Consumer Payment Card News

Magic Day

While some credit card pundits say card issuers will be “sluggish” with passing on the savings from this week’s surprise interest rate cut, the truth is the rate deductions are coming sooner rather than later. For some the “Magic Day” is here for the new 6.5% “Prime Rate” to take effect. According to cardtrak.com, the majority of credit cardholders with variable interest rate cards will benefit from the lower rates starting with statements that carry today as the closing date. Three of the nation’s top credit card issuers, who collectively control 58% of the market, are cutting rates at this moment. Here’s the scoop: Citibank uses the “Prime Rate” published in “The Wall Street Journal” two business days before the “Statement/Closing Date.” Chase uses the highest “Prime Rate” published in the “The Wall Street Journal” two business days before the “Closing Date” on the statement for each billing period. Bank of America uses the highest “Prime Rate” appearing in “The Wall Street Journal” on the last publication date of the calendar month that ends within that billing cycle. Also, American Express uses the “Prime Rate” published in “The Wall Street Journal” on the first day of that billing period or two days prior to the closing date of that billing period, whichever is higher. Approximately 87% of all major credit cards in the U.S. carry variable interest rates. Over the past year the average variable rate credit card has dropped from 16.59% to 15.79%.

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