Man offered credit card with 79.9% interest - - Columbia, South Carolina

Man offered credit card with 79.9% interest

NATIONWIDE (NBC) - "The first thing they do is laugh.  They think it is one of the most ridiculous things out there."

Gordon Hageman is talking about a credit card offer that just came in the mail, an offer he could hardly believe.

"I think they are trying to take advantage of me.  I think that's what's going on right now with the economy, maybe just trying to see what they can get away with," says Hageman.

And this card comes with an interest rate you won't believe.  Not 20 or 30 percent, not even 50 or 60 percent, the Mastercard offer from Premium Bank in South Dakota, 79.9 percent.

"My first thought was it was a mistake so I called the 800 number on the back of the offer and gave them the offer code and verified my information and sure enough they verified it at 79.9 percent," says Hageman.

"Gosh, I hope nobody would do that.  I hope nobody would say I'm going to sign up for this card without even looking at the interest rate," says San Diego State University Marketing Professor Michael Belch.

But there's nothing in the letter that tells you the interest rate.  For that, you have to read the fine print.

Belch says, "I think you're beginning to border on deception there."

San Diego State Marketing Professor Michael Belch says card offers like this are usually targeted at people struggling with their credit, the card comes with a 300 dollar limit and a 75 dollar annual fee.

"Anyone looking to rebuild their credit probably going to end up worse shape that probably before they got this card," says Belch.

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