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Rate Report

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to 17.68 percent

Summary

The average APR on new credit card offers edged up this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

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The average APR on new credit card offers edged up this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. The national average APR climbed to 17.68 percent, breaking another 10-year record.

Average rates on new card offers are now more than 5 percentage points higher than they were a decade ago, when APRs near 10 to 12 percent were much more common. For example, the average minimum APR for all card offers was 12.35 percent in April 2009.

Interest rates have climbed at an especially fast pace over the past three years as card issuers match federal interest rate hikes and retool their rewards offers. In April 2016, for example, the average card APR stood at just 15.16 percent.

Consumers across the credit score spectrum have been encountering higher rates lately.

CreditCards.com only considers a card’s lowest available interest rate when calculating the national average. However, maximum APRs have also climbed significantly.

For example, the average maximum card APR has risen to 24.97 percent – a rate that used to be reserved just for subprime credit cards. Now, a number of cards that are marketed to consumers with good to excellent credit scores charge maximum interest rates as high as 25 percent or more.

Meanwhile, the average median card APR – which is closer to what many cardholders are paying – has climbed to 21.33 percent.

The higher rates on new credit card offers suggest a growing share of cardholders are paying well above 20 percent to carry a balance.

See related:  Historic credit card interest rates chart

Bank of America retools one of its signature business cards

Every week, CreditCards.com evaluates the APRs, annual fees and promotional terms of 100 U.S. credit cards.

This week, Bank of America increased the minimum APR on one of its business cards, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card, after revising the card’s rewards program.

Bank of America increased the Business Advantage Cash Reward card’s minimum variable APR from 13.49 percent to 14.49 percent, causing the national average to edge higher. It also increased the card’s maximum variable APR by 1 percentage point, pushing it up to 24.49 percent.

In exchange for paying a somewhat higher rate, new cardholders will now have access to a much more flexible card that can be adapted to a business’s monthly spending.

Bank of America substantially made over the business card’s cash rewards program, making it more like the recently retooled cash back program that’s available on Bank of America’s personal cash back cards.

Business cardholders can now choose the types of purchases that will earn 3 percent cash back, rather than settle for a preset category.

For example, businesses can choose to earn 3 percent cash back on gas or travel. Or they can get 3 percent cash back on an array of common business expenses, including office supplies, cable and internet expenses, computer services or business consulting expenses. In addition, businesses will get 2 percent cash back on dining expenses (for the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter).

Previously, cardholders were only awarded 3 percent cash back on gas station and office supply purchases and 2 percent cash back on dining.

See related:  Guide to rising credit card interest rates

CreditCards.com’s Weekly Rate Report

Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average17.68%17.67%17.07%
Low interest14.69%14.67%14.16%
Cash back17.60%17.58%17.19%
Balance transfer16.89%16.89%16.33%
Business15.32%15.24%14.74%
Student17.79%17.79%17.20%
Airline17.50%17.50%17.05%
Rewards17.56%17.55%17.08%
Instant approval20.15%20.15%19.74%
Bad credit25.33%25.33%24.30%
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: April 10, 2019

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See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: May 19th, 2019
Business
15.61%
Airline
17.50%
Cash Back
17.60%
Reward
17.62%
Student
17.79%

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