Cleveland (PRWEB) December 10, 2009
The average credit card interest rate for new customers has broken the 16 percent barrier, according to credit card comparison site IndexCreditCards.com. Further, the site reports this is the first time rates have hit this mark since IndexCreditCards.com began its tracking survey in 2005. The average credit card rate across all consumer categories is now 16.36 percent, up from 15.94 percent last month and up over 2.5 percent since March of this year. Significantly, this unprecedented jump has occurred while federal interest rates remain at an all-time low.
The reasons for the rapid rate escalation are no secret, says Adam Jusko, founder of IndexCreditCards.com. "It began with the poor economy and the resulting rise in customer defaults. Then came the passage and signing by the president of the Credit Card Act, which makes it more difficult for issuers to raise rates in the future. With higher defaults and tighter restrictions on rate increases, issuers have little incentive to offer low rates to new customers."
Jusko went on to say that many consumers are in a bind. "Our advice used to be pretty simple: if your card issuer plays hardball with you, just move on to another company that wants your business. Today it's not so simple. There is no guarantee that other companies want your business, and no guarantee they'll offer you better rates even if they accept you.
"The best advice we can give is to have a few cards in your wallet, and patronize whoever treats you the best. If you're currently relying on a single credit card, you may want to seek an additional card before you need it, so you don't find yourself in a desperate situation in which you'll take any offer you can get."
For a complete report on current average rates in the various credit card categories tracked by IndexCreditCards.com, refer to the site’s Credit Card Monitor feature at http://www.indexcreditcards.com/credit-card-rates-monitor/.
Financial institutions represented in the survey include American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, HSBC, PNC/National City, Iberia Bank, Simmons National Bank, 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.
CONTACT: Adam Jusko, 216.221.0312