credit cards

Credit card rates for Dec. 8, 2011



I'm Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with and here is your weekly look at credit card rates.

The average variable credit card rate ticked higher this week to 14.50 percent. The average fixed credit card rate remains, well, fixed, at 13.71 percent.

Variable credit card rates are at the upper end of the range seen all year as issuers are still keen to raise rates for cardholders at the riskier end of the spectrum. Cardholders with stellar credit have a much different experience as card issuers continue to compete heavily for their business with single-digit interest rates and 0 percent balance transfer offers that can last as long as 18 months.

Because lenders of all kinds, not just credit card issuers, are craving the consumer with strong credit, it bears repeating the caution about opening up new credit cards during your holiday shopping just to score same-day discounts. The discount you score today could be dwarfed by the higher interest rate you end up paying on a mortgage or car loan in 2012 if your credit score slips as a result of those new credit inquiries. Particularly if you're in the market for a mortgage or car loan next year, you'll want to tread very carefully so as not to inadvertently ding your credit score.

For more information on credit cards, and to find the best credit card for your needs, visit

I'm Greg McBride.



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