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The $1 billion Pacific Service Credit Union, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., has announced that a recent redesign of its card program has reduced the card rates for most of its cardholders.The CU has a card portfolio of roughly 18,000 card accounts worth roughly $54 million, according to NCUA records.As a result of a new program redesign, credit card rates at Pacific Service CU are between 8.90% and 13.90% APR based on credit qualifications, the CU said.“While most financial institutions are raising costs to consumers through higher interest rates and fees, Pacific Service is lowering costs to consumers by restructuring products and services to create market-leading value. Lowering our credit card interest rate is our most recent example,” said Steve Punch, president of Pacific Service CU.“Earlier this year we launched four new checking programs that lowered costs for thousands of consumers. Those programs were very well-received, and we expect a similar response for our redesigned Visa credit card program,” he said.Pacific Service characterized its credit card programs as “unique in the current marketplace.” It reported that the new program assesses no fees for cash advances, balance transfers, carrying a zero balance or paying the balance in full each month.Additionally, the redesigned program has low variable rates, a 25-day grace period on purchases, and the same interest rate for purchases and cash advances. With Pacific Service there is no annual fee for basic Visa Platinum cardholders. Visa Rewards Platinum cardholders can avoid the $25 annual fee with a qualifying credit union checking account, Pacific Services said. In addition, rewards points earned do not expire.“Most credit card programs are fee-driven as a way for the financial institution to earn additional revenue and post a better bottom line. But, excessive fees and astronomically high interest rates are unfair to consumers who manage their finances responsibly,” said Kristin Dove, vice president of marketing for Pacific Service CU.“Consumers looking to avoid the fine print fees common at other financial institutions will recognize the honest value we are offering. As a not-for-profit financial institution, our goal is to create great products and provide excellent services that are consumer-friendly, not profit-friendly,” she said.Pacific Services is also the first credit union to tout its five-star rating at Credit Card Connection, the new site helping consumers find consumer friendly CU cards. –[email protected]

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