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 @

Thursday, January 25, 2007

If You Hate Fees, Then You'll Like The New Commerce Bank Small Business Credit Card

Commerce Bank
Commerce Bank
Have you had enough with credit card fees? Have you ever wished for a credit card that doesn't charge any fees? What if I were to communicate to you that there's a new small business credit card on the market that doesn't assess any of the following fees:

  • Annual fee
  • Late payment fee
  • Over-the-limit fee
  • Cash advance fee
  • Balance transfer fee
Would you believe me?

Well, it's true. According to a recent press release, the folks at Commerce Bank are offering a new, small business Visa® credit card that is literally feeless. Believe it!

Now, I know what you are thinking: if a credit card doesn't have any fees, then the annual percentage rate (APR) -- the interest rate charged on outstanding credit card balances -- must be high. Well, here's another surprise for you: the APR associated with the new Commerce Bank Visa credit card is a reasonable Prime + 4.99%. So, if you were to signup for the new Commerce Bank business card today, the APR would be 8.25% + 4.99%, or 13.24%, which is quite competitive, considering the number of business and consumer credit cards out there which currently have APR's that are higher than 13.24% -- and some that are much higher!

If the absence of annoying credit card fees and a competitive APR aren't enough for you, here's another great feature associated with the new Commerce Bank business Visa card: it's a rewards card.

For more about the new Commerce Bank Visa credit card for small business, point your web browser to Here's a clip from a recent press release:

"...Commerce Bank, 'America's Most Convenient Bank,' and one of the nation's top small business lenders, has launched a new Visa® Platinum credit card for small business customers that carries absolutely no fees and provides a significant rewards program.

The new, no-fee credit card is the only small business credit card available that has eliminated all the membership and penalty fees typically charged by banks and credit card companies. Commerce small business Visa cardholders will pay absolutely no fees for this platinum credit card account:

  • No annual fee
  • No late payment fee
  • No over-the-limit fee
  • No cash advance fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No default pricing

The new Commerce Bank Visa credit card will enable small business owners to avoid paying unnecessary fees and better manage their cash flow.

'By eliminating ridiculous bank fees and penalties charged by other financial institutions, the new Commerce Visa small business card doesn't penalize business owners for being busy running their businesses,' said Commerce Bank Founder and Chairman Vernon W. Hill. 'Commerce Bank is proud to support small business, the backbone of our nation's economy, by offering the best and most convenient free products and services for small business owners.'

Commerce introduces the new small business Visa credit card at a time when most credit card companies and banks are charging more and higher fees than ever. A report issued in October 2006 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates that the average penalty in 2005 for making a late payment was $34 - a 115 percent increase from the average late fee of $13 in 1995. Late fees will make up about 70 percent of the industry's $17.1 billion in penalty-fee income this year, estimates R.K. Hammer, a bank-advisory firm. Additionally, says that in the past decade, fees assessed for exceeding a credit limit jumped 138 percent, to an average of $30.81 last year.

The new Commerce Bank Visa credit card also enables customers to earn quadruple Visa Extras Rewards Points for every purchase made -- four points for every dollar spent; most rewards programs typically award only one point for each dollar spent. Rewards points can be redeemed for a variety of business, travel, dining and entertainment products, services and gift certificates from popular retailers and service providers.

Commerce Bank's no-fee Visa small business credit card will carry a low annual percentage rate (APR) of Prime plus 4.99%. Last month, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration reported a recent increase in small business loans, which came mostly from credit card use by small business. 'Access to credit is vital for small business survival,' said Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the Office of Advocacy, commenting on the report. Noting the increase of both the number of micro business loans and the increase in the dollar amount of outstanding loans, Moutray stated, 'The small business credit card market continues to be quite dynamic.'

Commerce is one of the leading small business lenders throughout its footprint and beyond. The bank has supported the growth and prosperity of the nation's small businesses by providing more than $1 billion in loans over the last five years. Commerce has consistently ranked high among regional lenders in the industry in both dollar volume and the number of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans made, and the bank regularly surpasses its regional competitors in dollar volume of loans made to minority-, women- and veteran- owned businesses.

Commerce business customers enjoy the same convenience, advanced technology and personalized service as retail customers. Business owners and their employees can bank at 400+ retail locations, seven days a week, during extended hours, or via the Internet or phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Commerce combines its community bank roots with the financial strength of a major regional bank to meet the diverse needs of commercial customers. Commerce Bank's lending professionals are local bankers making local loans, and they establish customer relationships focusing on service and the delivery of individualized financing solutions.

About Commerce Bank

Commerce Bank, 'America's Most Convenient Bank,' is a leading retailer of financial services with 400+ convenient stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Florida. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., Commerce Bancorp (NYSE: CBH - News) has $45.3 billion in assets and in fiscal year 2006 achieved an 18% increase in core deposits, a 23% increase in net loans and total asset growth of 18%. For more information about Commerce, please visit the company's interactive financial resource center at, or call 888-751- 9000..."

