Student credit cards and young credit

Rate survey: Credit card APRs unchanged as holidays near’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%12.82%
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. 23, 2011

Interest rates on new credit card offers remained unchanged this week as banks took their traditional Thanksgiving break from changing rates, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

The average annual percentage rate (APR) stayed put at 14.99 percent. That’s just 0.01 percent shy of the record high — 15 percent — set in October. And while rates remain high, they appear to be stabilizing. The national APR average has stood at 14.99 percent for five of the past six weeks. That is a big change from August to mid-October when rates steadily inclined and records were consistently broken.

Interest rate stability at this time of year is nothing new, though. Since 2007, when began tracking APRs, rates have typically remained stable around Thanksgiving. It may not last, though: For the past two years, interest rates made a significant jump just before Christmas.

For example:

  • In 2009, the national APR average was fixed at 12.71 percent the week before and after Thanksgiving. Then, the week before Christmas, it jumped to 12.99 percent — the third-highest rate for that year.
  • In 2010, the national APR average stayed put at 14.74 percent in the weeks before and after Thanksgiving. It dropped in subsequent weeks, falling to 14.63 percent, but then climbed back to 14.68 percent the week before Christmas.

Creditors know people spend more during the holidays and may want to apply for more credit to supplement their spending. This may be especially true as consumers are expected to be buying but and sticking to their holiday budgets less this year, reports a recent USAA survey.

This year, slightly more people are expected to buy gifts compared to last year — up 96 percent from 90 percent. The report also indicates that the number of those planning to create a holiday gift budget has declined over the past three years, and of people who do plan to create a budget, slightly fewer plan to stick to it this year than did last year. In addition, a large number of respondents aren’t saving in advance at all to pay for holiday purchases — 36 percent.

All of that could mean more credit card debt to wrestle with in the new year. With that in mind, make a budget and stick to it this holiday season. And if you do intend to get that new card, be aware of high interest rates when you apply.

See related:Don’t make a false start this shopping season: Budget, 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

Rate survey: Credit card interest rates hold steady

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

Published: November 16, 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.