This week the average introductory credit card annual percentage rate (APR) in the United States rose to a 15.29%, the highest level ever measured in the “Weekly Credit Card Rate Report” from CreditCards.com. The firm credits the record high to the ongoing response to the recent benchmark interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
“Citi bumped the APRs on its card offers by 0.25% — the same amount the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate by — causing the national average APR to rise to an all-time high,” said the company in a statement.
Six months ago, the weekly report put the average introductory APR in the United States at 15.18%. But the Fed pushed the interest rate by 25 basis points, from 0.25% to 0.5% at its December 14 meeting, and card-issuing companies, including American Express, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo, followed suit by increasing their APR offerings on new cards.
According to CreditCards.com, 38 of the 100 cards tracked in its index have now matched the 0.25% hike from the Federal Reserve. The data is based upon the standard introductory rates offered by the issuing firms.
The company notes in its survey that “introductory offer periods and regular interest rates will vary with applicants’ credit quality and issuer risk-based pricing policies.”