Rate Report

Rate survey: Average card APR remains at record high of 17.76 percent


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

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The average APR on new credit card offers held steady at a record high Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. For the second consecutive week, the national average APR registered at 17.76 percent, which is the highest weekly average has recorded since it began tracking rates in mid-2007.

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

None of the cards included in the weekly rate report advertised new minimum APRs, and so the national average APR remained unchanged. When calculates the national average, it only takes into account a card’s lowest available interest rate.

Chase floated a significantly higher maximum APR on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. However, it only showed the higher rate to select applicants. For example, some applicants are currently being shown an APR range starting at 18.24 percent and maxing out at 27.24 percent variable. Others are being shown an APR range between 18.24 percent and 25.24 percent variable.

Credit card issuers occasionally test offers by showing different rates or promotional terms to different applicants.

Chase has been tinkering with the card terms on its Sapphire line of travel cards for some time.

For example, it significantly increased the APR on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card in January. Cardholders willing to pay a three-figure annual fee in exchange for premium perks are now charged an APR ranging from 19.24 percent to 26.24 percent variable.

Chase also briefly floated a 12-month 0 percent APR balance transfer offer on the Sapphire Preferred card, before removing it a week later.

See related:  Historic credit card interest rates chart

U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo revise promotional offers

Most credit card issuers also left 0 percent APR promotional offers unchanged this week.

However, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo were more active.

Wells Fargo extended the promotional offer on the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card by three months, giving cardholders 15 months to carry a balance without paying any interest. The 0 percent APR applies to both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then a regular rate of 16.24 percent – 28.24 percent variable).

Meanwhile, U.S. Bank sweetened some promotional offers and pared back others.

It extended the 0 percent introductory APR on the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard from 9 billing cycles to 15 billing cycles (then 14.24 percent – 25.24 percent variable). It also added a 15-billing-cycle 0 percent balance transfer APR to the business rewards card, making it one of the most generous business cards around for applicants who need to carry a balance. Business cards with lengthy interest-free offers are relatively rare.

However, U.S. Bank also dramatically shortened the 0 percent promotional offer on its U.S. Bank Business Platinum card, which used to have one of the strongest offers around. Applicants are now offered just 12 billing cycles to carry a new or transferred balance interest-free (then 12.24 percent – 20.24 percent variable). Previously, the Business Platinum card gave cardholders an industry-leading 20 billing cycles to take advantage of its 0 percent promotion.

U.S. Bank also trimmed the promotional offer on its low-interest personal card. Consumers who apply for the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card are now offered a 0 percent APR for 18 billing cycles instead of 20 (then 14.74 percent – 25.74 percent variable).

U.S. Bank’s decision to pare back the Visa Platinum card’s promotional offer has made the plain vanilla card slightly less competitive compared to other balance transfer cards on the market. Several credit cards, for example, offer a 0-percent APR for 18 months. However, very few offer a promotional interest rate for longer.

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card still offers a lower balance transfer fee than many of its competitors, though. It only charges cardholders 3 percent to transfer a balance, which is on the low end for a balance transfer card.

See related:  Guide to rising credit card interest rates’s Weekly Rate Report

Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average17.76%17.76%17.41%
Low interest14.72%14.72%14.40%
Cash back17.68%17.68%17.48%
Balance transfer15.59%15.59%16.59%
Instant approval20.24%20.24%19.97%
Bad credit25.33%25.33%24.96%
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: July 3, 2019

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In Rate Report

Rate survey: Average card APR climbs to record high of 17.76 percent

The average APR on new credit card offers broke another all-time record this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Published: June 26, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 16th, 2019
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