Rate survey: Average card APR sits tight at 15.18 percent

The average APR on new card offers remained unchanged at 15.18 percent this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Most issuers tracked by CreditCards.com left card rates unchanged.

Chase introduced a range of possible APRs on one of its hotel cards, the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card. Fans of the hotel chain IHG are now offered a range starting at 16.24 percent and maxing out at 23.24 percent. Previously, cardholders were offered just one possible APR of 16.24 percent.

Barclaycard is also testing a wider range of possible APRs. For example, some applicants who search for the Wyndham Rewards card are offered a range starting at 15.49 percent and maxing out at 20.24 percent. Others are offered a maximum APR of 25.24 percent. Issuers often float test offers online when experimenting with new rates.

The CreditCards.com survey only factors in the low end of a range in its calculation, so the changes in the ranges did not impact the national average.

As lenders begin offering cards to a larger group of cardholders, wide ranges between a card’s lowest available rate and its maximum are becoming more common. Among the 100 cards tracked by CreditCards.com, 32 cards now offer APR ranges as wide as 7 to 9 percentage points. Thirty-three cards offer ranges as wide as 10 to 16 percentage points. Only 20 of the 100 cards offer a single APR to every applicant.

American Airlines strikes deal with MasterCard, Barclaycard US
American Airlines is getting ready to offer more card choices to frequent fliers. The air travel giant announced July 12 that it’s partnering with MasterCard and Barclaycard US on a new airline card for frequent travelers.

American Airlines didn’t offer any details on its upcoming MasterCard, which will be issued by Barclaycard, nor did it offer a launch date. But it said its older line of Aadvantage cards offered by Citi will continue to be available, even after the new MasterCard is released.

“Our new dual issuer arrangement is the first of its kind in the U.S. airline industry and was enabled by the progressive partnership with Citi, Barclaycard US and MasterCard,” said American Airlines’ Andrew Nocella in a statement. Dual issuer arrangements are rare in the card industry, but not unheard of. For example, the hotel chain Hilton offers a co-branded credit card through Citi and a similar card – with slightly different rewards and benefits – through American Express.

Credit more available, but consumers are pessimistic
Meanwhile, lenders are continuing to make it easier for consumers with lower credit scores to qualify for new cards with higher credit limits. But according to research from the New York Federal Reserve, some cardholders are doubtful that they’ll make the cut.

According to the New York Fed’s June 2016 survey, released July 12, more cardholders applied for a new card sometime in the past year and fewer were rejected. As a result, the rejection rate for new cards slipped from 17.3 percent in February to 15 percent in June.

Cardholders were also less likely this year to be turned down for a credit limit increase. The percentage of cardholders being denied a larger amount of credit fell to 16 percent in June – down from 22.5 percent in February.

But despite notable increases in the availability of credit, a growing number of consumers are feeling pessimistic about their chances. According to the survey, the percentage of cardholders expecting credit to become easier to get over the next 12 months fell significantly in June. Meanwhile, slightly more consumers predicted that credit would become “somewhat harder” or “much harder” to get over the next year.

Cardholders didn’t say why they expected that access to credit would tighten. But some admitted that their personal finances might deteriorate this year, making it harder for them to qualify for new credit. The average probability that cardholders would miss a payment by at least 30 days grew significantly in June after tumbling earlier in the year.

CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report
  Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average 15.18% 15.18%
Low interest 11.98%
11.98% 11.87%
Cash back 15.32%
Balance transfer 14.38%
Business 13.12%
Student 13.42%
Airline 15.08%
Reward  15.29%
Instant approval 18.04%
Bad credit 22.56%
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: July 13, 2016

See related: Despite good credit, I got socked with a high APR card, Fed: May card balances rise 3 percent

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Updated: 02-22-2019