credit cards

Credit card rates for Sept. 15, 2011



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

After holding steady for months on end, variable credit card rates have notched higher in 3 of the past 4 weeks. The average variable credit card rate is at a 9-month high of 14.55 percent, up from 14.46 percent last week and 14.39 percent one month ago.

Even though the prime rate has held steady, card issuers are increasing rates by bumping up the margins they tack on to the prime rate or other index they use. This is particularly the case for cardholders that don't qualify for the very best rate. A relatively benign difference in credit score could mean a pronounced difference of several percentage points in interest rate.

But cardholders can take matters into their own hands. First, maximize your credit score by paying down debt and getting incorrect information removed from your credit report. Then shop around to get the best rate you can. Consumers with strong credit can find interest rates in the single digits and balance transfer offers of zero percent for 12 months or more.

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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