Consumer Payment Card News

Holiday Card Wars

With the holidays just around the corner, credit card issuers are gearing up with some great deals to ring Santa’s bell. At least four major issuers are dangling short-term 0% intro APRs in front of U.S.consumers while other issuers are offering low single digit APRs, smart cards and a jazzed up Titanium card. The new Fleet Fusion smart VISA offers a six month 0% APR for new purchases only. Providian’s Platinum VISA offers a 0% intro rate on new purchases and a 2.99% intro rate for balance transfers. Discover recently cut its Platinum Discover intro APR offer from 2.9% to 0% for purchases and 5.9% for balance transfers. Capital One’s brand new Kmart MasterCard is offering a six month 0% rate on Kmart purchases only. Despite a marketing pullback this year, First USA is hitting mailboxes with a newly revised Titanium VISA offer with a 1.9% intro APR that requires a balance transfer and a 3% balance transfer fee. The Citigroup Universal Platinum MasterCard is also alive and well with a 2.9% intro, good thru July, for balance transfers of more than $3,500, otherwise a 3.9% intro rate for balance transfer applies. Chase is offering a nine month intro rate of 2.99% on its Platinum MasterCard that applies only to balance transfers. Affinity card king, MBNA is heavily promoting its L.L. Bean Platinum VISA this season with a 3.9% intro APR that applies to cash advance check transactions or balance transfers. CT-based People’s Bank is offering a six month 4.9% intro APR on its Platinum MasterCard that applies to new purchases and balance transfers. Finally Bank of America’s Platinum VISA is promoting an 8.9% intro rate that applies to balance transfers until paid in-full and to new purchases for six months.

                           TOP 10  PRE-XMAS  OFFERS  FOR  2000
   ISSUER                          PRODUCT            INTRO
1.  Fleet               Fusion smart VISA            0%          6 mos.    f11.99%
2.  Providian           Platinum VISA                0%          3mos.     P+5.49%
3.  Discover            Platinum                     0%          4/01      f14.99%
4.  Capital One         Kmart MasterCard             0%          6mos      P+10.3%
5.  First USA           Titanium VISA               1.9%         5/01      P+5.90%
6.  Citigroup           Universal Platinum  MC      2.9%         7/01      P+5.99%
7.   Chase              Platinum MC                 2.99%        9mos      P+5.49%
8.  MBNA                L.L. Bean Platinum VISA     3.9%         2/01      f16.99%
9.  People's Bank       Platinum MasterCard         4.9%         6mos.     f13.90%
10.  Bank of America    Platinum VISA               8.9%         6mos       P+7.9%

f-fixed; mos.-months; P-Prime Rate     Source

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