Consumer Payment Card News

Fixed Rate Heat

Single digit, fixed interest rate cards are hot this summer and will undoubtedly take some of the sizzle out of pure platinum card marketing this fall. This summer the battle is centered on two offers: First USA’s 9.99% fixed rate card and Capital One’s 9.90% fixed rate card. There are indications other issuers will join the strategy within the next sixty days. Capital One issued a press release this week announcing it will now offer the card to consumers on a non-solicited basis via a toll-free number and Cap One’s website. The introduction of the non-introductory fixed rate cards and sinking teaser rate offers has driven “offered” rates to an all time industry low. Average “offered” rates now stand at 15.11% according to CardData. To qualify for the under 10% APR cards, consumers must have exceptionally strong credit and above average income.

Capital One Bank, one of the nation’s top ten issuers of credit cards, launched a 9.9% fixed rate Visa Platinum. The offer is one of the lowest fixed rates on the market that is not an introductory rate, provides real long-term savings and is available to consumers nationwide who qualify.

“One size does not fit all. Capital One’s ability to mass customize products allows us to offer a wide variety of credit cards to consumers,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are certain this 9.9% fixed rate product will appeal to consumers who want to save money with a lower rate … we believe that Capital One’s 9.9% fixed rate is among the lowest non-introductory fixed rate credit card consumers will find.”

Capital One presently offers more than 5,000 product combinations. Although Capital One has predominantly used direct mail to offer products directly to consumers, the Company now offers outlets for consumers to request applications by calling Capital One’s Customer Relations’ toll-free number (800-738-9717) or by visiting Capital One’s Internet site (

“We are always looking to provide value to our cardholders and reward consumers who have maintained an excellent credit rating with this low rate,” said Nigel Morris, President and Chief Operating Officer of Capital One. “Too many consumers are paying too much with their current rates, Capital One is happy to provide these consumers with the savings they have earned.”

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation is a financial services company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One subsidiaries collectively had 13.6 million customers and $15.0 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 1998, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.

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