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Uppity Credit Card Rates

By Dian Vujovich

Not that long ago the average percentage rate on credit cards wasn’t a double-digit figure. But that was before bailouts. Now they’re up and I’m afraid to speculate about where they’ll go when interest rates start to tick up. A “yikes” for those who think about the future.

For now, however, I’ll concern myself with the present.

Seems as though last week, when the Federal Reserve decided not to tinker with lending rates, some banks acted differently and raised the annual percentage rates on new credit card offers, according to Creditcards.com .

So instead of the 12 percent national average on new cards in place half a year ago, the average rate is now 12.32 percent. And that’s for folks with good credit.

Have a cloudy report and the average national rate for a new card is now 14.29 percent— six months ago was 11.79 percent. If you’re a college kid, it’s a good new bad news kind of whack: Now interest rates on student cards average 14.45 percent. Definitely high but better than it was six months ago when it averaged 14.9 percent. Guess the message to kids is charging anything comes with hefty consequences. Not a bad message if you think about it.

For clarity, according to the site: “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.”

If you’d like to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world of credit cards, check out http://www.creditcards.com. More about recent rate changes, and to see a neat comparison chart showing rates on things like business or airline cards and more, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/y9u99eo.

Then for those who would like to learn more about the Credit Card Act of 2009, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/n6xtgv .

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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