BACK

Rate Report

Average card APR remains unchanged at 14.99 percent

Summary

May 27, 2015: Average rates on new card offers lingered at 14.99 percent Wednesday after increasing the previous week to their highest point in more than 6 months, 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.

Average rates on new card offers lingered at 14.99 percent Wednesday after increasing the previous week to their highest point in more than six months, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

None of the cards tracked by CreditCards.com advertised new interest rates. Promotional terms were also left unchanged.

Average rates on new card offers are higher now than they’ve been in months. The last time the national average APR stayed above 14.98 percent was in November 2014. Over the past six months, average card rates have mostly declined, hitting a nearly three-year low in February as issuers trimmed APRs on a select group of cards.

Since then, average APRs have picked up somewhat as issuers hike rates on selected offers. The national average APR is still lower now than it was for most of 2014.

Issuers have also been slow to change promotional terms online. Among the cards tracked by CreditCards.com, most interest-free offers have stayed the same throughout 2015. Issuers may begin offering more generous promotions in the future as competition for new cardholders heats up.

Direct mail campaigns ramp up
Competition for new cardholders has intensified in recent weeks, according to new research from financial services firm Credit Suisse.

Issuers sent 383 million card offers to consumers’ homes in April – 29 percent more than was mailed in March and 12 percent more than mailed during the same period in 2014.

The sharp increase in the number of mailed card offers suggests that lenders’ appetite for new customers has swelled in recent weeks. The last time so many card offers were mailed in a single month was in 2011 when larger mail volumes were more frequent.

According to Credit Suisse, issuers expect cardholders to take on more debt in the coming months and so are working harder to attract potentially high spenders. “The high level of competition in the market, measured by the mail data, shows that issuers are fighting for their shares of the industry’s expected increase in balances,” wrote Moshe Orenbuch, Lesley Robertshaw and James Ulan in a research note. Credit Suisse predicts credit card balances will expand by around 4 percent this year, thanks in part to a larger number of cardholders being approved for new cards.

Issuers had cut back on the number of offers mailed in the first three months of 2015 as economic growth slowed down. The recent uptick in offers suggests that banks are relatively confident that faster job growth and other improving economic indicators will encourage cardholders to spend.

“Year-over-year growth rates, until now, had been decelerating,” wrote Orenbuch, Robertshaw and Ulan. However, issuers told researchers earlier in the year they were planning to increase marketing expenditures in order to compete more fiercely for new customers. “We anticipate that the high level of competition will likely continue to drive high mailing rates in upcoming months,” wrote researchers.

Credit Suisse predicts card issuers will mail around 4.2 billion offers by the end of 2015. That’s 5 percent more than last year, but still significantly less than during the recession.

0 percent balance transfer offers continue to disappear
Despite sending out more offers, there are fewer promotional balance transfer offers available, according to Credit Suisse. In April, issuers mailed 268 million card offers advertising a 0 percent balance transfer rate — down from 269 million in 2014. In March, issuers mailed 8 million fewer balance transfer offers than the previous year.

Instead of balance transfer deals, issuers appear to be focusing on interest-free purchase offers instead. In April, issuers mailed 314 million card offers advertising a 0 percent APR on purchases — up from 279 million offers during the same period in 2014.

CreditCards.com’s Weekly Rate Report
Avg. APRLast week 6 months ago
National average14.99%14.99%14.98%
Low interest11.62%11.62%10.37%
Cash back15.26%15.26%14.94%
Balance transfer14.13%14.13%12.73%
Business12.85%12.85%12.85%
Student13.14%13.14%13.14%
Airline15.10%15.10%15.46%
Reward15.12%15.12%14.93%
Instant approval17.93%17.93%23.33%
Bad credit22.73%22.73%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: May 27, 2015

See related:Poll: Rewards cards take larger share of market,

What’s up next?

In Rate Report

Credit card delinquency statistics

Our team has compiled statistics on U.S. credit card delinquencies over the years, collections, bankruptcies and much more

Published: May 27, 2015

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: June 19th, 2019
Business
15.61%
Airline
17.54%
Cash Back
17.68%
Reward
17.57%
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.