Research and Statistics

Credit card Interest rates fall for first time since May


Credit card interest rates fell last week for the first time in more than two months, according to’s Weekly 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.

Credit card interest rates fell last week for the first time in more than two months, according to’s Weekly Rate Report.

They didn’t fall much, but interest rates on new credit card offers did drop, after Citi adjusted annual percentage rates (APRs) on two products. Those changes lowered the national average rate to 14.42 percent, marking a break from the recent upward APR trend: In the nine weeks since the last decline, APRs have increased six times and remained unchanged three times.

Among Citi’s moves, the Citi Forward card was changed from a fixed APR of 14.24 percent to a range of 12.99 percent to 19.99 percent. The issuer also barely adjusted the APR range on its mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students from between 12.99 percent and 20.24 percent to between 12.99 percent and 19.99 percent. However, because the national average is calculated using only the low end of any APR ranges, only the change to the Citi Forward card brought overall rates lower.

Issuers see delinquencies fall
In its recent earnings announcement, Citi said its credit card revenues in North America declined in the second quarter due to the Credit CARD Act and reduced card use, with average card loans down as a result of higher payment rates and fewer accounts. Still, it wasn’t all bad news for the bank. Citi reported that card delinquencies — or late payments — declined as cardholders apparently did a better job of repaying their loans.

Citi wasn’t the only bank that experienced fewer late payments. Wells Fargo announced that it suffered fewer losses across several areas of the business, including credit cards.”We also saw improvement in early indicators of credit quality, with improved 30 day delinquencies in many portfolios, including business direct, credit card, home equity, student lending and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage,” chief credit and risk officer Mike Loughlin said in the company’s press release.

In an effort to prevent losses, banks have kept lending standards tight, leading to higher costs for borrowers. For example, 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 $6,427 to pay off the debt. That’s $168 more than would have been required six months earlier, although the difference in cost has continued to lessen over recent weeks. (Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?)

See related: Credit card lending standards keep tightening, Fed report says, Credit card reform arrives in the form of the Credit CARD Act, Calculator: How long will it take to pay off your credit card balance?Credit card rates: interactive graphic on APR changes

What’s up next?

In Research and Statistics

Can your credit score be too high?

Responsible cardholders don’t generate a whole lot of revenue for issuing banks. But does that mean the bank has the right to refuse you plastic?

Published: July 21, 2010

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.