Consumer Payment Card News

Pre-Xmas Card War

The fall card wars have begun ! The pre-holiday battle to sign up new bank credit card accounts remains strong this year with lots of super low rates to choose from, some as low as 0%. This year intro rates continue to dominate the market instead of the single digit, fixed go-to APR, according to CardWeb’s CardWatch marketing intelligence service (www.cardwatch.com). Among the best current offers for consumers is CT-based People’s Bank no-annual-fee Premier Platinum VISA offer. People’s is offering a 2.9% fixed APR for new purchases and balance transfers until the first day of the April 2000 billing cycle. The go-to APR is a fixed 11.99% and the punitive APR is a fixed 25.99%. People’s is promoting the card as being free from balance transfer fees. Discover continues to promote a 2.9% intro rate for balance transfers for its new Discover Platinum. The intro rate expires during the February 2000 billing cycle. Discover is offering a 12.99% fixed, go-to rate and no-annual-fee. However Discover continues to employ the two-cycle ADB method of calculating interest. Meanwhile Fleet Bank continues to hammer away at mailboxes with its fixed, 7.99% go-to APR Platinum MasterCard. According to CardWatch, Fleet’s punitive pricing includes a 14.99% APR for accounts with two, 30-day lates in a six month period; a 21.99% APR for any account with a 60-day late; and a 24.99% APR for closed accounts. Other issuers offering intro rates this fall Amercian Express 0%; Providian 0%; First USA 1.9%; American Express 2.9%; Citibank 3.9%; and National City 3.9%.

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