The advocacy group Consumer Action found that credit card rates have increased 2 percent since 2005.
In its recently-released 2007 Credit Card Survey, nonprofit education and advocacy group Consumer Action looked at 83 credit cards from 20 banks. Among those considered were the top 10 U.S. credit card issuers.
Among the result of its survey, Consumer Action found that among the credit cards it looked at, the average interest rate was 14.53 percent for purchases, marking an approximate 2 percentage point increase from the 2005 survey results.
The rise in APRs was seemingly the result of higher interest rates overall, as opposed to an attempt by credit card issuers to squeeze more profits from consumers.
For the credit cards surveyed, interest rates on purchases ranged from 7.9 percent to 25.24 percent, with the 15 fixed rate credit cards averaging an interest rate of 11.34 percent and the 69 variable rate credit cards averaging 15.25 percent.
The lowest variable rate APR was found to be offered by the Capital One Platinum Prestige credit card, while the lowest fixed rate APRs were offered by various credit cards from Bank of America.Meanwhile, 60 credit cards, or 72 percent of those surveyed, did not charge an annual fee. That marked a larger number of credit cards with no annual fee than in 2005, when 67 percent had no annual fee.
Among the 23 credit cards that did charge an annual fee, the cost of those fees ranged from $19 to $90, for an average annual fee of $44.74. That average was up 3 percent from the $43.27 average annual fee recorded in 2005.
Separately, the average late fee was found to have jumped to $28 from $13 in 1995. Consumer Action reported that late fees reached up to $39 per incident.
Consumers that pay late could get hit with a penalty interest rate of up to 32.24 percent. The average penalty rate totaled 24.51 percent.
But the survey indicated for consumers that see their interest rate go up, 75 percent of the banks polled stated they would lower the interest rate again if the cardholder maintained a solid payment record.