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CONSUMERS TAKE ACTION WHEN ARMED WITH INFORMATION; INFORMATION ABOUT LOWERING CREDIT CARD COSTS DEFEATS INERTIA

 NEW YORK, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 50 percent of the consumers who used a toll-free number to request information about saving money on their credit cards, took action to decrease their costs. Among consumers who had the most time to take action (six months or more), 67 percent changed the cards they use.
 The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, and polled people who called a toll-free number between April 1992 and March 1993 to request information about credit cards. The toll-free number is sponsored by American Express Company and Bankcard Holders of America (BHA), who supplied callers with BHA's list of low-rate credit cards. Among the findings were:
 -- 31 percent of the people who called the toll-free number canceled a credit card.
 -- One-fifth called their own bank to ask for a lower rate on their current card. Of these people, nearly half (43 percent) got a lower rate simply by asking.
 -- 27 percent applied for a new card. Of these people:
 -- 93 percent of the new cards have rates below 16 percent, whereas only 21 percent of their previous cards had a rate this low. In fact, more than two-thirds of the previous cards had rates of 18 percent or higher.
 -- Nearly 80 percent, who applied for a new card and received a response to the application, were accepted.
 -- Almost half (45 percent) transferred an unpaid balance from their current card to the new one.
 -0- 04/01/93
 /CONTACT: Gail Wasserman, 212-640-2675, or Gregory Tarmin, 212-640-4428, both of American Express Company/
 (AXP)


CO: American Express Company ST: New York IN: FIN SU:

SB-AH -- NY005 -- 1869 04/01/93 09:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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