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National credit card rates for May 19, 2011

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  • 13.36% (all fixed)
  • 14.46% (all variable)

Here's a look at the state of credit card rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted May 18, 2011.

Variable credit card interest rates averaged 14.46 percent for the third consecutive week, and fixed rates held at 13.36 percent. A majority of credit cards in the marketplace have a variable interest rate, which can rise with upticks in a related index, such as the U.S. prime rate.

Consumers have yet another reason to read the fine print before signing up for a new credit card. According to a new study from the Pew Health Group, practices banned or limited by the law known as the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which only applies to consumer credit cards, are common on business cards.

The trouble is that business cards aren't just marketed to business owners. Between January 2006 and December 2010, American households received more than 2.6 billion offers in the mail for business credit cards. Business cardholders are vulnerable to practices restricted by the CARD Act, such as an arbitrary rate increase with no right to opt out and payment allocation that maximizes interest charges. Read more on this at the blog post, "Biz credit cards exploit loophole." makes it easier to find cash-back credit cards and low-interest cards. You can search by issuer, card type or credit score.

-- Leslie McFadden




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Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.75%  0.02 15.77%
Cash Back Cards 16.45%  0.03 16.48%
Low Interest Cards 10.96% --0.00 10.96%
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