Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) July 28, 2009
Credit card issuers continue to respond to economic conditions and government regulations with their weapon of choice - higher interest rates. According to IndexCreditCards.com's latest Credit Card Monitor survey, average credit card rates have jumped significantly again this month, with a current average rate on consumer cards of 14.94 percent -- the highest average rate since January of 2008.
To illustrate the speed at which rates have climbed, IndexCreditCards.com reports that the current rate of 14.94 percent is over a full point higher than the average rate just four months ago -- 13.89 percent in March of this year.
While most rate hikes are disproportionately felt by those with lower credit scores, the recent hikes are being felt just as much by those with good credit. Many credit issuers, having already pushed their higher rate tiers to the extreme, are either doing away with lower rate tiers or raising them significantly. In other words, consumers with good credit are finding fewer offers that reward their good behavior with low interest rates.
"It's a double whammy for consumers right now," IndexCreditCards.com Founder, Adam Jusko said. "Card issuers were already raising rates in response to higher defaults in an unstable economic environment. Then the new credit card law was passed. While the law doesn't fully take effect until February, it's provided issuers with a second justification for rate hikes."
The 14.94 percent average quoted above is IndexCreditCards.com's attempt to pinpoint an average rate that encompasses the entire credit card market. In addition, the site breaks down average rates in several more specific credit card categories:
- The average credit card rate for non-reward consumer cards is 14.04%
- The average rate for consumer cards offering rewards is 15.32%
- The average student credit card rate is 15.33%
- The average rate on non-reward business credit cards is 13.19%
- The average rate on business credit cards offering rewards is 13.71%
Financial institutions represented in the survey include American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, HSBC, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and more.
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 1,200 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 regular survey tracking average credit card rates in multiple card categories.