Here's a look at the state of credit card rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Feb. 24, 2010.
Credit CardsRates: 13.39 percent (all fixed); 13.73 percent (all variable)
The average fixed interest rate on credit cards didn't move from 13.39 percent last week, but the variable rate crept up 10 basis points to 13.73 percent as several issuers in our survey increased the margins for variable-rate cards.
On Monday, round two of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 took effect, and a host of changes in our weekly survey reflect the new restrictions under the law. Several issuers dropped their overlimit fee. Chase extended the grace period on its cards from 20 days to 21 days, and Fifth Third Bank switched from two-cycle billing to the average daily balance method for finance charge computation. RBS Citizens now uses the three-month Libor as the index for its variable-rate cards, instead of the prime rate.
The CARD Act bans double-cycle billing, requires customer consent before issuers can charge overlimit fees and restricts interest rate hikes on existing balances. It also provides more loopholes for variable rate cards and doesn't set a ceiling on interest rates.
American Express and Discover have each launched online initiatives to explain what the law means for customers. The Federal Reserve Board recently posted its own educational site on credit cards and the CARD Act.
You can find your best credit card deal -- by type -- at Bankrate's interactive tool.
See all credit card rates content.
-- Leslie McFadden
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.