Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at 16.15 percent

Kelly Dilworth
Personal finance writer
Specializing in new trends in credit

The average credit card interest rate remained fixed at 16.15 percent this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Most card issuers left interest rates and promotional terms, such as interest-free offers, unchanged.

The sporting goods store Cabela’s boosted the minimum APR on the Cabela’s Club Visa to 16.35 percent and extended the card’s maximum APR to 25.35 percent. But the change was too small to affect the national average.

This week marks the 12th unbroken week the average card APR has stood at 16.15 percent. Credit card rates have trended upward for most of 2017.

A year ago today, the average card APR stood at 15.18 percent – nearly a full percentage point lower than where it stands today.

Hotel card options will expand in 2018
Fans of Marriott hotels and the brand’s affiliated inns, including the Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Towneplace Suites, Protea Hotels and more, will soon have more hotel rewards cards to choose from.

Marriott International announced Dec. 5 that it has inked new deals with J.P. Morgan Chase and American Express and will soon add to its collection of hotel rewards cards.

Marriott hotel devotees currently have a choice between the Marriott Rewards and Ritz Carlton Rewards cards issued by Chase and the longtime cult favorite, the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card issued by American Express.

Beginning sometime in 2018, Marriott enthusiasts will also have access to a brand-new super premium card from American Express. Super premium cards typically charge three-figure annual fees as high as $400 or more and offer supersized rewards and benefits. Marriott also plans to debut other, less-expensive rewards cards with Chase that will feature “enhanced member benefits.” 

Marriott says it will share more information about its new credit card collection sometime after the New Year.

American Express is also teaming up with the hotel chain Hilton on two brand-new hotel rewards cards that will debut next year, including a super premium card that will charge $450 a year.

American Express announced in November its plan to introduce two high-end hotel cards in January 2018: the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card and the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend card. Both cards will offer substantial benefits for frequent hotel guests, including guaranteed free stays.

Co-branded cards continue to multiply
Other companies have also introduced new co-branded credit card programs this year, giving cardholders who frequent the same chains more generous cards to choose from.

The coffee mega-chain Starbucks, for example, announced earlier this year that it is teaming up with Chase on a brand-new co-branded card for gourmet coffee and specialty beverage fans. The new card is expected to debut sometime next year.

Meanwhile, Barclaycard introduced a card with the ridesharing company Uber earlier this year that offers a wide range of benefits, including an industry-leading rewards bonus on restaurant purchases.

In addition, American Express and Chase, both introduced new co-branded airline credit cards this summer – the United TravelBank card and the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card – that offer significant rewards without an annual fee.

CreditCards.com's Weekly Rate Report
  Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average 16.15% 16.15%
Low interest 12.89%
12.89% 12.73%
Cash back 16.40%
Balance transfer 15.38%
Business 13.68%
Student 15.70%
Airline 16.07%
Reward  16.24%
Instant approval 18.60%
Bad credit 23.46%
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: Dec. 6, 2017

See related: Historic credit card rates chart, Discover to drop 5 benefits for shoppers, travelers

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Updated: 11-19-2018