Credit card interest rates rise to 15.09 percent
By Kelly Dilworth | Published: October 29, 2014
|CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report|
|Avg. APR||Last week||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: October 29, 2014|
Average rates on new card offers rose slightly Wednesday, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) inched up to 15.09 percent this week after remaining at 15.07 percent for four weeks. The last time average rates were this high was in January 2012 when the national average hit 15.14 percent.
This week's change was due to a reshuffling of the CreditCards.com database. Two cards that CreditCards.com tracks, the CitiBusiness ThankYou card and the Hess Visa Platinum card, are no longer offered online. CreditCards.com replaced the cards in the database with similar cards that advertised slightly higher APRs.
Business card offerings shrink
Citi is the second issuer this month to trim its business card lineup. Discover recently stopped offering the Discover Business card, which was the only business card Discover offered. The Discover Business card was introduced in 2006 after primarily focusing on personal credit cards. The issuer currently offers just four cards on its website: The Discover "it" card, the Discover "it" chrome card, the Discover "it" for students card and the Discover "it" chrome for students card. All four offerings are personal cards, rather than cards for small-business owners.
Citi, meanwhile, will continue to offer the CitiBusiness ThankYou in its retail branches, according to Citi spokeswoman Emily Collins. But it's no longer offering the business card online. Citi currently offers just one business card on its website: The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select card.
Chase also recently pulled back on the number of business cards it offers online. For example, in April, it stopped promoting the Chase Ink Classic card. It also ceased promoting the Chase Ink Bold card. Now, it offers just two business cards on its website: The Chase Ink Plus card and the Chase Ink Cash card.
Among the biggest card issuers, Bank of America currently offers the largest selection of business credit cards. Customers who shop online currently have nine BofA business cards to choose from, as well as one charge card.
American Express offers small business owners the second largest selection of cards. American Express currently offers eight business credit cards on its website and four business charge cards.
Meanwhile, U.S. Bank offers up seven business cards, while Capital One has six business credit cards. Wells Fargo offers just three business credit cards online, including a secured card.
Card payments by businesses rise
Despite a smaller selection of business cards to choose from, U.S. companies appear to be using their cards more heavily. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 28 that the number of business-to-business payments made by credit card, rather than check, has risen sharply in recent years.
Most businesses still choose to pay for their supplies by check. But according to the Wall Street Journal, at least 10 percent of business-to-business payments made in 2014 are expected to be credit card payments.
Veronica Wills, a director at the consulting firm Hackett Group, told the Wall Street Journal that the uptick in business-related card transactions is partially due to business owners' growing preference for credit card-specific perks, such as credit card fraud protection and month-long grace periods. Small businesses in the media, construction and printing industries are especially fond of using credit, said Wills.
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