Rate survey: Average card rates increase to 15.01 percent


Average rates on new credit card offers rose Wednesday for the first time since June, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

The national average annual percentage rate (APR) rose to 15.01 percent after remaining at 15 percent for more than three months.

Unlike most national average changes, however, this week's change was due to a reshuffling of the cards in the database rather than a rate change. Earlier this month, American Express stopped taking online applications for the JetBlue card and replaced the card in the database with another travel card. In February, American Express announced it was unable to renew its deal with JetBlue to issue co-branded cards with the airline.

Retail sales lag ahead of holiday shopping season
The busiest shopping season of the year is fast approaching, but would-be holiday shoppers don't appear to be feeling especially festive.

According to the Commerce Department's latest sales estimates, released Oct. 14, retail and food service sales rose by just 0.1 percent in September after remaining flat the previous month.

The modest increase surprised economists who predicted retail sales would rise by at least 0.2 percent, according to a Bloomberg poll of 82 economists. Compared to 2014, retail sales rose by 2.4 percent.

Consumers spent slightly more on discretionary purchases, such as clothing, sporting goods, hobbies, books and music, which could indicate that consumers are becoming more comfortable with purchasing nonessential items. They also ate out more often, bought more furniture and purchased more cars. However, they spent less on general merchandise and electronics, online shopping and groceries, which could also mean that some consumers are tightening their belts as the holidays approach. Extra-low gas prices also helped drag down overall consumer spending, according to the report.

Despite sluggish summer and autumn sales, the National Retail Federation is optimistic about the holiday shopping season. In its annual holiday sales forecast released last week, the NRF estimated retail sales, excluding gas, restaurant and car purchases, should jump by at least 4 percent, year-over-year, in November and December -- a welcome change from previous seasons. Over the past decade, holiday sales have typically increased by an average of just 2.9 percent.

If consumers do ramp up their holiday shopping, the brightened outlook for retailers may not last for long. According to the New York Federal Reserve's latest Survey of Consumer Expectations, consumers' spending plans for the next 12 months contracted in September as more consumers downgraded their expectations.

Consumers were also somewhat more pessimistic about gaining access to credit over the next year, the survey found. However, they remained confident in their ability to repay what they owe.'s Weekly Rate Report
  Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average 15.01% 15.00%
Low interest 11.62%
11.62% 11.62%
Cash back 15.27%
Balance transfer 14.12%
Business 12.85%
Student 13.14%
Airline 15.14%
Reward  15.15%
Instant approval 18.00%
Bad credit 22.73%
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: Oct. 14, 2015

See related: Fed: Card balances rise for sixth straight month

Meet's reader Q&A experts

Does a personal finance problem have you worried? Monday through Saturday,'s Q&A experts answer questions from readers. Ask a question, or click on any expert to see their previous answers.

Published: October 14, 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: 10-26-2016

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