credit cards

National credit card rate averages for March 19, 2009

Here's a look at the state of interest rates on five common consumer banking products and the latest rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted March 18, 2009.

  • Mortgages
  • CDs
  • Auto Loans
  • Home Equity
  • Credit Cards

Credit Cards

Rates: 13.56 percent (standard fixed); 10.75 percent (standard variable)

Variable interest rates for credit cards sank this week but fixed rates stayed put. For all cards, the average fixed rate remained at 12.33 percent. The variable rate dropped to 10.68 percent, down 7 basis points. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Standard-fixed rates also stagnated, at 13.56 percent. Variable rates fell 5 basis points to 10.75 percent.

The average charge-off rate, or debts that banks don't expect to collect, climbed to 7.1 percent in January, up from 4.6 percent a year ago, according to Bloomberg. Analysts predict the average will rise to somewhere between 9 and 10 percent this year, for a grand total of $70 to $75 billion in losses for 2009.

You can find your best credit card deal -- by type -- at Bankrate's interactive tool.

-- Leslie McFadden



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Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.71%  0.02 15.69%
Cash Back Cards 16.41%  0.01 16.40%
Low Interest Cards 10.86% --0.00 10.86%
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