Credit card interest rates stay at 14.87 percent

By's Weekly Rate Report
  Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average 14.87% 14.87%
Low interest 11.53%
11.53% 10.37%
Cash back 15.26%
Balance transfer 14.00%
Business 12.85%
Student 13.14%
Airline 15.15%
Reward  14.99%
Instant approval 17.93%
Bad credit 22.48%
Methodology: The national average credit card APR is comprised of 100 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing every card category listed above. (Introductory, or teaser, rates are not included in the calculation.)
Updated: March 04, 2015

Average rates on new card offers held steady Wednesday at 14.87 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Most issuers left interest rates alone this week. Pentagon Federal Credit Union introduced a range of APRs to the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards card, making it more likely that cardholders with imperfect credit will be able to qualify for the card. However, the change didn't affect the national average because the card's lowest available rate of 9.99 percent was left unchanged. considers only a card's minimum rate when calculating average interest rates.

Cardholders who apply for the Platinum Cash Rewards card are now offered an APR ranging from 9.99 percent to 17.99 percent.

Meanwhile, U.S. Bank narrowed the range of possible APRs on the Visa Platinum card by lowering the card's maximum rate from 23.99 percent to 20.99 percent. Cardholders with the best credit are offered rates starting at 9.99 percent.

Consumers continue to pocket gas savings
According to research from the Commerce Department, consumer spending fell in January for the second month in a row as consumers spent less money on gas and other purchases. Meanwhile, the household savings rate rose to 5.5 percent -- its highest level since 2012. 

This is the second month when consumers have opted to keep a substantial portion of the extra cash they saved on cheaper gas and, according to research released by Gallup, consumers' ongoing frugality could put a damper on first quarter economic growth.  

According to Gallup, consumers spent slightly more in February than they did in January. Compared to the previous year, consumer spending on nonessential purchases declined from an average of $87 per day to approximately $82 per day.

Last month's dip in spending compared to a year ago partially reflects lower gas prices since Gallup's daily spending survey takes into account gas station purchases. It also shows consumers are still reluctant to spend heavily on other nonessential purchases, such as restaurant outings and new clothes.

According to Gallup's Rebecca Riffkin, February's lag in spending may be due to colder weather across much of the United States rather than a decreased willingness to spend.

"Last year, a Harvard Business Review study found that consumers are less likely to spend money when it's cold," wrote Riffkin in a news release. "And the Midwest, Northeast and Southern U.S. experienced colder-than-normal weather for much of February." 

Meanwhile, other economic indicators show consumers are more confident in the economy and less cautious about debt. For example, credit card spending has picked up considerably despite weaker spending overall, according to multiple reports. In the fourth quarter of 2014, card balances expanded by 5 percent, year-over-year, according to the credit rating agency TransUnion. That's the most credit card balances have grown since 2008.

That could mean that once the weather warms up, consumer spending will rebound significantly as more confident consumers shake off the winter weather and return to shopping in stores. 

See related: Fed: December credit card balances up 7.9 percent

Published: March 4, 2015

Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Follow Us

Updated: 10-21-2016

Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.