Americans Across The Country Are Feeling The Pressure Of Credit Card Interest Rates

person holding a card
Via Pexels
Adé Hennis
November 10, 2023

The average retail credit card charges a record-high interest rate of 28.93 percent, according to Bankrate. This number is up from 26.72 percent last year, and 24.35 percent in 2021. But depending on the situation, consumers may be seeing even higher interest rates than these record breaking averages.

The average interest rate for store-only retail credit cards is 30.24 percent, with multiple retailers such as Academy Sports + Outdoorsand Michaels, charging an APR of 33.24 percent for their store-only cards. But can credit card issuers legally make interest rates this high?

“Credit cards can actually charge whatever they want. It’s a little-known fact,” says senior attorney Chi Chi Wu. But charging over 30 percent interest rates for credit cards isn't normal.

Ted Rossman, Bankrate’s senior industry analyst, says that “29.99% was an artificial barrier that few dared to cross. But the market has blown past that threshold given the Fed’s aggressive series of interest rate hikes over the past year and a half.”

With Black Friday coming up, consumers should be mindful of the high interest rates if they plan on shopping with their credit cards. Notably, consumers can pay their card balance in full before their closing date to avoid APR fees.

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