Consumer Payment Card News

Bloody Hi APR

While the highest interest rate changed on a U.S. bank credit card is now about 42%, a new VISA card is being offered to British peasants that carries an interest rate as high as 69.5%. Provident Financial PLC announced this week that its Vanquis Bank division will now offer a VISA credit card to credit-challenged U.K. families with rates averaging 49.9% per annum with a maximum credit limit of GBP 150 (US$285). Applicants have to have annual incomes of at least GBP 5,000 (US$9,464) to qualify. The new “Vanquis Bank VISA” has outraged consumer advocates and led some British politicians to label the issuer as a “vulture” and “rogue.” The current Bank of England base rate is 4.75%. In the USA, Atlanta-based CompuCredit offers the “Aspire VISA” card that carries a interest rate as high as prime +36.25% on delinquent balances. The current prime rate in the USA is 5.50%. For more information about the “Vanquis VISA” visit http://www.providentfinancial.com.

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