Credit card interest rates decrease to 14.92 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: Dec. 17, 2014
Average rates on new credit card offers decreased slightly this week,
according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) decreased
to 14.92 percent Wednesday as a result of an update to CreditCards.com's card database.
Chase no longer offers the University of Florida rewards
credit card, so it was replaced with the Frontier Airlines MasterCard, which has
a 15.99-24.99 percent variable APR. This airline rewards card also offers a 0
percent introductory balance transfer APR to new cardholders for 15 months.
For the fourth week in a row, issuers did not make any annual fee or promotional
borrowing, balances growing
Nonmortgage credit balances reached their highest level in more than five
years last month, according to the November
2014 Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report. Nonmortgage credit balances -- auto loans and cards issued by retailers and banks -- totaled $3.1 trillion in November, with each sector showing year-over-year
balance increases as well.
Retailer-issued card balances increased 4.8 percent ($71.1 billion) from 2013.
Additionally, the total number of new retail card accounts issued from January
to September of this year reached 28.5 million, a 2.5 percent increase over 2013
and the highest since 2007.
Balances on those new card accounts reached a six-year high, totaling $48.1
billion (3.4 percent year-over-year increase).
Bank-issued card balances are also up 4.7 percent ($611.7 billion) from 2013
as well. The total number of new cards issued year-to-date in September was
37.7 million, a six-year high and a 20.1 percent increase over last year's
numbers, according to the Equifax report.
Many of the country's largest cities experienced increases in total consumer
debt in the third quarter, according to a separate Equifax
Of the country's top 25 largest metropolitan areas, 17 have seen increases
in total consumer debt -- mortgages, autos, home equity loans, bank and retail
cards -- in the third quarter compared to the same time last year.
Total U.S. consumer debt grew by nearly 1 percent year-over-year, from $9.82
trillion in the third quarter of 2013 to $9.91 trillion in 2014, according to
Consumer confidence, spending surge
New consumer confidence data indicates that these borrowing and spending
trends are likely to continue through the end of the year.
American's confidence in their personal finances has hit new highs this
month in the midst of the holiday shopping season, according to the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment.
The preliminary December index reached 93.8 last week, the highest point
since January 2007 and up from 88.3 last month.
of falling gasoline prices combined with sustained hiring and wage growth are
freeing up disposable income for households during the busiest retail shopping
is pointing in the right direction for the consumer," said Paul Ashworth, chief
U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, in a Bloomberg
article. "We expect a pretty good run for
consumption growth in the fourth quarter."
MasterCard SpendingPulse data reports total U.S. retail sales
increased by 2.3 percent in November. Thanksgiving weekend retail sales in
particular increased 0.9 percent over 2013, which MasterCard has attributed to
the increasing levels of economic confidence among consumers.
Based on this initial data, SpendingPulse forecasts total retail sales to grow 5.5 percent for the entire holiday season.
See related: Poll: More Americans expect to be in debt forever
Published: December 17, 2014