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MERIDIAN OFFERS A FINANCIAL NEW YEARS RESOLUTION; DEBIT CARDS HELP TURN OVER A NEW LEAF

 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- You swore your weren't going to do it again this year.
 But it happened anyway, and now you're regretting it. You got caught up in the spirit of the holidays and all the talk about the end of the recession and increasing retail sales.
 You were just doing your part, right? Wrong, because now, as those credit card bills start piling up, you're beginning to think that you may have gone over your limit. And you're starting to realize just how much interest you're going to have to pay on those high balances. Indeed, it looks like you're coming down with a case of what some credit counselors call "the Credit Card Blues."
 So you promise that next year will be different. You may even find yourself with scissors in one hand and credit cards in the other. But you just can't do it. You can't give up the convenience of those credit cards. It seems you never have enough cash with you and writing a check can be such a hassle. Costly as they can be, those credit cards you're holding are just too convenient to cut up and send back.
 This New Year's resolution drama will be played out in millions of homes this year, but it wouldn't have to be. Because now, there's another "plastic" alternative that can help you avoid this annual ritual. Its an alternative that gives you the convenience of a Visa card without the high interest charges.
 Its called a debit card, and it allows you to make purchases in any store that accepts Visa. But instead of paying high interest charges on money that you don't have, you're taking money right out of your checking or savings account. So you can't go over your limit, and you won't be racking up high interest charges that can more than offset any savings you thought you were getting through holiday clearance sales.
 With most costing just a small fee, debit cards are an attractive alternative to high-interest credit cards. And Meridian Bank's Advantage debit card is one of the most popular debit cards in the mid- Atlantic region. In fact, since its introduction 14 months ago, approximately 200,000 interest-weary, convenience-craving consumers have put the Advantage card into use as a financial management tool to control interest charges without losing the convenience of "plastic money."
 The Meridian Advantage debit card is also an automated teller machine (ATM) card so it can be used at any ATM in the MAC, MOST and NYCE systems.
 While there are already millions of debit cards in use, there's no doubt that even more consumers will be turning toward debit this year to help them control spending and reduce the interest they pay on their credit cards. So next year at this time, they'll be singing the praises of debit cards, and not "The Credit Card Blues."
 /delval/
 -0- 1/1/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Shade of Meridian Bancorp, 215-320-2463, or Christine Reimert of The Tierney Group, 215-732-4100, or home, 215-649-0842, for Meridian/


CO: Meridian Bancorp ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: PDT

467 12-31-92 19:05 EST JS-MJ -- PHFNS1 -- 1060 01/01/93 09:41 EST
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Date:Jan 1, 1993
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