Consumer Payment Card News

Fixed Rates

Credit card rates have been declining all year in tandem with short-term interest rate cuts by the Fed. As a result fixed rates are returning, as 39% of offers received by U.S. households in October promoted fixed APRs compared to just 29% during the third quarter. Historically, credit card issuers migrate to variable rates when general interest rates are rising and to fixed interest rate when general interest rates are declining. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor” the average Single/Go-to APR based on credit card solicitations during November was 12.51%, down from 12.94% during the summer. The tracking service notes that Discover introduced an 8.99% fixed rate offer in October while Chase and Bank of America mailings continued to promote fixed rates as low as 7.99%. The lowest fixed rate offers captured by “Mail Monitor” in October were from First National Bank of Omaha (5.99%) and RBS Citizens Bank (6.99%). According to CardTrak, offered rates for average credit scores for Bank of America dropped from 16.49% one-year ago to 14.99% for December; for Chase general offered rates dropped from 14.24% to 13.49%; while Citibank’s offered rates for average credit dropped from 16.24% to 14.74%.

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