Rate Report

Rate survey: Credit card interest rates jump to 15.13 percent


Jan. 6, 2016: Interest rates on new credit card offers rose Wednesday for the fifth consecutive week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Interest rates on new credit card offers rose Wednesday for the fifth consecutive week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Use credit card rewards wisely
If you’re regularly using credit cards, you might as well get rewarded for doing so. If one of your cards has a corresponding rewards program, make sure you’re taking full advantage of it. Here are some tips for doing just that:

Several issuers raised interest rates by 0.25 percent this week. As a result, the national average annual percentage rate rose to 15.13 percent — a four-year high. The last time average rates were this high was in January 2012, when the national average began the year at 15.14 percent. Since then, average rates have mostly hovered between 14.9 and 15.09 percent.

This week’s changes are largely due to the Federal Reserve’s December 2015 rate hike. After the Fed increased the federal funds rate by 0.25 percent, most large issuers passed on that increase to cardholders. Since December, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, American Express, Bank of America, Citi, Capital One and Discover have all increased APRs on new card offers.

Interest rates will continue to go up
Interest rates on new card offers are likely to keep on rising this year as more card issuers respond to future Federal Reserve rate increases.

Among the largest issuers, Chase is the only one that hasn’t yet matched the Fed’s rate increase by increasing rates on new card offers. Other issuers that have so far chosen to leave rates alone include Barclaycard, PNC, SunTrust and Fifth Third Bank. Many store cards also retained the same APRs.

Analysts widely expect the Federal Reserve will increase the federal funds rate at least a few more times before the end of 2016, most likely resulting in more card APR hikes.

The interest rate increases will continue to be small. The Federal Reserve expects to keep rates relatively low and will only increase rates at a gradual pace. However, the increases could still have a significant impact on the total amount of interest cardholders will be expected to pay on card balances.

In projections released last month, most members of the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee expected to raise rates by at least 1 percent by the end of 2016.

That, in turn, could push average rates on new card offers into brand-new territory. Average rates are already near record highs. In late 2011, the average APR briefly rose to 15.22 percent — the highest average interest rate that has recorded since it began tracking rates in mid-2007 — before dropping to just under 15 percent the following month. The national average APR has remained near 15 percent ever since.’s Weekly Rate Report
Avg. APRLast week 6 months ago
National average15.13%15.07%15.00%
Low interest11.84%11.76%11.62%
Cash back15.41%15.32%15.27%
Balance transfer14.23%14.17%14.12%
Instant approval18.00%18.00%18.00%
Bad credit22.84%22.81%22.73%
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: Jan. 6, 2016

See related:What will an interest rate hike cost?, Quarter-point interest rate calculator

What’s up next?

In Rate Report

Rate survey: Average card rates jump to 15.07 percent

Dec. 30, 2015: Interest rates on new credit card offers rose to a near record high this week after Citi boosted rates on multiple cards, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.

Published: December 30, 2015

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 14th, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.