Research and Statistics

Credit card interest rates unchanged again


With the cost of gas and groceries rising, consumers can take some solace in one thing that hasn’t changed much lately — credit card interest rates

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

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.

With the cost of gas and groceries rising, consumers can take some solace in one thing that hasn’t changed much lately — credit card interest rates.’s Weekly Rate Report
Avg. APRLast week 6 months ago
National average14.67%14.67%14.69%
Low interest11.18%11.18%11.93%
Balance transfer12.78%12.78%12.83%
Cash back13.69%13.69%12.70%
Instant approval15.99%15.99%16.49%
Bad credit23.95%23.95%24.64%
Methodology: The national average credit card APR is created from a weekly survey of the offers 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: 4-27-2011

The average annual percentage rate (APR) on new credit card offers was unchanged again, staying at 14.67 percent this week. This lack of movement is not surprising since rates have been largely static throughout 2011, with the exception of a slight jump last week — the first change since early March.

However, the national average APR for a new credit card offer is slightly lower than it was six months ago. That’s good news for cardholders heading into the summer travel season already balancing high priced items like gas and groceries. Still, before you apply for that gas card to use when you hit the road this summer, make sure to do your homework.

A wide variety of cards
Gas companies’ credit cards can be divided into two major categories — cards that work only at one retailer’s gas stations and those that can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted. Those that feature both the gas retailer’s logo and a logo for Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express are called co-branded cards  and can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted.

On Wednesday, conducted an informal survey of co-branded credit cards from the nation’s largest gas retailers, including ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, Texaco, BP, Citgo, Phillips 66, Conoco, 76 and Sunoco. The average APR offered for those cards is 18.53 percent. As we do with our overall national average, we used the low ends of the APR ranges from each card to calculate the gas-card average.

The Texaco/Chevron Visa card offered the lowest APR we saw, at 13.49. (The top end of the card’s range was 20.49.) The highest APR we found was 23.99 percent, offered by four different cards either as a single, flat rate or as the high end of an APR range.

Most gas cards offer rewards for buying gasoline and other purchases elsewhere, but rewards for purchases at the gas station are usually higher than for those made elsewhere. The details of those rewards varied widely.

For example, BP Visa offers a 5 percent rebate on gas at BP stations, whereas ExxonMobil Platinum MasterCard offers a rebate of 15 cents per gallon at Exxon and Mobil stations. Keep in mind that as gas prices rise, a percentage discount keeps rising, too, while a per-gallon discount decreases in value. The lesson? Do the math.

Sunoco, whose Rewards Plus MasterCard is issued by Citi, offers Citi’s ThankYou reward points rather than money or credits back to those who buy gas at a Sunoco station.

More options for gas rebates
Your card doesn’t have to have a gas company’s logo on it to give you rewards for fueling up at the pump, though. For example, American Express launched its Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred rewards cards on Wednesday. The cards offer tiered cash-back rewards. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred card offers 6 percent back on purchases made in supermarkets, 3 percent back on gas and purchases made at department stores and 1 percent on everything else — but charges a $75 annual fee. The no-annual-fee Everyday card offers slightly lower cash back percentages in each category. Capital One‘s No Hassle Cash Rewards card offers 2 percent cash back on purchases at gas stations. Discover’s Open Road offers double cash back rewards on gas purchases.

Consumers seeking gas discounts also need to keep an eye on temporary offers. The Chase Freedom card will  offer 5 percent cash back on gas purchases from July through September of 2011. It typically offers 1 percent cash back on all purchases year-round.

As with any card, it’s important to shop around to make sure you know what you’re getting into. For example, a great-sounding rebate could be paired with a high APR  or annual fee that could wipe out any savings. Also be sure to check if one card offers rewards at multiple gas stations you may frequent.

See related:Compare gas rewards credit cardsCredit card rates: interactive graphic on APR changes, Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?

What’s up next?

In Research and Statistics

Federal Reserve leaves interest rates alone again

The Federal Reserve once again left interest rates unchanged, protecting most consumer credit card holders from sudden increases in their annual percentage rates. But that doesn't mean the Fed has nothing new to offer.

Published: April 27, 2011

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 16th, 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.