• Average consumer credit card interest rate: 18.24%
  • Average small business credit card interest rate: 17.17%
  • Average retail store credit card interest rate: 25.09%

Analysis

In the approximately 18 months since our last report, the average credit card rate on mass market consumer credit cards has actually barely moved — it is now 18.24%, up from 17.99% in August of 2018.

Nevertheless, credit card rates are at all-time highs, so the relative stability is not a lot to cheer about.

Rates By Card Type

In addition to the overall market average noted above, we also track reward credit cards vs. non-reward credit cards to showcase the difference that forgoing rewards (or not) can have on the interest you’ll pay if you ever carry a balance. Our rule-of-thumb is that a rewards card will generally charge 2 percentage points more on average than a card with no rewards. Our current calculations roughly bear this out:

  • Consumer credit cards that do not offer rewards have an average interest rate of 17.20%
  • Consumer credit cards with rewards programs have an average interest rate of 19.00%


RETAIL CREDIT CARDS: We put retail store credit cards in a category of their own — they are NOT included in the overall bank credit card averages above. Retail store credit cards continue to be a terrible deal for consumers that carry balances from month to month, with a handful of cards even eclipsing the 30% rate mark.

BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS: As noted above, small business credit cards can be a better deal than consumer credit cards in terms of interest rate, but the standards for approval are often higher, meaning those without excellent credit histories could be shut out of business cards altogether.

Contact adam@proudmoney.com for any questions on card rates or general credit card industry trends.

Prior rate averages:

  • August 2018: 17.99% consumer (16.88% non-reward, 18.83% reward), 16.83% business, 24.46% retail
  • December 2017: 17.03% consumer (16.01% non-reward, 17.80% reward), 16.08% business, 23.76% retail