Rate survey: Credit card interest rates remain at 14.96%
|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 5, 2013
Interest rates on new credit card offers remained flat this
week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained
at 14.96 percent Wednesday for a second week.
Most credit card issuers also left promotional
terms, such as 0 percent balance transfer offers, alone this week.
One issuer -- the sporting goods store Cabela's -- raised the
maximum APR on its credit card for club members by 3 percentage
points. The rate hike didn't affect the national average, however, because
CreditCards.com considers only a card's lowest available rate when calculating
average interest rates.
Cabela's increased the maximum APR on the Cabela's Club Visa
card from 18.18 percent to 21.19 percent. Cabela's left the card's minimum rate
(which applies only to purchases made of the retailer's wares) of 9.99 percent alone.
Credit card holders, meanwhile, are gradually increasing their spending
this summer, according to figures released June 27 by the U.S. Commerce
Department. Consumer spending rose a modest 0.3 percent in May, after
falling by an equal amount in April, according to revised federal estimates. Consumers spent slightly less in May on food and on durable and nondurable
goods, but spent more on services and on gas.
Some consumers also received a substantial pay raise,
according to the Commerce Department, which helped boost their ability to spend. Incomes rose 0.5 percent in May, the biggest income
gain for consumers since February.
Incomes have risen for the past four consecutive
months, according to Commerce Department data, but the rate of increase has been unsteady. In February, they grew by a significant 1.2 percent in February and continued growing in March and April, but at a slower pace. The slowdown fueled worry that the economy was
faltering for the fourth consecutive spring. May's strong gain in incomes may signal this year's softening was only temporary and that the economic
recovery is on firmer ground.
still near record highs
Consumers, meanwhile, are still reporting near-record levels
of confidence, according to a new report from the University of Michigan and
Reuters -- another strong sign that the U.S. is headed toward a sturdier
For the second straight month, consumers reported feeling far
more hopeful about the economy than they did this time last year.
After hitting a six-year high in May, consumer confidence dropped
off somewhat in June, according to the Thomson Reuters University of Michigan
Consumer Sentiment Index, released June 28. However, despite consumers' modest
drop in expectations month-over-month, the overall mood was still near a record
"Consumers now believe the recovery has achieved an
upward momentum that will not be easily reversed," said Surveys of
Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin in a statement. "To be
sure, few consumers expect the economy to post robust gains or think the
unemployment rate will drastically shrink during the year ahead. Nonetheless,
consumers anticipate continued slow economic progress," said Curtin.
The ongoing confidence over the past few months has
given economists reason to hope that consumers' good moods may soon translate
into even stronger spending.
A Discover Spending Monitor report released
July 3 bolstered that hope. It found significantly more consumers
plan to ramp up their spending over the next 30 days.
Forty percent say they'll likely spend more on household
purchases this month, while 14 percent say they'll use their extra income on something
they don't necessarily need to buy. A slightly larger number of people,
meanwhile -- 18 percent total -- say they'll invest a portion of their income on
a big purchase.
This month's growth in spending may not be enjoyed by
everyone According to the Thomson Reuters University of Michigan
report, households with incomes below $75,000 enjoyed fewer income gains and
increases in household wealth last month than people with higher wages.
By contrast, households with incomes above $75,000 reported
feeling more financially confident in June than they have since mid-2007. "Gains
in spending during the balance of 2013 can be expected to be more heavily
concentrated than usual among upper-income households, with the housing market
serving as the bellwether industry," said Surveys of Consumers' Curtin in a statement. "These prospects reflect a new
type of economic revival, sparked by increases in wealth rather than by gains
in jobs and wages."
See related: Survey: Average American expects to be debt free by 53, Fed: Card balances ticked up in April
Published: July 5, 2013