New credit card offers are carrying the lowest interest rates consumers have seen in eight months, according to CreditCards.com’s weekly report.They’re still nothing to call home about – clocking in just shy of 15 per cent – but this is the third time rates dropped in nearly a year and is against the norm for this time of year.
Per the report: “Each year since 2008, rates have increased at least twice by the end of February. In 2010, there were four rate hikes in the first two months of the year. In 2009, there were five, and in 2008, there were four.”
So what gives?
CreditCard.com chalks up the sudden decline to Barclay’s change to its Carnival World MasterCard. The company slashed its introductory APR offer from 13.99 – 20.99 per cent to a 10.74 – 21.77 per cent range.
The report also shows rewards offerings have taken a slight tumble from 14.73 to 14.68 per cent.
By December last year, the national average for interest rates on new credit card offers hovered at record high levels of 15.1 per cent – and that was the low end of the spectrum. Consumers with poor credit scores faced APRs as high as 25 per cent.