Credit Card Rates Likely to Continue Rising

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Average credit card rates rose for the eighth straight week, and more increases are expected, according to the IndexCreditCards.com weekly Credit Card Monitor.

Average credit card rates rose for the eighth straight week, and more increases are expected, according to the IndexCreditCards.com weekly Credit Card Monitor.

“Top-level” consumer credit cards averaged a 9.97% Annual Percentage Rate (APR), up from 9.91% last week and 9.51% eight weeks ago. IndexCreditCards.com uses “top-level" to describe Platinum or similarly designated credit cards that generally offer the lowest interest rates to eligible cardholders.

Consumer reward credit cards offered an average 11.27% APR, up from 11.23% last week and 10.75% eight weeks ago.

Average student credit card rates crossed the 15% line, to 15.03%, up from 14.98% last week and 14.72% eight weeks ago.

“This is not the end,” says Justin McHenry, Research Director for IndexCreditCards.com. “The Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates at their December 13th meeting, so holders of variable-rate credit cards can expect another quarter-point increase before the year is out.”

Variable-rate credit cards offer interest rates based on a formula that includes a base rate plus a percentage tied to federal lending rates. When federal rates move up, credit card rates follow.

Recent rate increases have been kinder to businesses. Business credit card rates held steady for the second straight week, at an average 9.99% APR for top-level business cards and an average 11.74% for business reward cards.

“In the current environment, small business people using personal credit cards for business expenses might want to make a switch,” says McHenry. “Many business credit cards have fixed rates and are less likely to increase in the short term, even when the Fed raises rates.”

McHenry stresses that these rate averages are based on the best rates published by credit card issuers, and are often available only to customers with exceptional credit scores. Consumers and small business people with average credit should expect rates about 2% higher than those quoted here.    

Financial institutions represented in the survey include Advanta, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, MBNA, National City, Providian, Pulaski Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo and more.

About IndexCreditCards.com

IndexCreditCards.com offers credit card news, research, and perhaps the most comprehensive index of credit cards available on the Internet today, with a master listing of over 600 credit cards as well as categorized lists based on interest rates, reward programs, business credit cards, student credit cards and credit cards for those with poor credit histories.

Credit Card Monitor is a weekly survey tracking average credit card rates in multiple card categories. Credit Card Monitor information provided in this release may be reproduced free of charge, provided credit is given to http://www.IndexCreditCards.com.

CONTACT: Justin McHenry, 216.221.0312, j.mchenry@indexcreditcards.com

WEBSITE: http://www.IndexCreditCards.com

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Justin McHenry
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