June 25, 2014: Interest rates on new card offers remained locked in place this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
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|CreditCards.com’s Weekly Rate Report|
|Avg. APR||Last week||6 months ago|
|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.|
|Updated: June 25, 2014|
Interest rates on new card offers remained locked in place this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained fixed at 15.01 percent Wednesday for the eighth consecutive week.
Credit card issuers have been slow to change card terms for most of 2014. Nearly two months have passed since the last time a credit card issuer revised the APR on a card tracked by CreditCards.com. In the 26 weekly surveys since Jan. 1, the national average APR has changed just five times.
This week, issuers also left unchanged terms for promotional incentives, such as balance tranfer and 0 percent offers. Chase did remove several cards from its online card catalog’s pages, including the Sapphire card. However, it left the cards’ premium versions, such as the Sapphire Preferred card, alone. It’s not clear whether the cards will eventually return.
Discover launches a new gas rewards card
Meanwhile, Discover quietly introduced a new rewards credit card to its streamlined lineup this week. But it’s not yet listing the card on the website’s promotional pages.
Instead, you can access an application for the new Discover “it” Chrome credit card by clicking on a tab that says “2% Cash Back” after you’ve clicked on the Discover “it” card’s promotional page.
The new Discover “it” Chrome credit card features the same card terms as the original Discover “it” card, including an APR range of 10.99 percent to 22.99 percent and a 14-month interest-free promotion on balance transfers and purchases.
Chrome’s rewards perks are slightly different. Unlike the original “it” card, the Discover “it” Chrome credit card features a 2 percent cash-back promotion on gas and restaurant purchases any time of the year. The “it” card offers 5 percent cash-back on select purchases, with categories that qualify for a 5 percent cash-back redemption — such as home improvement, gas or restaurant purchases — rotating every three months.
Other rewards card perks, such as unrestricted cash-back benefits, are the same for both cards. For example, both the Discover “it” card and the “it” Chrome card reward customers with 1 percent cash back on every purchase. In addition, they both include other perks, such as a free FICO credit score with every statement and the ability to redeem your cash-back bonuses through a purchase on Amazon.com.
Discover is also offering a student version of the new “it” Chrome card. But it’s varying how it markets the card to new applicants. Currently, if you click on the “it” for students link on the Discover home page, you are sometimes offered a Discover “it” Chrome for students card. Other times you are offered a regular Discover “it” for students card.
GDP revised way down
After suffering the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the U.S. economy is on the mend. But research released June 25 by the Commerce Department shows it suffered a much deeper blow in the first quarter of 2014 than previously estimated — raising questions in some quarters about the underlying strength of the recovery.
After revising its initial GDP estimates for the first quarter, the Commerce Department found the economy shrank by 2.9 percent in the first three months of the year. Previously, the department estimated GDP fell by 1 percent in the first quarter.
Economists have speculated this year’s unusual winter weather contributed substantially to the first quarter’s decline in economic output. If that’s the case, the first quarter’s sharp decline in GDP may just be a temporary blip, rather than a sign the economy is headed in the wrong direction.
For example, the severe winter weather made it much harder for consumers across the country to go shopping. In addition, health care spending was much weaker in the first quarter than previously estimated.
The good news is the job market is continuing to gather strength, making it easier for consumers to spend. In addition, The Conference Board reported June 24 consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in more than six years.