Piedmont Advantage Credit Union in Winston-Salem, N.C., has long enjoyed a hefty capital ratio, now at 12.5%, and so now looked like the right time to offer an attention-getting 6.9% Visa credit card to carve out new business. That's the view of Judy Tharp, the president/CEO of the $238 million credit union that introduced the no annual fee, fixed-rate over the summer providing the CU a chance to increase its bottom-rung level of card concentration. "Let me emphasize we're not trying to convey a message to consumers to overextend themselves during this very difficult period," said Tharp, adding "We also feel our Visa product can assist those who find themselves turned down by other lenders or find existing card providers hiking rates and raising fees." –[email protected]

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