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CONSUMERS CAN 'PROFIT' BY PAYING OFF CREDIT CARD DEBT

 CONSUMERS CAN 'PROFIT' BY PAYING OFF CREDIT CARD DEBT
 NEW YORK, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite interest rate cuts


announced recently by some banks, credit card borrowing continues to be the most expensive form of consumer credit.
 Sixty-eight percent of Americans with credit cards made interest payments last year, averaging $442 per person. However, alternatives to high interest rate cards do exist.
 -- Shopping for a lower rate credit card is one option. As a free public service, American Express is providing the "Fair Deal List" of low rate credit cards compiled by the Bankcard Holders of America. To receive a copy of the list, call 800-845-5000.
 "Shopping for credit cards is becoming more complicated than ever," said Kenneth I. Chenault, president of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.'s (TRS) Consumer Card Group. "While many banks are starting to lower rates for some -- but not all -- of their customers, it is important to look beyond interest rates and know what the minimum payments are, what outstanding balances apply and who exactly gets those rates."
 Even more attractive are several other alternatives to paying high credit card interest rates:
 -- Nineteen million U.S. families own CD accounts. If a $2,000 CD, which today pays about 4 percent before tax and 3 percent after tax, was used to pay off a $2,000 credit card debt at the average interest rat, consumers would see a 15 percent gain -- risk free.
 -- Home equity lines of credit continue to be tax-deductible, while credit card interest is not. While qualifying for a home equity loan may require a lengthy application process, and using one's home as collateral to pay off credit card debt is not for everyone, it is an option. A credit card debt refinanced at the average home equity loan rate of 8.2 percent would save consumers 10 percent before tax and 12.3 percent after tax.
 American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) -- a family of travel, financial and communications businesses.
 -0- 5/12/92
 /CONTACT: Gail Wasserman, 212-640-2675, or Bill Moss, 212-640-2897, both of American Express Travel Related Services/
 (AXP) CO: American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN SU:


CK -- NYTU009 -- 8949 05/12/92 08:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1992
Words:386
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