January 13, 2010
Austin, Texas — Interest rates on new credit card offers leapt to their highest level since October 2007, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, as banks acted just ahead of legislation that will restrict their ability to adjust card terms.
The national average credit card annual percentage rate is comprised of about 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 below. Introductory (teaser) rates are not included in the calculation. Among the average APRs in nine card categories, six rose and three were unchanged.
Rates for card categories tracked by CreditCards.com are listed below:
|Credit Card Rate Averages|
|Avg. APR||Last Week||6 Months ago|
The average shot higher as Target and Citi boosted APRs in advance of the Credit CARD Act's implementation next month. Target said the move was spurred by CARD Act limitations on issuers' ability to change terms when signs indicate cardholders may have trouble making payments.
Among its provisions, the law will restrict banks' ability to charge fees to cardholders. Experts say cardholders can therefore continue to expect cards with higher APRs, as banks look for additional sources of income.
The CreditCards.com credit card rate survey is conducted weekly, using offer data from the leading U.S. card issuers' Web sites. Introductory offer periods and regular interest rates will vary with applicants' credit quality and issuer risk-based pricing policies.
CreditCards.com is the leading online credit card marketplace connecting consumers with multiple credit card issuers, including several of the 10 largest in the United States, based on credit card transaction volume. CreditCards.com, https://www.creditcards.com, enables consumers to search for, compare and apply for 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.