The current average credit card rate for the overall market is 19.65%, a significant jump from last month’s 19.55% average, and the highest rate in the 3+ years we have tracked the market. This month’s jump is directly related to the increase in Federal interest rates, but credit card rates were steadily rising long before Federal rates began to be raised. The 19.65% average includes both bank credit cards and retail credit cards. See below for further breakdowns of rate averages by category.
Comparing current rates to the past, the average credit card rate at this time last year was 18.74%, almost a full point lower. Going back two years, the average rate in August of 2015 was 18.37%; in August of 2014 it was 17.80%. As you can see, the average credit card rate is now almost two full percentage points higher than it was three years ago.
Our monthly average rate takes into account a range of mass market cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), as well as the retail store cards that many consumers also hold. Below you’ll find current average rates broken out into several card categories:
- The average rate for bank credit cards (without cards from retailers) is 18.72%. This rate is up from 18.62% last month.
- The average rate for low interest credit cards with no rewards increased to 17.44%, up from 17.32% last month. (The average rate in this category in August of last year was 16.37%.)
- The average rate for rewards credit cards jumped to 19.73% from last month’s 19.63%. (Last year’s average rate at this time: 18.82%.)
- The average rate for department store / retail credit cards increased to 23.37%, up from 23.27% last month. The retail credit card average at this time last year was 22.77%.
- In June we began tracking average rates on business credit cards. The average interest rate on business credit cards is 17.45%, up from last month’s 17.35% calculated average.
albinamatveeva.ru computes these averages by tracking a representative pool of credit cards across all segments over time. Credit cards offered by major credit card companies as well as smaller banks are included, though more weight is given to cards issued by the larger banks that make up the vast majority of credit cards in circulation. The averages listed represent what a consumer could expect to see if applying for a new card now, not the rates of existing card accounts issued in the past.
In computing average rates, albinamatveeva.ru attempts to account for the multiple rate tiers at which consumers may be approved for many cards. For example, Chase may approve new holders of its Slate credit card at a rate anywhere from 15.99% to 24.74%.