Is Your Credit Card Rate Higher Than Average? Switch!

Here are the national averages for credit card interest rates, according to Bankrate. How does yours compare?

TYPE…..FIXED……VARIABLE
Standard…..13.42%…..14.27%
Gold…..11.73%…..13.00%
Platinum…..10.32%……13.58%

If you’re paying more, consider asking your credit card company to lower your rate. Seriously, it works (see exhibit a, . Or you can try and shop around for a lower rate and then initiate a balance transfer from the old credit card to the new. The best thing to do, of course, is not to carry a balance, but if you are, why pay more than you have to?

(Photo: dentranch)

Comments

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  1. iamme99 says:

    I pay off my credit card bills each month. If you incur CC interest, you need to reevaluate your financial planning!

  2. AD8BC says:

    Same here. The only money my card makes off of me is an annual fee (I pay for a mileage card) and whatever they make from the merchants. I have never carried a balance (OK once, when I accidentally paid $1.00 less than I owed on it).

    Since I do a lot of business travel, it helps me earn lots of miles, which I actually use.

  3. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    Holy crap – Platinum cards are at 10.32%?

    I signed up years ago for the Motley Fool Visa, with a fixed 7.9% rate. Even though Bank of Satan^H^H^H^H^H America eventually acquired it, that’s still my rate.

    The best part is that I periodically use that rate as leverage to get lower rates on my other cards – my platinum card, which I guess would be around 10-11% based on this article, is currently at 0% for the next nine months, and is the only card currently carrying a balance.

  4. protest says:

    i called citibank recently to lower my 15% rate (i have A+ credit and never carry a balance), and they flat out told me no, that 15% was the lowest rate i could get on any of their cards. i want to switch but don’t want to give up the 2 year history i have on this card. advice?

  5. shan6 says:

    @protest: you dont have to get rid of it to switch the card you USE.

  6. James Sumners says:

    @protest: Just pay it off and never use it again. Don’t cancel it. That can hurt your credit score by lowering your amount of available credit.

    Citi told me the same thing when I called them to get a lower rate on one of my cards. Actually, they said that they don’t re-negotiate terms.

  7. quail says:

    I’ll ditto the CitiBank card’s problem of not lowering one’s rate. I called too to get mine lowered. (Used it this month after paying it off years ago.) I was shocked at how high they had my interest rate. But even though I get 9% with another card they would not lower me. Guess they don’t want my favorite merchant’s transaction fees. It’s getting paid off this month and never used again.

  8. freshyill says:

    Bullshit. They won’t lower it unless you have good credit and very little debt (with them or anyone else). At that point they want you to use it more, and they know you can get a better deal elsewhere. As long as you owe a bunch, it’s not at all in their interest to lower it, so they won’t.

    Back when I owed a couple thousand dollars and had crummy credit, I’d call every month, and it would never do me any good. I played it smart and paid it off with a personal loan (at 12.99%) through my credit union and old fashioned dedication. A few months after I had everything paid off, I realized I had few couple cards with crazy high interest, and called and got them lowered, no problem.

    MBNA (who refused to play ball and got paid off with that loan) lowered me from 29%+ to 11% variable (I think).

    American Express lowered me to 11.24% fixed (I think).

    Then I decided to say “screw you” to both of them and got 9% (on cash advances too!) and a $15,000 limit from my credit union.

    You only give people false hope to think they’ll lower a high rate when they owe a lot.

  9. Bryan Price says:

    Pay off the plastic in full every month, and you don’t have to worry about what the percentage is.

  10. kc-guy says:

    @jsumners and @protest: Before filing the card away, never to be used again, you might want to see if the CC company has a policy regarding dormant accounts. A number of merchant cards I had were “inactivated” after a period of disuse.

    Ironically, I learned this when I called to close my account, only to find out that it had already been done for me….without prior notice. Yet another reason to pull out the magnifying glass and reread the card agreements.

  11. kc-guy says:

    @freshyill: Who’s your credit union, and who do I have to sleep with to join?

    One more unhappy antecdote: the first credit card I was accepted for was a TJ Max/Marshalls branded CapOne card. A few years later, TJX broke off the deal, and I was asked if I wanted to switch over to a “No Hassle Rewards Card.”

    I accepted after being assured that my credit wouldn’t take a hard hit when I got the new card, and the low credit limit ($800) and insanely high (17%) interest rate would change after CapOne had a chance to review the accounts. I didn’t mind the initial terms because it was my first card, and I paid the balance in full. I also understand that co-branded cards will always have a higher rate…it’s part of the game.

    When CapOne refused to play ball after a few months, I filed the card away until a 13 month zero-percent balance transfer option showed up.