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Offer Added: The Pulaski Bank Visa Gold Card

Credit Card
Credit Card
0% Intro APR balance transfer deals are great, but feeless (as in no transaction fee for transferring credit card balances) zero percent deals are even better -- much better! If you are partial to no-fee, zero percent intro APR offers, then we have some great news for you: we've researched and reviewed the Pulaski Bank Visa Gold Card, and added it as a recommended credit card here Key benefits:

  • 0% Intro APR on transferred balances for 6 billing periods
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No annual membership fee
  • A very competitive "go to" rate (FYI: the go to rate is the credit card's annual percentage rate that takes effect once the interest-free period ends.)

It would nice if the zero percent intro APR feature associated with the Pulaski Bank Visa Gold Card included new purchases (à la the Discover Platinum card and the American Express INSIDE Rewards cards, et al.), but it doesn't.

However, it's important to note that the current "go to" rate with this card is highly competitive at 9.5% -- that's a mere 1.25% above the current U.S. Prime Rate. Compare the Pulaski Visa Gold's go to rate to this website's #1 choice: the Discover Platinum card, which has a go to rate as low as 10.99%.

If you decide to signup for the Pulaski Bank Visa Gold Card -- or if you already have one in your purse / wallet -- please feel free to post a review of the card by clicking the "comments" link below. Thanks!

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Credit Card Approval Rankings for December, 2006

Credit Card
Credit Card
With the holidays behind us, many folks are now a bit heavier from all that festive feasting. But, on the positive side, many of us have more cool stuff to play with: cars, computers, iPods, plasma TV's, etc.

Of course, there's also the hangover that kicks in when that credit card statement arrives in the mail. Fortunately, for those with at least decent credit, there's are still lots of fantastic zero percent intro APR credit card deals to choose from.

As you might have guessed, December was a busy month for the website. Here are the application approval rankings for December (we decided to display rankings instead of raw numbers this time, since rankings are more intuitive):

Credit Card Rank
Discover® Platinum Card
(Combined Varieties)
Citi® Driver's Edge®
Platinum Select® Card
Chase Platinum Visa® 3
Citi Home Rebate
Platinum Select® MasterCard®
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Rewards Card 5
Citi® Platinum Select® Card 6
Citi® Upromise® Card 7
Blue from American Express® 8
Citi PremierPass(SM) Card 9
Blue CashSM from American Express® 10
Sony CardSM from Chase 11
Hilton HHonors Platinum Credit Card
from American Express
American Express® IN:LA(SM) Card 13
Starbucks Card Duetto™ Visa®
from Chase
Chase Flexible Rewards
Platinum Visa®

As was the case in November, 2006, the Discover Platinum credit card (combined varieties) was the most popular choice for website visitors last month. Why is Discover Platinum so popular? Because Discover Platinum is still the best 0% intro APR credit card, plain and simple.

It's important to note (in case you've been wondering) that all varieties of the Discover Platinum consumer credit card have the same benefits. The only difference between one variety of the Discover Platinum consumer credit card and the next is the card art.

Since Discover Platinum is so popular, we've decided to add 2 more versions to this website, because everyone likes the idea of having plenty of choice, n'est-ce pas? So now, when it comes to the Discover Platinum card, you can choose from the following:

  • Discover® Platinum American Flag Card
  • Discover® Platinum Card
  • Discover® Platinum Wildlife Card
  • Discover® Platinum Sealife Card
  • Discover® Platinum Clear Card

Discover Financial Services Is Being Sold

The Discover Platinum card is issued by Discover Financial Services (DFS), and DFS is owned by the investment bank Morgan Stanley. The word on the street (Wall Street, that is) is that Morgan Stanley wants to sell DFS. This news begs the question: if DFS is sold, will the new management change the features and benefits associated with the popular Discover Platinum card? I'm hoping the answer is no. Only time will tell.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Offer Added: The GM Flexible Earnings Card

HSBC Credit Cards
HSBC Credit Cards
We recently examined the terms and conditions associated with the GM Flexible Earnings Card, and decided that -- with the card's current features and benefits -- it deserves to be recommended here at

You'll have to pay a fee for transferring balances to the GM Flexible Earnings Card (also known as the GM Flex Card):

...3% ($15 minimum/$75 maximum) for advances by Balance Transfer Checks included in your Welcome Package; thereafter, 3% ($15 minimum) will apply, unless otherwise disclosed...

but on the positive side, it has some great benefits, including:

  • 0% Intro APR on new purchases and transferred balances for 12 billing cycles
  • No annual membership fee
  • Attractive rewards:

    ...earn 1% cash back on every single credit card purchase, 1% toward any vehicle or a full 3% toward a brand new, eligible GM car, truck or SUV...

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