Student credit cards and young credit

Rate survey: Credit card interest rates hold steady’s Weekly Rate Report
 Avg. APRLast week 6 months ago
National average14.99%14.99%14.83%
Low interest10.73%10.73%10.73%
Balance transfer12.77%12.77%12.76%
Airline 14.44%14.44%14.24%
Cash back 14.70%14.70%13.91%
Instant approval15.99%15.99%15.99%
Bad credit24.96%24.96%24.96%
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. 16, 2011

The average interest rate on a new credit card offer stayed static this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

However, that doesn’t mean that all of the nation’s largest credit card issuers were sitting on their hands.

Our weekly survey of 100 of the nation’s most popular credit cards showed that the average annual percentage rate (APR) held at 14.99 percent for a second straight week. That’s just one-tenth of a percentage point shy of the national APR average record high, which was set in mid-October.  

The only rate change we saw this week came from Citi. It raised the top end of the APR range on its Citi Forward card from 20.99 percent to 22.99 percent. The lower end of the range remained at 12.99 percent. Since we only include a card’s lowest available rate in our calculations, the move did not impact the national average.

Citi did not offer comment on the change prior to the release of this report.

Even though Citi’s move didn’t send the national average higher, it’s hardly welcome news for credit card holders, who are preparing for the holidays while wrestling with continued high unemployment and an economy that hasn’t quite been able to find its footing since the recession began — and may not anytime soon.

In a Nov. 14 letter, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco unveiled its gloomy assessment of America’s short-term economic future, saying that the “gathering storms” of continued debt issues in Europe meant there was a 50-50 chance of a recession in the United States in 2012. 

Still, there is good news as well. Credit card delinquencies remain at near record lows, according to data from credit bureau TransUnion, despite a small uptick in the third quarter. And a survey from USAA indicates that more Americans plan to buy gifts this holiday season than did last year — an indication that consumers are feeling more confident about the economic prospects than they have in recent years.

See related:Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?, Infographic: Americans plan to ramp up holiday spending in 2011


What’s up next?

In Student credit cards and young credit

5 money tips for parents of new college students

Your college-age son or daughter isn’t the only one who needs to learn; you have new financial choices you need to master

Published: September 13, 2011

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 14th, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.