Credit Card Rates Up Over Half-Percent Since January 1
Average credit card rates rose significantly again this week, with the average credit card rate now having increased by more than one-half percent since the beginning of the year, according to the weekly IndexCreditCards.com Credit Card Monitor. A full point increase by Discover as well as quarter-point increases by several other issuers helped push the averages up this week.
The average credit card rate for standard, non-reward credit cards jumped to 13.17% this week, up from 13.02% just a week ago and 12.60% at the beginning of 2006. Credit cards offering rewards offer an average rate of 14.26%, up from 14.09% last week and 13.80% at the beginning of the year. Consumers with the very best credit enjoy rates a bit nicer — 10.43% for non-reward cards and 11.73% for reward cards on average. Still, those numbers are up from 10.07% and 11.38%, respectively, on January 1.
College students who carry balances continue to get hammered by interest, with the average student credit card rate moving up to 15.77% this week. This is up from 15.59% last week and 15.18% since the year’s beginning.
Who’s avoiding rising credit card interest rates? Small business customers who go for rate over reward. Non-reward business cards offered an average interest rate of just 11.43% this week, up only a bit from 11.33% when the year began. Business reward cards had a bit of a jump this week, to an average 13.36% APR from 13.22% last week. However, this average was 13.21% on January 1, so even business reward cards have risen slowly thus far.
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.
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