Rate survey: Average card rates remain at 15.01 percent


Interest rates on new credit card offers remained in place Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

For the third consecutive week, the national average annual percentage rate (APR) held steady at 15.01 percent. None of the 100 cards tracked by advertised new interest rates.

Card issuers have been slow to change interest rates for most of 2015. Since Jan. 1, the national average APR changed just seven times and remained fixed for a total of 36 weeks out of 43. Between June and October, card changes became so rare that the national average APR was stuck at 15 percent for a record 16 weeks, which is the longest period of time the national average has not changed since began tracking rates in mid-2007.

Chase launches new mobile payments app
J.P. Morgan Chase is taking on Apple Pay and other mobile payment apps such as Samsung Pay and Android Pay, with a brand-new mobile payments app that uses quick response (QR) codes to make payments.

Beginning in mid-2016, Chase cardholders will be able to link any Visa-branded Chase credit, debit or prepaid card to the mobile payment app and use their phone to pay for gas, merchandise, restaurant purchases and more.

According to an Oct. 26 news release, the number of stores and gas stations accepting Chase Pay could be fairly lengthy. Chase has partnered with the retail network Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which offers a new, yet-to-be-formally released payments app called CurrentC that combines payment functionality with loyalty rewards and special offers.

Chase Pay will be accepted at any store that accepts CurrentC. Retailers included in the Merchant Customer Exchange network include Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Conoco, Sunoco, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Sears, Banana Republic, Gap, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Dillards, Lowes, Kohl's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Rite Aid, Publix, WaWa, Giant Eagle, PriceRite, Southwest Airlines and more.

Chase is also trying to lure more retailers to the app by lowering card transaction fees and connecting merchant loyalty programs. 

Similar to Apple Pay, the Chase Pay app will use tokens to keep cardholders' personal details private. But unlike other mobile payment apps, the Chase Pay app uses a QR code that customers show cashiers to process payments.

Chase is the second major card issuer this month to unveil a new mobile payment technology. Earlier this month, Capital One upgraded its mobile banking app with new technology that allows cardholders to make contactless payments. According to a Pymnts interview with Capital One's Brian Greene, the new Capital One Wallet will also use tokens -- unique identifiers that don't disclose cardholders' personal details or account numbers -- to help secure payments.

Consumers place more faith in banks
Mobile wallets have struggled for years to catch on with a larger number of consumers. But according to an American Bankers Association survey released Oct. 28, Chase and Capital One's entry into the mobile wallet market could help mobile payments appeal to a wider base of cardholders, particularly since so many cardholders trust banks more than other financial services providers to secure their private details.  

According to the survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 75 percent of consumers say they trust banks more than retailers, telecom companies and alternative payment providers to "keep their payments safe."

Not very many cardholders have used mobile payments, though, so it could still be a while before adoption becomes more widespread. According to the survey, only 6 percent of consumers have used a mobile phone app to make a payment.

"Using your phone to make a payment is still relatively new, but as the industry moves toward the use of new technologies like tokenization and biometrics to make payments safer, we expect the popularity of mobile payments to grow," said the American Bankers Association's Doug Johnson in a news release.'s Weekly Rate Report
  Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average 15.01% 15.01%
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. 28, 2015

See related: Avoiding fraud in a post-EMV world 

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Published: October 28, 2015

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Updated: 10-26-2016

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