Student credit cards and young credit

Rate survey: Credit card APRs remain in holding pattern’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%13.87%
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. 30, 2011

Banks’ long holiday from raising rates on credit card offers continued this week, according to’s Weekly Rate Report.

The average annual percentage rate (APR) stood at 14.99 percent for the fourth straight week. It has held at 14.99 for six of the past seven weeks, decreasing once in early November — to 14.98 percent — before moving back up the next week. The last time rates showed comparable stability was late July, when rates stayed at 14.88 percent for four consecutive weeks.

That lack of movement is especially good news during the holiday season. As consumers seek out new plastic to help finance this year’s gift buying, any break from the record rates seen earlier this year is welcome.

Though rates may be stabilizing after a streak of record highs last summer, the national APR average is still only 0.01 percent below its all-time peak of 15 percent, set in October.

Rates are also up from this time last year. On Dec. 1, 2010, the national average APR on new card offers stood at 14.74 percent. This year, it’s 14.99 percent. And while that may not seem like much, every increase means real money to consumers. For example, a typical cardholder who borrowed $5,000 on a credit card today and paid $150 monthly at today’s average APR would have to spend $35 more to pay off the balance than would have been required a year ago.

The national APR average isn’t the only category near record highs, though. The national rewards card average is also only 0.01 percent shy of its highest levels since we began tracking rates in 2007.

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

What’s up next?

In Student credit cards and young credit

Be wary of getting more credit when student loan comes due

With a $14,000 student loan coming due soon, a reader wonders if getting a new department store credit card was wise. Our expert’s answer: It depends.

Published: November 28, 2011

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 14th, 2019
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