First-quarter rates for U.S.-issued major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) increased by 146 basis points (bps) between the first quarter 2018 (1Q/18) and 1Q/19, as the U.S. prime rate increased by 75 bps. The average credit card rate charged by the nation’s Top 100 banks hit 15.09% in 1Q/19, compared to 13.63% for 1Q/18. Over the past five quarters, the U.S. prime rate increased from 4.75% to 5.50%
U.S. Average Issued Bank Credit Card Rates
1Q/19: 15.09% (04/5/19)
U.S. Prime Rate Historical
1Q/18: 4.75% (12/14/17)
2Q/18: 5.00% (06/14/18)
4Q/18: 5.25% (09/27/18)
1Q/19: 5.50% (12/20/18)
First-quarter rates for U.S. bank issued credit cards of 15.09% set a 19 year high of compared to 2000 when rates hit 15.71% Additionally, the spread between average credit card rates in 1Q/19 is 959 bps, compared to a previous high of 974 in 2011.
Average Credit Card Rate Spreads
2011: 974 bps
2012: 806 bps
2013: 791 bps
2014: 787 bps
2015: 859 bps
2016: 860 bps
2017: 864 bps
2018: 922 bps
2019: 959 bps (04/05/19)
Complete 1Q/19 Report with Additional Analysis & Charts from 1985 to 2019 Available for $149 from CardData
Big 6 U.S. Visa/Mastercard Issuer APRs
Chase nominal credit card interest rates vary from 6.74% to 25.99%. Chase’s most common nominal annual percentage for all credit card accounts is currently 11.74% to 20.49% plus 5.50% prime rate, based on creditworthiness. Latest Chase Data.
Capital One offers three nominal U.S. credit card interest rates of 9.74%; 16.24%; and 19.74% plus a 5.50% prime rate. Capital One’s most common nominal annual percentage rates are currently 17.99%; 22.74%; and 25.24%. The higher interest rates offered reflect the sub-prime (FICO below 660) portion of Capital One’s which currently represents about a third of its total U.S. credit card portfolio. Latest Capital One Portfolio Data.
Bank of America, the nation’s third largest bank credit card issuer, offers nominal interest rates ranging from 9.99% to 19.99% plus a 5.50% prime rate. Bank of America’s most common nominal annual percentage rates currently range from 16.24% to 26.24%, based on creditworthiness. Latest BofA Portfolio Data
Citibank offers nominal interest rates ranging from 10.24% to 20.24%, plus a 5.50% prime rate. Citibank’s most common nominal annual percentage rates currently range from 16.24% to 26.24%. Latest Citibank Portfolio Data
Wells Fargo offers nominal interest rates ranging from 9.24% to 21.74% plus a 5.50% prime rate. Wells Fargo’s most common nominal annual percentage rates currently range from 16.24% to 28.24%, based on creditworthiness. Latest Wells Fargo Portfolio Data
U.S. Bank offers nominal interest rates ranging from 10.74% to 19.74% plus a 5.50% prime rate. U.S. Bank’s most common nominal annual percentage rates currently range from 16.24% to 25.74%. Latest U.S. Bank Portfolio Data
If the Feds decide to raise short-term interest rate in 2019, the current credit card annual percentage interest rates (APRs) are poised to reap the highest spread over the prime rate since 1992 and raise nominal or issued rates to near 30% for the top U.S. issuers.
The year-on-year (YOY) growth rate of consumer revolving debt (97% credit card debt) for February came in at 3.3%, compared to a revised 3.0% YOY for January, and a revised 1.3% YOY for December. On a quarterly basis revolving consumer credit grew at an annual revised rate of 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to a revised annual rate of 8.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Looking at revolving consumer credit, on annual basis, the revised growth rate for 2018 was 3.1%, compared to 5.6% for 2017; 6.8% in 2016; 5.4% for 2015; and 3.9% for 2014.
Source: JPMorgan Chase; Federal Reserve: RAM Research; CardTrak; CardData; Visa; Mastercard; American Express; Discover; CardTrak; CardFlash; Chase; Capital One; Bank of America: Citibank; Wells Fargo; US Bank