Don't miss card bargains

December 27, 1992|By Knight-Ridder News Service

If Robert B. McKinley calls you a "knucklehead," don't get offended. He means it in the kindest way possible.

That's the name he gives to people who still carry credit cards that charge an interest rate higher than 16 percent.

"There's no reason to pay more than that," said Mr. McKinley, who runs RAM Research, a Frederick-based credit card tracking firm that publishes the monthly CardTrak.

Credit-card interest rates have fallen considerably this year, and the trend has escalated in recent weeks.

"What makes this so incredible?" Mr. McKinley said. "The bargain offers are flowing from the nation's largest issuers, not from some obscure bank in an Iowan corn field."

For example: Signet Bank ([800] 955-7070), one of the nation's largest credit-card issuers, recently began offering a variable-rate card currently charging 14.9 percent with an $18 annual fee. It offers another card with a current rate of 9.9 percent and no annual fee.

To receive a recent list of low-rate cards, send $5 to CardTrak, Box 1700, Frederick MD 21702.

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