Rate Report

Average credit card interest rates: Week of July 1, 2020

The average credit card APR climbs to 16.04% after three lenders raised rates on some of their low interest cards


The average APR on new credit card offers climbed higher Wednesday after a number of lenders hiked rates on their lowest rate plain vanilla credit cards.

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The average credit card interest rate is 16.04%.

The average APR on new credit card offers climbed higher Wednesday after a number of lenders hiked rates on their lowest rate plain vanilla credit cards.

Citi, HSBC and Pentagon Federal Credit Union all raised APRs on low interest cards this week.

HSBC, for example, increased the APR on its lowest rate balance transfer credit card, the HSBC Gold Mastercard credit card, by a full percentage point. New cardholders are now offered a minimum APR of 13.99% and a maximum APR of 23.99%.

Meanwhile, Citi hiked the APR on one of its lowest rate credit cards, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, by the same amount. The best rate applicants can expect on the basic balance transfer card is now 14.74% – nearly a full percentage point higher than the average APR for balance transfer cards. Citi also increased the card’s maximum APR to 24.74%.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union also tweaked the APR on its marquee low interest credit card, which was previously one of the lowest rate cards on the market.

Credit union members who apply for the PenFed Gold Visa Card are now offered a minimum APR of 8.99% – up from a previous low of 7.49%.

See related: Pros and cons of credit union cards

Average APRs still down significantly since last year

For more than a decade, has compared the APRs of a representative sample of 100 U.S. credit cards every week, documenting those changes in a database of cards.

According to’s data, the average credit card APRs that consumers are being offered are still relatively high by historical standards. In July 2015, for example, the average card APR stood at 15% – more than a full point lower than it stands now.

In July 2010, it stood at 14.43%. And in July 2008, the average credit card advertised an APR as low as 11.47%.

However, compared to last summer, when the average card APR surged to an all-time record high of 17.8%, interest rates on brand-new cards are dramatically lower, on average, than they were this time last year.

Year over year, the average card APR is currently down by 1.72 percentage points, which is one of the largest year-over-year rate changes that has recorded since it began tracking rates in mid-2007.

The lower rates on brand-new offers are largely due to federal interest rate changes that have made it cheaper for banks to borrow. After periodically lowering rates through the last half of 2019, the Federal Reserve pushed rates to nearly rock bottom this spring by cutting its benchmark interest rate by a striking 1.5 percentage points.

Most lenders then passed those cost savings on to new credit card customers by trimming the APRs they advertise. However, some lenders, such as American Express and Wells Fargo, have recently hiked rates on select cards. Others, such as Capital One, have held off on lowering interest rates altogether.

Lenders are required to match federal rate changes on cards that are already open. However, they are free to set APRs on brand new cards as they wish. As a result, the average credit card APR hasn’t fallen nearly as sharply as federal interest rates.

See related: How to lower your credit card interest rate

Average credit card interest rates this week

Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average16.04%16.01%17.30%
Low interest12.86%12.79%14.07%
Cash back16.09%16.09%17.35%
Balance transfer13.96%13.88%15.43%
Instant approval18.65%18.65%19.56%
Bad credit24.43%24.43%25.37%
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: July 1, 2020

Historic interest rates by card type

Some credit cards charge even higher rates, on average. The type of rate you get will depend in part on the category of credit card you own. For example, even the best travel credit cards often charge higher rates than basic, low interest credit cards. has been calculating average rates for a wide variety of credit card categories, including student cards, balance transfer cards, cash back cards and more, since 2007.

How to get a low credit card interest rate

Your odds of getting approved for a card’s lowest rate will increase the more you improve your credit score. Some factors that influence your credit card APR will be out of your control, such as the length of time you’ve been handling credit.

However, even if you’re new to credit or are rebuilding your score, there are steps you can take to ensure a lower APR. For example:

  1. Pay your bills on time. The single most important factor influencing your credit score – and your ability to win a lower rate – is your track record of making on-time payments. Lenders are more likely to trust you with a competitive APR – and other positive terms, such as a big credit limit – if you have a lengthy history of paying your bills on time.
  2. Keep your balances low. Lenders also want to see that you are responsible with your credit and don’t overcharge. As a result, credit scores take into account the amount of credit you’re using, compared to how much credit you’ve been given. This is known as your credit utilization ratio. Typically, the lower your ratio, the better. For example, personal finance experts often recommend that you keep your balances well below 30% of your total credit limit.
  3. Build a lengthy and diverse credit history. Lenders also like to see that you’ve been successfully using credit for a long time and have experience with different types of credit, including revolving credit and installment loans. As a result, credit scores, such as the FICO score and VantageScore, factor in the average length of your credit history and the types of loans you’ve handled (which is known as your credit mix). To keep your credit history as long as possible, continue to use your oldest credit card so your lender doesn’t close it.
  4. Call your lender. If you’ve successfully owned a credit card for a long time, you may be able to convince your lender to lower your interest rate – especially if you have excellent credit. Reach out to your lender and ask if they’d be willing to negotiate a lower APR.
  5. Monitor your credit report. Check your credit reports regularly to make sure you’re being accurately scored.The last thing you want is for a mistake or unauthorized account to drag down your credit score. You have the right to check your credit reports from each major credit bureau (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once per year for free through

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: July 1st, 2020
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