BACK

Research and Statistics

BofA rate hikes push national average credit card APR higher

Interest rates on new credit card offers rose slightly this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, as Bank of America increased rates on two of its cards. 

CreditCards.com’s weekly rate chart
 Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National average12.71%12.68%12.24%
Business9.74%9.49%16.74%
Low interest11.65%11.65%12.22%
Cash back12.08%12.08%12.06%
Balance transfer12.13%12.07%10.99%
Reward13.29%13.29%13.01%
Instant approval13.32%13.32%10.74%
Airline13.60%13.60%12.96%
Bad credit13.74%13.74%11.37%
Student14.89%14.89%14.52%
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.)
Source: CreditCards.com
Updated: 11-25-2009

The national average credit card annual percentage rate rose to 12.71 percent, up from 12.68 percent the previous week and 12.24 percent six months ago. The average is calculated from about 95 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing nine major categories of credit cards. Introductory (teaser) rates are not included in the calculation. Among the average APRs in the nine categories, two jumped higher and seven were unchanged.

This week’s increase in the average was due to Bank of America hiking the interest rates on some of its cards. It’s far from alone: Two months ago, the average stood at 12.32 percent; six months ago, it was 12.24 percent.     

With BofA and many other banks continuing to raise APRs, some experts say cardholders will remain hesitant to charge purchases, limiting the economic recovery. On Tuesday, data showed third-quarter gross domestic product growth was weaker than previously estimated, due to restrained consumer spending.  

That trend is likely to continue: A survey released Monday by the Consumer Federation of America and the Credit Union National Association showed that 43 percent of consumers plan to cut back on holiday spending this year, with nearly a quarter of poll respondents expressing concern about meeting monthly credit card payments.

Those numbers represent an improvement over last year’s holiday survey, but they still display far more consumer pessimism than the numbers seen before the economic recession began. 

“During these recessionary times, more people have been seeking to pay down debt and build up their savings,” CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said in a press release.”We certainly have seen that behavior among the nation’s 92 million credit union members. Our survey indicates the pattern is continuing into the holiday season.” 

See related: Credit card balances fall sharply again

What’s up next?

In Research and Statistics

CreditCards.com 2010 retail credit card chart

The retail credit card landscape changed quite a bit from 2009 to 2010, with retailers boosting APRs on their credit cards and reducing rewards.

Published: November 24, 2009

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: August 14th, 2019
Business
15.55%
Airline
17.50%
Cash Back
17.63%
Reward
17.50%
Student
17.69%

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 CreditCards.com 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.