Credit card interest rates fall to 14.98 percent
|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: Nov. 19, 2014
rates on new card offers fell below 15 percent Wednesday for the first time in
more than a year, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate
national average annual percentage rate (APR) slid to 14.98 percent after Wells
Fargo slashed APRs on two rewards cards.
Fargo reduced the lowest available APR on its cash-back card from 13.15 percent
to 12.15 percent. It also lowered the minimum APR on the Wells Fargo Rewards
card by 2 percentage points, from 14.15 percent to 12.15 percent. In addition,
it lengthened the cards' 0 percent APR promotional periods to 15 months.
also revised interest rates this week, but its changes were less favorable. It
replaced the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card's single APR of 14.24 with
a range, starting at 15.24 percent and topping out at 19.24 percent.
was also active this week. It eliminated the 12-month interest-free purchase
offer on the Visa Black card and extended the card's 0 percent balance transfer
offer from 12 months to 15 months.
Credit card spending accelerates
spending picked up again last month after slowing down two months in a row,
according to new research from First Data Corp.
to First Data's latest SpendTrend report, card spending jumped 5.5 percent in
October after increasing by 5 percent in September.
summer, spending was more robust as cardholders used their cards to pay for
summer vacations. In July, for example, card spending increased by 6.2 percent
compared to the previous year. In August, it increased by 5.8 percent.
typically prefer to charge hotel and travel purchases to their cards so issuers
often see increased spending during the summer vacation months. But October's increase
in card spending was also partially driven by heavier hotel spending, according
to First Data.
also spent more overall on "late season" amusement park visits,
thanks to seasonal Halloween events. In addition, consumers dined out more often
in October and spent more money on Halloween parties and early holiday
off and running with a strong start to the holiday shopping season as this
year, consumers are showing confidence in their early spending," said
First Data's Krish Mantripragada in a news release. "This confidence, which is
buoyed by a lower unemployment rate, made October 2014 a robust spending
Credit scores on the rise
more, on average, to their cards, most cardholders are still managing to pay
their bills on time. Late payments have fallen to record lows this year and,
according to new research from the credit bureau Experian, consumers' improved
behavior is being reflected in their credit scores.
to Experian's fifth annual State of Credit Report, released Nov. 18, the average VantageScore
from 664 to 666, on a scale of 300 to 850. In some areas of the country,
average scores are even higher. For example, in three Minnesota cities (Mankato,
Rochester and Minneapolis) average scores surpassed 700 this year, according to
lenders across the country are approving more cards and making it easier for
consumers with lower scores to qualify for new plastic.
to Experian, banks approved 21.1 percent more bank cards this year, compared to
2013. As a result, the average cardholder is now carrying two or more credit cards
in their wallet (2.18 cards on average).
also opening slightly more retail cards, according to Experian. Retail card
lenders approved 3.5 percent more cards this year.
has been a notable year for borrowing," said Experian's Michele Raneri in
a news release, "with more new credit
being extended and consumers feeling more comfortable and confident about
accepting those credit offers."
See related: Fed: Banks ease grip on cards
Published: November 19, 2014