First National Bank was founded in 1857 and is a sixth-generation family-owned business. The bank has locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. You must be a resident of one of the states where they have a location to apply for a First National Bank credit card. Today, First National has become the largest privately-owned bank holding company in the United States with $20 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates.

 

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
8.24 - 18.0%
8.3
#2
11.24 - 23.24%
8.0
#3
11.24 - 23.24%
7.9
#14
first_national_bank
10.24 - 23.24%
7.4

The Good

APR Range

Not all of First National’s cards have an introductory APR rate. Only their Complete Rewards℠ Visa® Card and Platinum Edition® Visa® Card have a 0.00% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles (first 15 months). Ongoing APRs with First National are variable and range from 10.24% to 23.24%. It depends on the card you’re using. If you want the Complete Rewards℠ Visa® Card, you’ll pay 16.24% to 23.24% based on the going prime rate and your creditworthiness. Another one of their cards, the Platinum Edition® Visa® Card, charges APRs of 10.24%, 15.24% or 18.24% depending on your credit history as well.

When compared with credit card companies offering similar cards, First National’s rates are within the same range, give or take 1 or 2%. Take KeyBank—they offer a 0% introductory APR for the first 6-15 billing cycles and ongoing variable APRs of 10.24% to 22.24% depending on your creditworthiness. This means although KeyBank’s APR caps at 1% less than First National, having a variable rate can mean you would end up paying the same at either bank—which also is determined by your credit history. The same goes for HSBC bank, which offers introductory APRs of 0% on credit card purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (slightly shorter than First National at 15 months). Overall, the companies we reviewed showed the same APR range both for introductory offers and ongoing APRs.

Annual fee range

Anyone concerned about annual credit card fees will be pleased to find that First National does not charge annual fees on any of their cards. Often, we found companies to charge annual fees for either all or some of their cards. First National is one of the few credit card companies who don’t charge annual fees on any of their cards—even their rewards cards. Some companies we found to offer a $0 annual fee for the first year and then charge as high as $95 a year afterwards.

Foreign Transaction Fees

First National charges 3% in foreign transaction fees for each transaction in U.S. dollars when using your card in other countries/currencies. The 3% flat rate is the norm for credit card companies, with only a rare few who offer 0-3% transaction fees on their cards. We also found that there are some companies offering certain cards with zero foreign transaction fees. HSBC is the only one, for example, offering all of their cards with no foreign transaction fees. The only exception is First National’s American Express card, which offers a foreign transaction fee of 3% added to the amount of each foreign transaction—1% of which will be retained by American Express. All in all, when compared to the norm, First National is competitive.

Cards Offered

First National Bank offers consumers four different credit cards to choose from:

  • Complete Rewards℠ Visa® Card
  • Platinum Edition® Visa® Card
  • Secured Visa® Card
  • First National Bank American Express® Card
Options for Rewards

We found two cards offer cash back rewards. One card offers points that can be redeemed for rewards including gift cards, merchandise, travel on any major airline, and cash back. Two other credit cards offered by First National Bank do not have rewards, but offer lower APRs than the rewards credit cards.

Here are the rewards options we thought were the best:

First National Bank American Express® Card:

  • Points do not expire
  • A one-time $100 automatic statement credit when you spend $500 in the first 3 billing cycles

Complete Rewards℠ Visa® Card

  • Redeem your rewards into your checking, savings, mortgage or NEST 529 account for a higher value of 2% back
  • Rewards don’t expire
  • Redeem for a $25 statement credit when you make a purchase in the first 3 billing cycles

First National Bank American Express® Card

  • Amex Connect gives you access to special benefits—a range of shopping, dining, presale ticket access to popular entertainment, sporting events, etc.
Security

First National Bank offers Cyber Security Protection from a technology standpoint to provide security for credit card customers. They include:

  • User ID and Password: Limits online account access to those possessing the user ID and password associated with your account(s).
  • Encryption – Encryption technology protects data in transit between your computer and First National’s systems. The closed lock icon indicates a communication session is encrypted.
  • Firewalls: Protect you against unauthorized access to First National’s systems.
  • Virus Protection: Anti-virus protection technology detects and prevents recognized viruses from entering First National computer network.
  • Patching: Regular and consistent patching covers any security “gaps” in the system to limit system vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks.
  • Timeout: Online system designed to log you out automatically after several minutes of inactivity.

Their First National Bank American Express® Card offers customers a Zero Liability policy with a 24/7 guarantee that you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges made with your card or account information. You can also view your FICO® Credit Score each month online for free to help you maintain or improve your financial health.

When compared to other companies offering credit cards, we noticed that Zero Liability policies were common (still competitive) while more technical security measures can vary. The difference we found is that certain companies offer chip technology and identity fraud services, which First National does not.

Building Credit/Student Cards

First National Bank offers an opportunity for you to establish or rebuild your credit history with their Secured Visa® Card. This card reports all your card’s activities to all 3 major credit bureaus, unlike debit or prepaid cards. The Secured Visa Card ties your credit limit to the size of your secured deposit and is designed for consumers trying to rebuild or establish a good credit history.

This card has some attractive benefits, such as the ability to request your own credit limit by providing a single deposit between $300 and $5,000 (multiples of $50) when you apply (subject to credit approval). You may also qualify for a credit limit increase without an additional deposit in as little as 7 months when you use your card and make regular, on-time bill payments. Lastly, you may be able to get your deposit back automatically in as little as 11 months when you maintain a good payment history.

The Bad

Customer support

For questions or concerns with your card, First National Bank has a toll-free Credit Card Customer Service phone number and a toll-free number to report Lost or Stolen Credit Cards. The company has decided not to indicate their customer service phone hours, which most of the companies we reviewed do. They also offer an email contact address and a postal address (to send payments). A few companies offer Live Chat as well, which First National does not offer. Live Chat would be very helpful to customers needing help outside of business hours (depending on their actual phone hours/availability).

Late Payment

Paying your First National Bank Credit Card late will cost up to $37 in late fees. We find most penalty charges in the credit card industry equal this range for a late payment. (A few cap off at $35). Even more rare is the credit card company which offers cards meeting the $25 late fee standard of the credit card act of 2010 to counteract late fees being more than the card’s minimum payments.

Unique Features

Aside from their Secured Visa® Card, we did not find any unique selling points for using First National over another credit card company. Typically, we found that companies had unique features compared to other credit cards.

The Bottom Line

First National Bank offers a wide range of credit card choices depending on whether you want a cash or rewards program, prefer a lower APR and no rewards, or want to build a positive credit history with a secured credit card. The credit cards offered by First National Bank are only available in seven states where the bank has locations, which means most U.S. consumers will not be able to apply for one of the credit cards offered by the bank.

All of the credit cards offered by First National Bank have no annual fees. All six credit cards have a fee for foreign transactions. If you qualify for a card with cash back or points rewards, pay attention to the expiration date so you do not lose your rewards.

With its variety of cards and benefit available, we recommend checking out the APR offered to you for one of First National Bank’s credit cards if you live in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Texas. Aside from their Secured Visa® Card, we did not find any unique selling points for using First National over another credit card company.

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