can be hard to get detailed information about the card's terms and conditions.
However, the First Savings credit card website provides information about its various credit card contracts. Here's a quick look at the interest rates and annual fees for each offer.
While First Savings doesn't specify what criteria individuals need to qualify for more favorable terms, it's probably safe to assume that those with the lowest credit scores can expect to pay the higher 29.9% rate as well as an annual fee.
Pros vs. Cons: First Savings Mastercard
The First Savings Mastercard has its share of pros and cons. Here's an overview of some of the benefits and potential drawbacks.
Reports to credit bureaus - First Savings Bank reports cardmember activity to all three major credit bureaus, so you get credit for your on-time payments.
No security deposit - If you prefer an unsecured credit card, the First Savings card doesn't require you to make a down payment.
Online and mobile account management - You can access your account and pay your bill online. You can also download the First Savings mobile app to manage your account on the go.
Credit limit increases - Online reviewers report that First Savings Bank offers an automatic credit limit increase after the first six months as long as you use the card responsibly.
Widely accepted - The First Savings card is a Mastercard, which is accepted just about everywhere.
Invitation only - You can only apply for the First Savings Mastercard if you receive an offer in the mail.
Low credit limit - According to the credit card contracts available on the First Savings Bank website, new cardholders receive a starting credit limit of just $350. This is on the low side for an unsecured credit card, but you can get a limit increase up to $1,500 with responsible use.
High APR - While individuals with decent credit might qualify for a 16.40% APR, those with low credit scores can expect to pay 29.9%.
Annual fee - Some applicants will get a card with no annual fee, but others will pay anywhere from $39 to $75 a year.
Who Should Apply for a First Savings Credit Card?
If you receive an invitation to apply for a First Savings credit card, there are a couple reasons why you might want to consider going through with an application.
First, a credit card can be a useful tool for improving your credit score. You can make your card work for you by making a few smaller purchases every month and then paying them off.
As you make payments on time each month, First Savings reports your responsible behavior to the three major credit bureaus. Because your payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score, something as straightforward as paying your bill on time can help you boost your score.
Two, the First Savings Mastercard might appeal to you if you prefer to avoid a secured credit card. With a secured card, you're required to make a security deposit to protect the credit card lender in the event you default on your card.
However, it's possible to find secured cards with relatively low interest rates and no annual fee. If your credit isn't good enough to qualify for a First Savings card with no annual fee, you might be better off starting with a secured card and transitioning to an unsecured card once your credit score improves.
How to Apply for the First Savings Mastercard
If you received an offer in the mail, applying for the First Savings Mastercard is easy.
1. Go to the First Savings Credit Card Site
First, go to the First Savings credit card website and look for the green button that says "accept online."
2. Enter Your Reservation Number and Access Code
Next, enter the reservation number and access code located on your invitation offer. If you have trouble finding it, First Savings has a graphic showing where you can locate these numbers on the offer mailing.
3. Fill Out the Online Application
Once you enter your reservation number and access code, you should be able to access the credit card application. You'll need to provide some personal information, including your basic identifying information as well as details about your employment status and monthly income.
How to Login to Your First Savings Credit Card
If you're an existing cardmember, you can access your account from the First Savings credit card website. Once you're on the site, you can get to the cardmember services portal by clicking "account login."
After you click "account login" you'll be taken to a page where you can enter your username and password.
How to Pay Your First Savings Credit Card Bill
If you have an online account, you can pay your First Savings credit card bill from the cardmember services portal.
You can also send your payment through the mail. The mailing address for payments is:
First Savings Credit Card
P.O. Box 2509
Omaha, NE 68103-2509
Additionally, First Savings Bank accepts payments by phone at 888-469-0291. You can also pay using a MoneyGram or Western Union.
First Savings Credit Card Reviews
Overall, the First Savings Mastercard gets positive reviews online. While most reviewers note that the card comes with a high APR, they say it's good as a rebuilder card.
On the other hand, the First Savings Mastercard receives its fair share of negative reviews. For example, some reviewers say they didn't receive a credit limit increase despite paying on time for six months.
Alternatives to the First Savings Credit Card
The First Savings Mastercard won't be an ideal fit for everyone. Fortunately, there are good alternatives available — even for those with less than stellar credit scores.
If your credit is poor, and you aren't ready to commit to the First Savings card, here are three other possibilities to consider.
The Discover it Secured credit card requires a security deposit, but its lack of an annual fee makes it a popular choice for people looking to repair their credit. The minimum deposit required is $200, but you can deposit up to $500 if you want a higher credit limit.
This card also earns high praise for its rewards program, as it's a rare secured credit card that offers cash back. You can get 2% cash back up to $1,000 on fuel and dining, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases.
There is no annual fee, and the APR is 24.49%. While this might seem a bit high, it's still lower than the 29.9% APR you're likely to get with the First Savings Mastercard.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard requires a security deposit, however, required amounts can be $49, $99, or $200 depending on your credit score. Cardmembers can also receive a credit limit increase after five months of responsible use.
While the APR is on the high end at 26.99%, the Capital One Secured card has no annual fee. As long as you avoid carrying a balance, you can use the card without paying any interest.
The Citi Secured Mastercard requires a $200 security deposit, but it has no annual fee and no monthly maintenance fee. The card also offers a credit limit up to $2,500, which is higher than many secured credit cards.
With a 23.49% APR, the Citi Secured Mastercard has a lower interest rate compared to many other credit cards aimed at people with bad credit. Cardmembers also get free access to their FICO score, which can be a big help when you're trying to build or rebuild your credit.
First Savings Credit Card FAQs
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the First Savings Mastercard.
What Credit Score Do I Need for a First Savings Mastercard?
The First Savings Mastercard website doesn't specify a minimum credit score required to get approved for the card. However, because you have to be invited to apply, you can usually assume your credit score is high enough to qualify for the card if you receive an offer in the mail.
How Long Does Approval Take for the First Savings Credit Card?
The First Savings credit card site doesn't offer any information about how long you can expect to wait to receive a decision on your application. In some cases, credit card lenders offer an instant decision if you apply online, but it's also not unusual for lenders to take a couple weeks to decide on an applicant.
Does First Savings Credit Card Have an App?
Yes, the First Savings Mastercard app is available for both Android and Apple devices. You can manage your account from the app, including signing up for text alerts, paying your bill, and checking your account balance.
How Do I Get a Credit Line Increase with the First Savings Credit Card?
Some online reviewers say they received a credit limit increase after six months of paying their bill on time.
The credit card contracts listed on the First Savings credit card site are a bit more vague, stating, "If you make all your payments on time, meet our debt-to-income requirements, keep your account in good standing and maintain your credit profile, you may be eligible to receive future credit limit increases."
Can I Get a First Savings Credit Card Cash Advance?
Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be able to get a cash advance with the First Savings Mastercard. However, most cardmembers will pay 2% of the cash advance, plus 29.9% APR on any balance they carry.
For cardmembers who receive a 16.40% APR with no annual fee, the credit card contract states that the fee for a cash advance is $10 or 4% of the advance, whichever is greater, plus 25.40% APR on any balance.
How Do I Cancel a First Savings Credit Card?
According to the credit card contracts on the First Savings website, you must notify First Savings in writing if you wish to cancel your card. You must also cut your cards in half and return them to First Savings.
If you're looking to repair a bad credit score, the First Savings Mastercard might be worth a look as long as you can qualify for a card with no annual fee.
For many people with low credit scores, however, the card will come with an annual fee and a high interest rate. If you're wary about getting caught up in excessive fees, there are plenty of cards out there with more favorable terms.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.