Average Credit Card Interest Rate Report – December 2017

  • Average consumer credit card interest rate: 17.03%
  • Average small business credit card interest rate: 16.08%
  • Average retail store credit card interest rate: 23.76%


Credit card rates remained steady since our November report; no changes to report.

However, credit card rates are at multi-year highs, due in part to rising interest rates overall and in part to active re-pricing by major credit card issuers throughout 2017. In addition, this month’s decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by a quarter point will show itself in higher credit card rates in next month’s report, so the trend will continue upwards.

Credit cards that do not offer rewards tend to offer better interest rates. Our rule-of-thumb is that a rewards card will generally charge 2 percentage points more on average than a card with no rewards. Our current calculations roughly bear this out:

  • Consumer credit cards that do not offer rewards have an average interest rate of 16.01%
  • Consumer credit cards with rewards programs have an average interest rate of 17.80%

Retail store credit cards continue to be a terrible deal for consumers that carry balances from month to month, with a handful of cards even eclipsing the 30% rate mark.

As noted above, small business credit cards can be a better deal than consumer credit cards in terms of interest rate, but the standards for approval are often higher, meaning those without excellent credit histories could be shut out of business cards altogether.

Contact for any questions on card rates or general credit card industry trends.