As Competition Heats Up, Business Customers Enjoy Surprising Credit Card Deals

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In an escalating interest rate environment for consumers, the average credit card rate for business customers is actually moving down.

In an escalating interest rate environment for consumers, the average credit card rate for business customers actually went down this week, according to the weekly Credit Card Monitor.

So far, 2006 has been a year of steady rate increases in the consumer credit card market. The average credit card rate for standard, non-reward credit cards increased to 13.33% this week, up from 12.60% at the beginning of 2006.

Compare this to non-reward business credit cards and you find a significant difference. This week the average non-reward business credit card rate fell to 11.30%, just a shade less than when it started the year at 11.33%. Of note this week was Citi's move to chop down the rate on its CitiBusiness card two full percentage points, to 10.49% from 12.49%. Citi also added a 12-month, zero-interest introductory offer to sweeten the deal. And they're not the first issuer to increase its aggressiveness in courting small business owners.

"For a while now card issuers have been holding rates steady for business customers," says Justin McHenry, Research Director for "But to see an actual decrease in the average rate during a time of consistent hikes for consumers is surprising. It tells you there's money to be made in the small business niche, and that no one is dominating that space right now."

Credit card rates were steady in most other consumer and business credit card segments this week:

The average rate for reward credit cards offering rewards ticked up to 14.46%, from 14.44% last week and 13.80% at the beginning of 2006.

Business credit cards offering rewards did not follow the non-reward cards' movement backward, but neither did they move forward. The average rate remained at 13.42% for the third straight week, although up a bit from the 13.21% average rate at the beginning of the year.

Average credit card rates for college students remained steady (for once), at 15.87%. Nevertheless, that number has jumped mightily from the 15.18% average at the beginning of 2006.

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 offers credit card research, tips, news and perhaps the most comprehensive index of credit cards available on the Internet today, with a master listing of over 800 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

CONTACT: Justin McHenry, 216.221.0312



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