US credit cards rates soar to record highs

US credit cards rates soar to record highs.

The national average interest rate on new credit card offers in the US rocketed to a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, following a rate hike on Walmart’s Discover card.

The average is composed of about 100 of the most popular credit cards in the United States, including cards from dozens of leading American issuers and representing every card category listed below. Introductory or teaser credit card rates are not included in these calculations.

Among the nine credit card categories, average annual percentage rates (APRs) rose in one case, fell in three others and were unchanged in the five remaining.

Rates for card categories tracked by are listed below:

Credit Card Rate Averages
Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National Average 14.76% 14.69% 14.25%
Low Interest 11.87% 11.93% 12.11%
Cash Back 12.64% 12.70% 12.57%
Balance Transfer 12.83% 12.83% 12.75%
Business 13.05% 13.05% 12.96%
Reward 14.43% 14.29% 14.29%
Airline 14.45% 14.45% 14.43%
Student 14.49% 14.49% 13.77%
Instant Approval 15.99% 16.49% 15.99%
Bad Credit 24.64% 24.64% 19.88%
Updated: 11-3-10

The national average reached the highest level since tracking began in 2007, after the Walmart Discover card’s APR changed to 22.90 percent for all new cardholders. That card had previously featured a rate range of 13.90 percent to 22.90 percent.

While the card issuer was not available for comment, money analysts note that US lenders continue to raise APRs amid high unemployment and the Credit CARD Act’s restrictions on the re-pricing of cards based on increasing risk.

Meanwhile the new interest rate hikes only serve to increase the likelihood of unpaid credit card bills.

The credit card rate survey is conducted weekly, using offer data from the leading U.S. card issuers’ websites. Introductory offer periods and regular interest rates will vary with applicants’ credit quality and issuer risk-based pricing policies.

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Authored by: Sean McInnes

Sean excelled in English through high school, so it was only natural he should edit the school newspaper in his final year. He would write up sports results for his local newspaper. Now he writes news stories for