Credit card interest rates remain at 14.96% for fifth 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: July 24, 2013
rates on new credit card offers remained unchanged Wednesday for the fifth
consecutive week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate
all 100 cards tracked by CreditCards.com stayed the same this week. As a
result, the national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained fixed at
offers -- including 0 percent balance transfer offers and introductory APRs --
were also unchanged.
week marks the 22nd week this year that interest rates have remained flat. Credit
card issuers have been slow to change card offers for most of 2013.
brief period, card issuers were more active. Between April 24 and June 19, for
example, the national average spiked three times and fell twice as card issuers
tested new APRs on a select number of cards. The activity didn't last long,
however. Most card offers haven't changed since June.
Issuers dial back summertime
card terms aren't the only items receiving less attention this summer. Issuers also spent considerably less money on direct mail offers last
month -- a sign that they may be dialing back marketing efforts after
ramping up briefly in May.
Twelve percent fewer offers were mailed to consumers' homes in June, according to a research
note released July 22 by the financial services firm Credit Suisse, which cited
Mintel Comperemedia research.
substantially increased the number of glossy mailings sent to consumers'
homes earlier this summer, but then cut back significantly the following month.
Overall, 328 million targeted offers were mailed in June -- down from 360 million
offers in May.
The cutbacks aren't nearly as much as those made in 2012, however. Despite
the month-over-month drop in credit card mailings between May and June, the
total number of offers sent last month is still slightly above average for
So far, card issuers have mailed, on average, about 327 million offers per month
over the first six months of 2012.
significantly above the amount mailed in 2012, when issuers
were spending far less money on direct mail. Overall, consumers have received
about 23 percent more offers this year than in the first six months of
the number of offers were dialed back by nearly half
and issuers instead focused on other, cheaper methods for marketing cards to new
was characterized by a significant slowdown in mail volume as the two largest mailers
in 2011 (Citibank and Chase) notably slowed," wrote
Credit Suisse Analysts Moshe Orenbuch and Meredith Roscoe in Monday's note.
year, issuers -- especially Citibank -- are competing more fiercely for new
accounts and are pouring far more resources into attracting new cardholders,
say analysts. (Mailing offers directly to consumers' homes is particularly
expensive compared to other forms of credit card marketing.)
"Competitiveness among the large commercial banks has
increased," wrote Orenbuch and Roscoe in the note.
Citibank, specifically, has sent the largest number of mailings
over the past 12 months, according to CreditSuisse.
In June, the majority of offers consumers received were from
Citi. New card offers from Capital One, Discover and American Express also made
up a substantial portion of the offers landing in consumers' mailboxes.
are expected to mail about 3.6 billion offers by the end of 2013, according to
analysts at CreditSuisse -- up from 3 billion in 2012.
Issuers still aren't spending nearly as much
money on direct mail offers as they did before the recession, however.
for example, issuers mailed 7.2 billion offers, according to data released by
Credit Suisse. In 2006, issuers sent 8.1 billion offers -- more than twice the
number of offers that issuers are projected to send in 2013.
smaller number of offers that issuers now mail underscores just how much the
financial services industry has changed since the recession.
card issuers are slowly loosening their standards for new cardholders and
reaching out to a broader pool of applicants. However, they are still
very cautious about the amount of risk they're willing to take on attracting
-- and accepting -- new customers.
See related: Credit reports now show your credit card bill-paying habits, Card delinquencies hit 22-year lows
Published: July 24, 2013