Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @ FedPrimeRate.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Prepaid Credit Card with Rewards?

Prepaid Debit Card
Prepaid Debit Card
The prepaid debit card market continues to heat up, and that means companies are going to be coming out with new prepaid debit / credit cards with added features, in an effort to separate their product from the rest of the pack.

Looks like the folks @ PTS Card Solutions will be releasing a new prepaid debit MasterCard® with rewards. All I can report right now is that the new card will be called the "FastMax Rewards" prepaid debit MasterCard, and it should be released sometime before July of this year. Further details about the FastMax Rewards card can be found below in the snippet from today's press release:

"PTS Card Solutions Inc. (Pink Sheets: PTCD) announced today that Global Links Card Services Inc. ('GLCS'), a wholly owned subsidiary of PTS Card Solutions, has received approval from MetaBank, Sioux Falls, S.D., and MasterCard for issuing its private branded ("FastMax Rewards") prepaid MasterCard®. The card will be available in the second quarter 2006 through GLCS agents and co-branded marketing partners. Debit MasterCard cardholders can use their cards at more than 23 million acceptance locations in 210 countries around the world, including more than 1 million ATMs and other locations where cash can be obtained. 'MasterCard offers our co-branded partners and agents flexibility in reaching their customer base and we look forward to increased activations in 2006,' said James Brewer, CEO, Global Links Card Services Inc. As principal member of MasterCard, Meta Payment Systems, Sioux Falls, S.D., issues the FastMax Rewards Debit MasterCard on behalf of GLCS.

About PTS Card Solutions Inc.

PTS Card Solutions Inc. is a partly owned, controlled subsidiary of PTS Inc. (OTCBB: PTSH). PTS Inc. recently assigned all of its interests in Global Links Card Services to its newly acquired subsidiary, PTS Card Solutions Inc. Global Links Card Services Inc. markets its FastMax Prepaid Debit Card through various agents and distributors.

Please visit the company's Web site: http://www.glcsi.com/."


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Friday, April 07, 2006

Chase Ups The Ante with A 15 Month Interest-Free Period on Balance Transfers

Chase
Chase
For some time now, Discover has been offering some of the longest interest-free periods on their balance transfer offers for new credit card accounts. But now it looks like the good folks at Chase are making a bid to break away from the pack by offering 0% on transferred balances for up to 15 months with the Chase Platinum card. A bold move on the part of Chase--no doubt--as the U.S. Prime Rate will probably increase by another 0.25 percentage points next month, and higher interest rates have a tendency to dampen the overall credit market.

There is a bit of a catch related to the 15 month interest-free period on balance transfers for the Chase Platinum card: you have to have a good credit rating in order to qualify for the "Elite" or "Premium" pricing levels, as only those who qualify for Elite or Premium pricing will be able to take advantage of the 15 month interest-free term on balance transfers. If you are still working on building or repairing your credit, then you'll probably have to settle for "Standard" pricing, which would get you a 0% APR on transferred balances for 3 months.

The other major credit card companies are still offering some highly attractive interest-free periods right now. Currently, both Discover and Citibank have many credit cards with 12 month, 0% balance transfer offers associated with them, and some of these credit cards come with excellent rewards programs to boot.

It's been a while since I've seen 18 month interest-free periods on balance transfer offers from the major credit card companies and banks; maybe the latest move by Chase will result in a return of the 18 month offers, or maybe even 24 month offers? Keep your fingers crossed!


The Latest Balance Transfer Offers Related to Credit Card Accounts I Already Have Open
Regarding the latest snail mail balance transfer solicitations that I've received--the ones associated with the credit card accounts I already have open--I don't have anything exciting to report. In fact, the offers appear to be somewhat less favorable, from a consumer point of view.

  • Providian (which is now Washington Mutual) offered me 1.99% APR on balance transfers until October, 2006. Not bad, but the low APR period is too short for my tastes. Pass!


  • BJ's (which is a Chase co-branded credit card) presented me with an offer of:

    0.99% fixed APR until October 1, 2006

    or

    6.99% fixed APR until the transferred balance is paid off.

And the game continues.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Balance Transfer First For Me: From One Business Credit Card to Another

A balance transfer first for me: I decided to take advantage of a 0% APR balance transfer offer to transfer my entire CitiBusiness® Platinum Select business credit card balance (about $4,000 ) to a new Bank of America Platinum Visa® business credit card.

After receiving the solicitation in the mail yesterday, I applied for the Bank of America card online, and I was approved for a $15,000 credit line--plenty of breathing room, so I don't have to worry about looking "maxed out" after transferring my Citibank balance.

What a great country: in a matters of seconds, I've eliminated interest charges on my entire business-related debt until December, 2006. Me likey'! And if all goes well, I may be able to pay off the entire transferred balance by December. Wish me luck!

Don't get the wrong idea here: I'm not transferring my CitiBusiness credit card balance because of problems with the card--no, I'm only doing it to save on interest charges, plain and simple. If you are in the market for a new business credit card, you should check out the CitiBusiness® Platinum Select credit card. I've had mine for years, and I've been very happy with it. And right now, you can get 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months with the CitiBusiness® Platinum Select® card (of course, I'm not eligible to take advantage of this great offer since I already have a CitiBusiness® Platinum Select card in my wallet.)

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