Consumer Payment Card News

Rate Relief

The Fed has decided to keep the status quo on short-term interest rates for now. For credit card users this means continued relief from the higher APRs assessed one-year ago. With the current 5% prime rate, variable rate cards averaged 15.08% last month. However, there is still a chance overall interest rates could head higher later this year if the economy begins to show any sign of recovery. Keep in mind that if the Fed decides to raise short term interest rates, it is likely credit card issuers will switch back to variable interest rates to ride the future rate hikes. Consumers should be weighing carefully all card offers they receive in the mail or via the Internet to lock-in a good promotional rate or long-term rate, before rates head north again.

          PRIME RATE & CREDIT CARD RATES
                  Prime     Fixed   Variable
        Jul 07    8.25%    14.96%    16.69%
        Aug 07    8.25%    14.97%    16.70%
        Sep 07:   7.75%    14.98%    16.58%
        Oct 07:   7.75%    14.99%    16.39%
        Nov 07:   7.50%    15.00%    16.29%
        Dec 07:   7.25%    15.02%    16.02%
        Jan 08:   6.50%    14.97%    15.79%
        Feb 08:   6.00%    14.95%    15.64%
        Mar 08:   6.00%    14.93%    15.60%
        Apr 08:   5.25%    14.89%    15.35%
        May 08:   5.00%    14.88%    15.11%
        Jun 08:   5.00%    14.85%    15.08%
        Jul 08:   5.00%    14.78%    15.01%
        Source: CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com)

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