No new action from the Fed on interest rates means not much will change for credit card customers.
Thanks to June’s interest rate cut, some consumers enjoyed lower financing charges on summer credit card bills.
About 55 percent of all credit cards are variable-rate cards and most of them are linked to The Wall Street Journal prime rate, which usually rises and falls at the same pace as the Fed’s rate changes.
Most variable-rate cards are repriced each quarter, and some variable-rate customers saw a slight dip in rates when they opened their July bills.
But many more variable-rate card customers saw no change in the interest rates they pay. The reason? They’ve already hit the floor or minimum APR allowed on their cards.
Once you’ve hit the floor on a credit card, your interest rate won’t drop any lower even when the Fed cuts rates. So any future rate cut will mean as little to you as today’s lack of action.
Be sure to check your cardholder agreement to see if your card has a floor, and whether you’ve hit it.
Best moves now:
If your card’s interest rate has hit the deck, consider transferring the balance to a card that’s offering a lower rate. The average rate on a standard variable-rate card was 13.84 percent on Aug. 6; the average rate on a standard fixed-rate card was 13.17 percent. Several major card issuers are offering cards with zero-percent introductory rates.
Compare credit cards using
Bankrate.com’s credit card search.