BACK

Podcasts

Rate survey: Average card rate remains at 15.16 percent

Summary

Feb. 17, 2016: The national average annual percentage rate remained near a record high Wednesday, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

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.

The national average credit card APR remained near a record high Wednesday after falling the previous week for the first time in about a month, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

None of the issuers tracked by CreditCards.com raised minimum rates this week. As a result, the national average annual percentage rate remained unchanged at 15.16 percent.

Chase added a maximum APR of 23.24 percent to the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card. However, the change didn’t affect the national average as Chase left the minimum rate of 16.24 percent alone. CreditCards.com considers only a card’s lowest available interest rate when calculating average rates.

Interest rates are currently near record highs. The last time average rates rose above 15.16 percent was in December 2011 when the national average briefly peaked at 15.22 percent.

Card debt grows as credit limits expand
Credit card issuers are continuing to offer bigger credit limits, and cardholders are responding by charging more to their cards.

According to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, cardholders added roughly $19 billion of new debt to their credit cards last quarter. As a result, the total amount of credit card debt households owe expanded to $733 billion in the final quarter of the year — up from $700 billion in 2014.

Meanwhile, credit card limits expanded slightly in the fourth quarter, increasing by roughly 1 percent. It was the 12th quarter in a row that aggregate credit card limits increased — a sign that card issuers are gradually expanding consumers’ access to new credit. The last time aggregate credit card credit limits fell was in 2013.

Despite charging more debt overall, consumers are still keeping up with their payments. Late payments by 90 days or more fell to 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the New York Federal Reserve — down from 8.2 percent in the previous quarter.

A separate report released Feb. 16 by the credit rating agencies S&P and Experian found that late payments on bank-issued credit cards rose in January for the second month in a row; but despite the two consecutive increases, missed payments are still exceptionally rare compared to previous years when missed payments were much more common.

“Bank card defaults rose from November to December and again to January. However, the series established a new low in November and remains quite low compared to its recent history,” said S&P’s David Blitzer in a news release.

CreditCards.com’s Weekly Rate Report
Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average15.16%15.16%15.00%
Low interest11.96%11.96%11.62%
Cash back15.20%15.20%15.27%
Balance transfer14.35%14.35%14.12%
Business13.12%13.12%12.85%
Student13.42%13.42%13.14%
Airline15.17%15.17%15.10%
Reward15.25%15.25%15.14%
Instant approval18.02%18.02%18.00%
Bad credit22.56%22.56%22.73%
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.)
Source: CreditCards.com
Updated: Feb. 17, 2016

See related:Card balances up for 10th straight month, Survey: 5 in 6 Americans admit to impulse buys

What’s up next?

In Podcasts

Rate survey: Average card rate slips to 15.16 percent

Feb. 10, 2016: Average rates on new card offers dipped Wednesday after rising the previous week to a four-year high, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report

Published: February 10, 2016

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: April 25th, 2019
Business
15.32%
Airline
17.50%
Reward
17.58%
Cash Back
17.60%
Student
17.79%

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 CreditCards.com 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.