Consumer Payment Card News

Low Ball Rates

With the prime rate slipping to 3.25%, credit card go-to offered rates will hit record lows with the January billing cycle. Additionally, 12-month 0% promotional interest rates have returned in-force as issuers mull a migration back to fixed rates and the implementation of new floor rates. According to CardWatch.com all five of the nation’s top issuers are currently offering 0% promo APRs for about 12-months with Bank of America offering a 15-month zero rate on balance transfers only. Chase also offers a 15-month zero rate on its 8.99% fixed rate card offer. Capital One’s zero rate offer runs for 11 billing cycles. However, most of the issuers now, for the first time, base the length of the promotional period on credit score. Among the best go-to rates offered is BofA with a prime +2.99% rate on its “Visa Platinum” and Citi with a prime +3.49% on its “Perfect MasterCard.” Among other direct mail offers captured by CardWatch.com this month is an agent offer through U.S. Bank offering a 12-month 0% promo rate with a go-to rate of prime +3.99%.

                    DECEMBER PROMO & GO-TO APRS
            BofA:     0% from Jan 09 to Mar 10; then 6.24%
            Chase:     0% from Jan 09 to Dec 09; then 9.24%
            Citi:     0% from Jan 09 to Dec 09; then 6.74%
            Cap One:     0% from Jan 09 to Nov 09; then 8.15%
            AmEx:     0% from Jan 09 to Dec 09; then 10.24%
                 Source: CardWatch (cardwatch.com)

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