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Rate survey: Average card APR sits tight at 17.73 percent

Summary

The average APR on new credit card offers remained at a record high on Wednesday, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

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The average APR on new credit card offers remained at a record high on Wednesday, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. The national average annual percentage rate (APR) held steady at 17.73 percent, which is the highest weekly average CreditCards.com has recorded since it began tracking rates in mid-2007.

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

Most of the cards included in the weekly rate report left credit card terms, including published interest rates, alone this week.

Wells Fargo widened the range of possible APRs on the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. However, it left the travel card’s minimum APR alone and so the change didn’t affect the national average. CreditCards.com only takes into account a card’s lowest available interest rate when calculating the national average.

Consumers who apply for the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card are now offered a range of APRs starting at 16.24 percent and maxing out at 28.24 percent. Previously, the highest APR Propel card applicants were offered was 27.24 percent.

The higher APR on the Wells Fargo travel card helped push the average maximum APR for all credit cards to 25.14 percent. Meanwhile, the average median card APR is currently 21.44 percent.

See related:  Historic credit card interest rates chart

Maximum card APRs continue to inch closer to 30 percent

The Wells Fargo Propel card currently charges one of the highest maximum APRs applicants are likely to see on a credit card. However, cards with maximum APRs running well above 25 percent are no longer unusual.

Among the 100 cards included in the weekly rate report, for example:

  • 70 cards charge a maximum APR above 25 percent.
  • 24 cards charge a maximum APR between 26 percent and 27 percent.
  • 5 cards charge a maximum APR between 27 percent and 28 percent.
  • 9 cards charge a maximum APR between 28 percent and 29 percent.
  • 3 cards charge a maximum APR above 29 percent.

Many of the cards with high maximum APRs are store credit cards or cards that are reserved for consumers with low credit scores.

However, a substantial number of cards that are marketed to consumers with excellent credit charge maximum APRs well above 25 percent.

Among the 70 cards in the weekly rate report that charge maximum APRs above 25 percent:

Lower interest options dwindling

Meanwhile, cards that charge maximum rates below 20 percent are increasingly rare. Among the 100 cards included in the weekly rate report:

The higher rates on new credit card offers have made it increasingly expensive for cardholders to carry a balance. Consumers who plan to carry a balance may instead be better off choosing a card with a promotional 0 percent APR. Among the 100 cards included in the weekly rate report, nearly half offer some kind of promotional interest rate.

Meanwhile, many of the best credit cards offer a 0 percent APR for at least 15 to 18 months.

See related:  Guide to rising credit card interest rates

CreditCards.com’s Weekly Rate Report

Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average17.73%17.73%17.21%
Low interest14.71%14.71%14.19%
Cash back17.68%17.68%17.26%
Balance transfer15.57%15.57%16.37%
Business15.61%15.61%14.78%
Student17.79%17.79%17.51%
Airline17.54%17.54%17.12%
Rewards17.57%17.57%17.18%
Instant approval20.24%20.24%19.83%
Bad credit25.33%25.33%24.77%
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: June 19, 2019

What’s up next?

In Rate Report

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at record high of 17.73 percent

The average APR on new credit cards remained unchanged Wednesday, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Published: June 12, 2019

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 16th, 2019
Business
15.18%
Airline
17.11%
Cash Back
17.25%
Reward
17.13%
Student
17.29%

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