A Chase Manhattan Corp. unit is test-marketing a gold card with a low "teaser" rate, joining other banks that are trying to lure customers away from high-rate programs.

At a rate of prime plus 3.4% - currently 9.4% and adjustable monthly - the pricing is the lowest of any major credit card issuer, Chase Manhattan Bank U.S.A. claims.

Effective Sept. 1, 1994, the rate under Chase's preferred pricing plan jumps to prime plus 9.4%, which would now be 15.4%. Customers in good standing receive the preferred rate. The non-preferred rate is a fixed 19.8%.

Fee Waived for Some

Customers who qualify for preferred pricing pay no annual fee, while those who do not pay $50.

A Chase spokeswoman said the bank does not comment on market tests, which it runs throughout the year.

Chase Gold Visa cardholders can accrue Chase bonus dollars, defer two payments each year, and pick the day of the month they want for billing as part of the card's enhancements. The invitation to take advantage of the card epires on Aug. 13.

Citi Offers 9.9%

Other major card issuers hit the market this spring with a variety of teaser offers. Citicorp set a 9.9% rate on balances transferred to Citibank MasterCard or Visa cards. That rate jumps to 15.4% on Sept. 30.

Associates National Bank, an affiliate of Ford Motor Co., enticed customers with a 6% rate. After Oct. 31, that rises to prime plus 10.4%, or 16.4%

Fleet National Bank offered new MasterCard or Visa customers a 9.9% annual rate, which holds until customers pay off their balances.

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