February 28, 2008
Austin, Texas – Annual percentage rates for select major credit card categories were unchanged to lower this week, as comments from leading Federal Reserve policymakers suggested additional rate cuts can be expected when the central bank meets on March 18.
A majority of banks index their credit card APRs to the prime rate, which moves in lock step with Fed decisions. According to the Fed, 54 percent of issuers tie card interest rates to prime, with most banks adjusting variable rates 30 days or one billing cycle after a change in the prime rate.
Rates for card categories tracked by CreditCards.com are listed below:
|Credit Card Rate Averages|
|Avg. APR||Last Week||6 Month|
|For Bad Credit||13.02%||13.02%||12.80%|
Fed Chief Ben Bernanke noted that "downside risks to growth remain," adding that the central bank "will act in a timely manner as needed." Bernanke's comments followed similar remarks by Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, who acknowledged higher prices but suggested economic weakness remains a greater threat than inflation.
Seeming to emphasize that reality, the fourth-quarter gross domestic product edged higher by an unrevised 0.6 percent, reflecting a sharp economic slowdown.
The CreditCards.com credit card rate survey is conducted weekly using data from the leading U.S. card issuers. Rate movement may also have been influenced by changes in the composition of offers tracked.
Introductory offer periods and regular interest rates can vary with applicants’ credit quality and issuer risk-based pricing policies.
CreditCards.com is a leading online credit card marketplace connecting consumers with multiple credit card issuers, including nine of the ten largest in the United States, based on credit card transaction volume. Through its website, https://www.creditcards.com/, CreditCards.com enables consumers to search for, compare and apply for more than 150 credit cards and offers credit card issuers an online channel to acquire qualified applicants.
Ben Woolsey, 512-996-8663, ext. 106
Director of Marketing
NOTE TO EDITORS: The information contained in this release is available for print or broadcast with attribution to CreditCards.com.