So what is Sux Falls gonna do when First Premier starts laying off people?

I started thinking about this the other day when someone who knows T. Denny told me that Sanford is considering closing down First Premier’s CC operation when new legislation goes into place. They really don’t have much of a choice, but I found this story comical, but not surprising (The bank is actually First Premier bank not Premium bank like reported – H/T Helga):

CA credit card has 79% interest rate

Posted: Oct 19, 2009 6:50 AM PDT

14 Posted by Rachel Folz –

(NBC) – “The first thing they do is laugh. They think it is one of the most ridiculous things out there.”

Gordon Hageman is talking about a credit card offer that just came in the mail, an offer he could hardly believe.

“I think they are trying to take advantage of me. I think that’s what’s going on right now with the economy, maybe just trying to see what they can get away with,” says Hageman.

And this card comes with an interest rate you won’t believe. Not 20 or 30 percent, not even 50 or 60 percent, the mastercard offer from Premium Bank in South Dakota, 79.9 percent.

“My first thought was it was a mistake so I called the 800 number on the back of the offer and gave them the offer code and verified my information and sure enough they verified it at 79.9 percent,” says Hageman.

“Gosh, I hope nobody would do that. I hope nobody would say I’m going to sign up for this card without even looking at the interest rate,” says San Diego State University Marketing Professor Michael Belch.

But there’s nothing in the letter that tells you the interest rate. For that, you have to read the fine print.

Belch says, “I think you’re beginning to border on deception there.”

San Diego State Marketing Professor Michael Belch says card offers like this are usually targeted at people struggling with their credit, the card comes with a $300 limit and a $75 annual fee.

“Anyone looking to rebuild their credit probably going to end up worse shape that probably before they got this card,” says Belch.


#1 Warren Phear on 10.20.09 at 4:13 am

What is even more disturbing about First Premiers predatory practices is having one of it’s bean counters running for mayor of our city. Mike Huether may say he no longer has ties to these predators, but I believe that about as much as I’d believe a pimp no longer has ties to the prostitution industry,or a drug dealer no longer has ties to drugs. Predators,pimps,and drug runners. All the same in my book.

#2 Ghost of Dude on 10.20.09 at 7:17 am

They’ll find a way to make money. The people who have First Premier cards will still want a credit card. They’ll switch to secured cards or some other line of credit.

#3 l3wis on 10.20.09 at 7:46 am

GoD – You never know, they may just cut their losses and move on.

#4 Ghost of Dude on 10.20.09 at 8:23 am

It’s possible.
I wonder how long it would be before all the stuff named after Sanford is renamed.

#5 John2 on 10.20.09 at 8:51 am

They won’t fold. It’s an empty threat. They will have to live like the rest of us – with reasonable expectations, with reasonable profits and profit margins.

#6 Ghost of Dude on 10.20.09 at 9:05 am

BTW, if Total Card Inc. is still in business, T’ Denny’s house of pain will still be in business too.
TCI has already changed their business model.

#7 Sy on 10.20.09 at 9:17 am


I think you’re painting with a pretty broad brush there. The reason all these places are still around and will continue to be is they are operating within the boudries of the Law as it was and will be written. Are they skirting those boundries? Sure, but that only puts them into the same category as certain Realtors, Attorneys, Car Salesmen, Mary Kay reps, etc.

You also have to remember that with any business model, there’s good and bad apples and good and bad stories behind them. I’m sure any of these companies has happy customers who used their cards as they should and it helped them one way or the other, it’s just no one wants to write or blog about that because what fun would that be?

#8 Costner on 10.20.09 at 11:47 am

T. Denny isn’t going anywhere. He didn’t get where he is by being stupid, and I’m quite sure he is well aware of how to modify his business model to continue to make money by preying upon the stupid or financially ignorant among us.

Say what you want about the predatory nature of First Premier, but I’ve yet to hear of anyone holding a gun to a customer’s head and forcing them to sign up for one of these idiotic cards and then forcing them to actually use it.

It’s called personally responsibility. I’m tired of our government having to hold the hand of the lowest common denominator within our populace. I have no problem mandating that companies clearly disclose their terms (in plain English) but the micro-managing of industry is getting a tad out of control.

#9 Anonymous on 10.20.09 at 5:26 pm

Micro-managing???? BS!
The public demanded these new laws… and not just the “financially ignorant” among us.
And when you get one of T Denny’s cards, you don’t even have to use it before you have most of your line of credit used up in various upfront fees.
The government was absolutely right in putting a stop to this high-tech robbery!

#10 Monster DAWG on 10.20.09 at 8:30 pm

I’ll never forget the time I took an application into the call center out by the industrial park and the lovely First Premier manager gal had yellow jaundice eyes from spending 90% of her day in cube hell. Good riddance of another call center if they close down that crap.

#11 Costner on 10.22.09 at 6:28 am

And when you get one of T Denny’s cards, you don’t even have to use it before you have most of your line of credit used up in various upfront fees.

Oh I get it. The government has to coddle to those among the populace who can’t read the terms and disclosures of the cards they sign up for. So really they are protecting people from their own stupidity by legislating laws to essentially bubble wrap stupid people in order to protect them.

Thanks for clearing that up… it makes complete sense now.

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