Consumer Credit Card Rates Move Up Again
Consumer credit card rates continued to climb this week as quarter-point rate increases from several major banks were applied. Business credit card rates remained steady. Bank of America and Wells Fargo instituted a quarter-point increase to the APRs of most consumer cards, with a handful of smaller institutions increasing rates as well. “Top-level” consumer credit cards averaged a 9.70% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) in the latest survey, up from 9.64% last week.
The lowest rate found for consumer credit cards without an annual fee was again the Capital One Platinum MasterCard, offering a 5.9% APR. IndexCreditCards.com uses “top-level” to describe Platinum or similarly designated credit cards that generally offer the lowest interest rates to eligible cardholders. Reward cards for consumers averaged a 10.84% APR, up from 10.77%. The lowest APR in this group again belonged to the MBNA Rewards American Express Card at 7.9%.
Student credit card rates increased as well, with an average 14.78% APR, up from 14.72% last week. The Wachovia Student Visa offered the lowest student APR at 9.9%. No changes in business credit card rates were noted. The “top-level” business card average rate remained at 9.91%. Business reward credit cards again averaged a 11.37% APR. The lowest rate for business credit cards with no annual fee was the Advanta Platinum BusinessCard, offering a 7.99% APR, as well as a program with travel or cash back rewards. “As always, averages are based on the lowest rates published by the issuing credit card banks,” said Adam Jusko, Research Director for IndexCreditCards.com. “If you or your business do not have excellent credit scores, add 2% to these totals to estmate your rate.
Consumers or businesses with poor credit will be offered even higher rates.” 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, and Wells Fargo.
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