April 15, 2012 Current averages:
- Average consumer credit card rate, overall market: 16.92 percent
- Average consumer non-rewards credit card rate: 15.11 percent
- Average consumer rewards credit card rate: 17.69 percent
- Average student credit card rate: 16.98 percent
- Average business non-rewards credit card rate: 14.74 percent
- Average business rewards credit card rate: 15.40 percent
Consumer credit cardsConsumer non-rewards credit card rates were unchanged at 15.11 percent, while the average rate on consumer rewards credit cards rose by 0.03 percent, to 17.69 percent. The overall consumer category average rose slightly as a result, to 16.92 percent. The rise in consumer rewards credit card rates increased the gap between consumer rewards and non-rewards credit card rates, which is contrary to the prevailing trend so far this year. However, since the rise in consumer rewards credit card rates was so slight, it did little to reverse the changes this trend has brought overall. Currently, consumer rewards credit card rates are an average of 2.58 percent more expensive than their non-rewards counterparts. At the start of the year, this gap stood at 2.96 percent. Student credit cards The average interest rate on student credit cards was unchanged at 16.98 percent. This was the second consecutive credit card survey, spanning a month in time, for which rates in this category remained the same. Business credit cards Non-rewards rates for business credit cards held steady at 14.74 percent, while rates on business rewards credit cards dropped 13 points to 15.40 percent. With rates on business rewards credit cards moving closer to those for non-rewards cards, early April saw the continuation of a trend which has been in place for the past several months. The spread in rates between these two categories has now reached its lowest level of the year at 0.66 percent. From a cost/benefit standpoint, this makes business rewards programs relatively more attractive than they have been all year. Good credit vs. average credit Since the rise in consumer rewards credit card rates occurred at one of the lowest rate tiers, this narrowed the spread between the best rates, which are available to customers with excellent credit, and average rates. For the latest survey, this spread dropped 4 points to 4.22 percent. About the IndexCreditCards.com credit card rate monitor In total, IndexCreditCards.com surveys information from some 50 different credit cards, and includes multiple credit-rating tiers from many of those cards. Examples of offers surveyed include American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and other MasterCard and Visa branded cards. The information compiled not only demonstrates trends in credit card rates over time, but also indicates the different values credit card companies put on different target markets (consumer, business, etc.), as evidenced by the differences between rates for those markets.