Research and Statistics

Interest rates rise as credit card issuers tweak offers


The industry continues to writhe and adjust as card issuers learn to cope with the Great Recession and new regulation

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 this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, as banks continued to tweak card offers amid a changed lending environment.’s Weekly Rate Report
Avg. APRLast week 6 months ago
National average14.70%14.44%12.55%
Low interest12.24%12.24%12.10%
Cash back12.57%12.53%12.36%
Balance transfer12.81%12.77%13.10%
Instant approval19.62%18.41%13.32%
Bad credit20.17%20.24%14.29%
Methodology: The national average credit card APR is comprised of 95 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: 4-7-2010

The national average interest rate on new credit card offers increased to 14.70 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. That advance followed a number of changes to card offers, including a higher annual percentage rate (APR) on one product, as banks continue to adjust to a difficult economic and regulatory environment.

Among the recent changes, the eBay MasterCard APR increased from a range of 19.99 percent to 23.99 percent, to a flat 26.99 percent, while a number of other banks either reintroduced or removed card offers. When such changes occur, the offers in the database are updated to maintain an accurate picture of the credit card marketplace.

Banks have attributed their adjustments to the tough economy and the Credit CARD Act, which restricts rate increases on existing plastic, but doesn’t limit APRs for new credit card offers.

The Federal Reserve noted those ongoing lending adjustments in minutes, released Tuesday, from its most recent meeting in March. Bank lending “was still contracting and interest rates on many bank loans had risen further in recent months,” the central bank said.

That shouldn’t surprise credit cardholders, who are paying higher borrowing costs. A typical cardholder who borrowed $5,000 on a credit card today and consistently paid $150 per month at today’s average interest rate would have to pay $6,466 to pay off the debt. That’s $285 more than would have been required six months earlier. (Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?)

See related: Credit card reform arrives in the form of the Credit CARD Act, A guide to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, What’s NOT covered by the credit card reform law, Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?

What’s up next?

In Research and Statistics

Credit card balances continue free fall in February

Americans resumed their efforts to trim card balances last month according to newly released Fed data

Published: April 7, 2010

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: May 23rd, 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.