Great Western Financial Corp., Chatsworth, Calif., is trying to make a name for itself in the credit card industry by launching a card with rates lower than those offered by the top 10 issuers.

Issued by the company's principal subsidiary, Great Western Bank, Frontier Visa carries an 8.75% rate for six months for purchases and cash advances. After six months, the rate for purchases jumps to prime plus 3.75%, which now is 12.5%.

The annual fee for classic and gold cardholders is $18.

"There aren't any gimmicks or fine print with the Frontier Visa, just a very low long-term rate," said A. William Schenck 3d, executive vice president of retail banking at Great Western Bank, in a release.

Robert McKinley, president of RAM Research Group in Frederick, Md., said Frontier cardholders will save at least $180 a year based on average household credit card debt.

Great Western is also offering a secured card for people who cannot qualify for the Frontier card. The minimum deposit to secure the card is $300, and credit lines vary based on the deposit.

The secured Visa offers a prime plus 11.3% rate and has a $35 annual fee.

Great Western also offers a Rebate Visa, which combines a low introductory rate, no annual fee for life, and a 3% rebate on net purchases carried forward, and a Student Visa, which offers college students a credit card with a low annual fee and limits up to $2,500.

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