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First Financial Bank Usa - A Look into First Financial Bank USA Credit Cards - Background on First Financial Bank USA

1st payments online students

First Financial Bank USA (officially spelled “1st” Financial on its web site) is a major national financial institution that primarily targets students for credit card offers. If you are a student, you more than likely have been contacted by 1st Financial with email offers, letters, or perhaps even by representatives on campus giving out free stuff to people who sign up for a new card. So what exactly is the deal? You may have been tempted by the free “shwag” offers, but ended up deciding to get more information first. Good move. Especially with credit cards, it’s important to err on the side of caution. But at the same time, that’s not to say that First Financial is necessarily bad.

So let’s take a look into what happens to those who do take the plunge. Read on to find an objective review of 1st Financial Bank USA’s credit card services, compiled through 1FBUSA’s own informational sites and actual customer reviews.

Customer Impressions of First Financial Bank USA Credit Cards

Pros:
On the plus side, 1st Financial offers an extensive online services site that allows you to manage your account at any time, 24/7. You can monitor your accounts and transactions, check existing balances, and make online payments of your bill.
The application process can be completed all online, and it is relatively quick and easy to do.
1st Financial is geared entirely towards college students, prospective students, and recently graduated students. Because of this, they are used to doing business specifically with this demographic, and they offer products and services that are tailored to it.
Initial credit limits (even on brand new cards with little credit history) are comparatively high, allowing you access to more money than many other cards.
You can find good introductory interest rates, but they are usually temporary.

Customer Opinion:
Many customers have owned First Financial Bank USA’s credit cards for years with no problem. The common theme among them is simply staying well within their budgets and not missing payments. Many of the satisfied customers look back with fondness on receiving their very first credit card from 1st Financial when they turned 18. But the common thread is that all of them took careful steps to make sure that it would not be a step that they would regret.

Cons:
First Financial also has its share of shortfalls and customer complaints. One major convenience issue stands out for those who pay their bills online: they get charged a $9 fee every time they do so. Sending in a check is free, but many college students find this inconvenient and old-fashioned.
One thing to be especially careful of is late payments. Customers who missed payments were regularly faced with sudden spikes in their interest rates, to the tune of 20% APR or more. Late fees are also substantial.
Unlike some other cards, 1st Financial does not provide a rewards program.

Customer Opinion: those who missed payments or ran up their balances had the worst experience, finding themselves drowning in high interest rates and fees. But even some who did not run high balances were put off by the $9 online payment fee and lack of awards programs, and found themselves quickly transferring to another card company.

Conclusion

A credit card from First Financial Bank USA can be a good way for low- or no-credit college students to learn about credit and build their credit history. But if you do get one, just be careful that you learn the right lessons about credit! If you make your payments well in advance every month and do not run a high balance (or better yet, pay it off completely every month), this will be a great lesson in using and building credit. However, if you get carried away and charge the card way beyond your budget, it could turn into a lesson on the suffocating effects of drowning in credit card debt instead. The choice is yours.

Resources and References

Credit Card Invitation Request Page
Here people interested in a credit card from 1st Financial fill in their information to make a formal card request.

First Financial Bank USA Online Services
This page will let you log in and manage your account after you sign up for a card. Make payments (with a fee), monitor your transactions, and check current account balances. It is always a good idea to keep tabs on your financial accounts in order to prevent identity theft and control your budget.

Careers Page
If you are looking for a job with First Financial, this is the place to go. You can search for open positions in any of First Financial’s locations around the world.

That’s it for this introduction to First Financial Bank USA’s credit card offers, and what they can mean to you. If used wisely, these credit cards can be a great tool to help build your credit and learn about financial principles. But beware: nobody ever gets a credit card with the intention of going bankrupt! And yet it happens to good people around the country every day. Caution is always your best friend in this situation.

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