Survey: Credit card interest rates remain at 15.01 percent for 7th week
|CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report
||6 months ago
|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: April 2, 2014
Average rates on new credit card offers remained locked at
15.01 percent Wednesday for the seventh consecutive week, according to the
CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
None of the cards tracked by CreditCards.com advertised new
interest rates. Promotional terms, including 0 percent APRs and balance
transfers, also remained unchanged.
These days, changes to credit card terms are relatively
rare. Interest rates are especially sticky. The national average APR, for
example, has changed just twice since Jan. 1.
Credit card issuers are more likely to change promotional
terms. But even those changes are rare.
Since Jan. 1, for example, just four issuers have revised
promotional terms of their cards. Two issuers shortened the amount of time
cardholders could take advantage of an offer. One issuer expanded a promotional
offer, and one issuer introduced a temporary offer, then canceled it.
Credit card spending
After years of cautious charging, credit card holders are
finally starting to warm back up to using their cards, according to new
research from the American Bankers Association (ABA). But they're not letting
that debt sit for long.
According to the ABA's latest Credit
Card Market Monitor, credit card use rose by 3.4 percent, year-over-year,
in the third quarter of 2013. But the average credit card statement showed a significantly
smaller balance -- indicating to analysts that many consumers are quickly
paying off their charges.
"This suggests that consumers aren't just using their
credit cards more -- they are also more likely to pay off or pay down their
monthly balance," said the ABA's Kenneth J. Clayton in a press
release. "As a result, the amount consumers are paying in interest as
a share of their outstanding credit card balance declined for the 13th
Consumers are also charging more discretionary purchases to
their cards, which indicates that consumers are feeling more relaxed about what
According to the report, released April 2, consumers spent
significantly more on airline tickets, recreation and travel in the third
quarter of 2013, compared to the year before.
In addition, consumers also spent slightly more on necessities
such as food and education. But the increases in essential purchases were generally
much more modest, compared to the growth in nonessential purchases.
"We're seeing a more confident consumer who is willing
to spend more money on nonessentials because they're less concerned with the
direction of the economy and their ability to keep debt at manageable levels,"
said Clayton in the release. "Whether this trend will continue remains to
be seen," he said.
Credit card lending
remains relatively tight
Credit card issuers, meanwhile, are still being choosy about
who can have a card - and who gets to have a bigger credit limit, according to
the same report.
Consumers with pristine scores, for example, (known in
credit card lending circles as super-prime consumers) are being rewarded with
more cards and bigger credit limits, according to the American Bankers Association.
But consumers with imperfect scores aren't sharing in the rewards.
Overall, credit lines rose by 4.6 percent in the third
quarter of 2013, compared to the previous year. However, credit lines for
consumers with good but imperfect credit scores and damaged credit scores fell in
2013 for the fifth straight year.
Consumers with imperfect credit currently make up a much
smaller percentage of consumers who have cards. In the third quarter of 2013,
for example, consumers with less-than-perfect credit scores claimed just 32
percent of all credit lines, according to the American Bankers' Association. In
2008, by contrast, approximately 42 percent of all credit lines belonged to consumers
with imperfect credit.
"Despite slowly easing credit standards and an
improving economy, we continue to see a dramatic shift toward lower-risk
accounts," said Clayton. "A more conservative approach by lenders,
combined with regulatory constraints that make it more difficult to manage
risk, has clearly played a role."
Published: April 2, 2014