Rate Report

Rate survey: Card APRs stay at record highs for 2nd straight week


Interest rates on new credit card offers remained unchanged this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, as rates’ upward climb paused following several volatile weeks

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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.’s Weekly Rate Report
Avg. APRLast week 6 months ago
National average14.96%14.96%14.65%
Low interest10.73%10.73%11.18%
Balance transfer12.77%12.77%12.78%
Cash back14.34%14.34%13.41%
Instant approval15.99%15.99%15.99%
Bad credit24.96%24.96%23.95%
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: Sept. 21, 2011

Interest rates on new credit card offers remained unchanged this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, as their upward climb paused following several volatile weeks.

There were no annual percentage rate (APR) changes this week in the cards we track, so the average APR on new credit card offers stayed at a record high of 14.96 percent for a second straight week. The previous record of 14.94 percent was set in late August. Prior to this week’s pause, rates had gone up in three of the previous four weeks, sending the national average from 14.88 percent to 14.96 percent in just a month.

Two of the nine credit card categories we track also have average APRs at their highest levels since we began tracking rates in 2007: Bad-credit credit cards stand at 24.96 percent, while cash-back cards come in at 14.34 percent.

Still, even with all that, rates have been more stable in 2011 than any year since began tracking in 2007. There’s only slightly more than a quarter-percentage point difference between the highest and lowest national average APRs we’ve seen this year — 14.94 percent and 14.65 percent, respectively. Every other year, we’ve seen at least a full percentage point swing between the year’s high and low-water marks. Last year, it swung even more, ranging from a low of 12.87 percent to a high of 14.78 percent.

Those increases have a real impact. For example, a typical cardholder who borrowed $5,000 on a credit card today and consistently paid $150 per month at today’s average interest rate would have to pay $6,503 to pay off the debt. That’s $113 more than would have been required a year ago, when the average rate stood at 14.15 percent.

See related:Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?


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