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Heading Into Holiday Season, Credit Card Rates Rise Again

by Peter Andrew
Heading Into Holiday Season, Credit Card Rates Rise Again

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With the holiday shopping season unofficially opening Friday, consumer credit card rates rose for the seventh straight week, according to the IndexCreditCards.com weekly Credit Card Monitor. “Top-level” consumer credit cards averaged a 9.91% Annual Percentage Rate (APR), up from 9.87% last week and from 9.51% seven weeks ago. IndexCreditCards.com uses “top-level” to describe Platinum or similarly designated credit cards that generally offer the lowest interest rates to eligible cardholders. Consumer reward credit cards offered an average 11.23% APR, up from 11.19% last week and 10.75% seven weeks ago.

Student credit card rates increased to an average 14.98%, up from 14.96% last week and 14.72% seven weeks ago. “While rates are still historically low, the trend is continuing upward,” says Adam Jusko, Research Director for IndexCreditCards.com. “Of course the worst time to see any rate increase is around the holidays, when people are most likely to revolve balances instead of immediately paying for all those gifts.”

Business credit card rates held steady this week, at an average 9.99% APR for top-level business cards and an average 11.74% for business reward cards. “As always, these averages are based on the lowest rates published by the card issuers,” says Jusko. “If you don’t have excellent credit, add 2% to estimate the rate you would likely receive. If your credit is poor, count on 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, Wells Fargo and more.


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