The Holidays are Here!

December 17, 2010

                                            By Brandee Hall


Wrestling with complete strangers in the store to get your hands on the hottest toy of the season … standing in line for hours only to be told that the store is out of that specially priced 50” flat screen television … setting world records for the fastest credit card swipe.

‘Tis the season to be spending … fa la la la la, la la la la.”

After the holidays, do you know what to expect when you open your credit card bill? Besides your outstanding balance, are you mindful of the interest rate and possible penalty fees? Before you shop, compare your credit card features to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

Quick Credit Card Facts

· The average interest rate on a credit card with a balance is 14.48 percent.

· The average over limit fee is $39.

· The average late fee is $28.19.

· The national average default rate as of January 2010 stood at 27.88 percent.

· In 2008, it was estimated that a typical cardholder will pay almost $500 in penalty interest per year, based on an average balance of $3,500.


  • All cardholders in good standing enjoy the same low interest rate of 10.24 percent.
  • There are no over limit or late fees.
  • Customers who take advantage of zero-interest financing offers pay no interest at all – if they make on-time payments, and pay off the purchase within the advertised finance period.
  • The card is accepted at all U.S. Armed Services Exchanges and the Exchange Online Mall.

MILITARY STAR® Rewards MasterCard

  • Cardholders enjoy a low interest rate, zero-interest promotions and no late or over-limit fees on their Military Star private label line of credit.
  • Cardholders benefit from a competitive interest rate ranging from 8.24 to 13.24 percent based on credit score when shopping off installation and at the Commissary. These rates are lower than the credit card average.
  • Customers earn points for every purchase that can be redeemed for cash and other great rewards.
  • The card is accepted everywhere MasterCard is accepted.

Compare the average credit card to the MILITARY STAR® Card. Which has the greater savings? No one is telling you not to enjoy the holidays and treat yourself, family and friends but just beware of which credit card you swipe and bring in the New Year regret-free.

Sources: , and Federal Reserve’s G. 19 report on consumer credit, August 2010

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