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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

What APR Is Considered Good? APR Ranges Explained

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Your credit card’s APR (annual percentage rate) indicates how much interest your issuer will charge you when you roll a balance over from one month to the next.

Unless you’re applying for a card with a fixed interest rate, you won’t know what your APR will be until after you’re approved, as the issuer evaluates your credit history and profile.

In general, a good credit score may improve your odds of being approved for a lower APR, but that’s not always the case. Plus, the type of card you’re applying for will also affect your APR. If you’re applying for a luxury rewards card or a card designed to help you rebuild credit, for example, those tend to come with higher interest rates.

“It’s not unusual for cards aimed at folks with very good to excellent credit to still have high APRs,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. “For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®s purchase APR is 17.74% - 24.74% variable , and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card‘s purchase APR is 17.24%-26.24% variable.”

For some financial products, such as mortgages and loans, there’s a difference between your APR and your interest rate. But when it comes to credit cards, your APR and your interest rate are the same thing.

| Disclosures
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
on Chase's secure site
N/A
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$550
5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals
  • New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
17.24%-26.24% Variable
$450
Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
640 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

What is a good credit card APR?

Many credit cards are advertised as having an APR range, and you won’t know your rate until you’re approved. Note that when discussing credit card APR, the rate that’s typically referenced is the regular purchase APR — the rate that applies to purchases on the card.

You may also read about a card’s balance transfer APR, which is the rate that applies when moving debt from one card to another. If you take out a cash advance with your card, that will be subject to a higher cash advance APR. Finally, if you pay late, your issuer can raise your rate immediately to a penalty APR.

A recent analysis by LendingTree found that the average APR among all current credit card accounts is 14.52%, and for cards accruing interest it’s 15.78%. For new credit card offers, the average APR is 19.30%.

Because your APR is influenced by your credit profile, it’s smart to check your credit score before applying for a new card. For applicants with really good credit, the average APR offered on a new card is 15.69%. But for applicants with much worse credit, it’s 22.90%, according to LendingTree statistics.

“The last thing you want to do is apply for a card thinking that you’ll get a 15% APR and end up with a 24% APR because your credit wasn’t good enough,” Schulz said. “That can be a really unpleasant surprise.”

How to evaluate credit card APRs

When considering a new card, it’s important to shop around and compare rates, Schulz said.

“There really are differences among cards and among issuers,” he said. “Watch for offers in your snail mail. Consider making a call to your current credit card issuer. Do your homework before you apply.”

If you’re looking at a card on an issuer’s website, look for the “terms and conditions” section. That’s where you should be able to find the card’s APR details.

Notably, store cards and cards for people with bad credit are two types of credit cards that are likely to have very high APRs.

Below, we’ll examine how to evaluate a card’s APR in a couple different scenarios.

If you pay your card off in full

Most credit cards offer a grace period, which is the time between when your billing cycle ends and when your bill is due, and by paying your balance off in full before the grace period ends you can avoid incurring interest charges. In this situation, a credit card that offers cash back, points or miles is the way to go, because any rewards you earn won’t be negated by interest charges you’ll accrue if you revolve a balance.

However, since rewards cards typically have higher APRs than non-rewards cards, it’s crucial that you stick to a budget that allows you to regularly pay your card off in full.

Through a review of cards available on LendingTree, as well as from top issuers, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best rewards cards around and their APRs:

    • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a regular purchase APR of 15.49%-25.49% Variable. Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express please click here.

    • The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a regular purchase APR of 15.74% - 24.49% Variable . 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers a regular purchase APR of 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable). Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
    • The Discover it® Cash Back comes with a regular purchase APR of 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

| Disclosures
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
0% on purchases for 12 months
15.49%-25.49% Variable
$95
6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year
  • Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a fixed monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 15.49% to 25.49%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
on Chase's secure site
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
15.74% - 24.49% Variable
$0
5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.74% - 24.49%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom FlexSM card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
on Citibank's secure site
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back
on Discover's secure site
0% Intro APR for 15 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
$0
5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • NEW Intro APR: Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 13.49% to 24.49% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
720 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

If you need to carry a balance

When carrying a balance, you’ll either want a card with an introductory 0% APR period or a card with a low ongoing APR, depending on how quickly you’ll be able to pay down the debt.

Intro APR periods typically last from 12 to 18 months, so if you can pay off the balance in full within that time frame, a card with an intro 0% APR can allow you to avoid paying interest at all.

But if you need more time to pay off your credit card debt, you’ll end up incurring interest charges — and in that situation, a card with a low ongoing APR may be the best way to pay as little in interest charges as possible. Cards from credit unions often have lower APRs than cards from banks, because there’s a cap on how high interest rates can go on cards from federally chartered credit unions.

“They can’t go higher than 18%, which is a really big deal,” Schulz said. “There is no rule limiting what rates banks can charge on a credit card, so rates can vary really widely.”

Many credit unions have membership requirements based on where you live or work. However, some make it possible for anyone to join — such as Lake Michigan Credit Union and Digital Federal Credit Union, both of which offer low interest credit cards.

Through a review of cards available on LendingTree, as well as from top issuers, we’ve compiled some of the best cards with intro 0% APR periods and low ongoing APRs.

For intro 0% APR offers on purchases

  • The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers an intro APR of 0% for 12 months on Purchases. After, a 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable) APR applies.
  • The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers a 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening. A Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period.
  • The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers a 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases. After, a 15.99% - 25.99% (Variable) APR applies.

| Disclosures
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
on Citibank's secure site
0% for 12 months on Purchases
15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
N/A
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment®, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24% - 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

| Disclosures
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
on U.S. Bank's secure site
0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases
15.99% - 25.99% (Variable)
$0
None
  • Limited Time Offer!
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.99%-25.99%.
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.
  • Choose a payment due date that fits your schedule
  • No Annual Fee
  • Pay over time by splitting eligible purchases of $100+ into equal monthly payments with U.S. Bank ExtendPay™ Plan.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

For low ongoing APRs

  • The DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card has a regular purchase APR of 9.25% to 18.00% variable.
  • The Lake Michigan Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum comes with a regular purchase APR starting at 7% - 18% (variable).
  • The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card has a regular purchase APR of 7.65% - 24.65% variable.

Qualifying for a good credit card APR

Though your credit card APR is up to the card issuer, and is in many ways outside your control, following best practices to improve your credit score can help you qualify for a lower rate.

Ways to build a good credit score include:
  • Lowering your credit utilization. Experts in the personal finance world recommend using no more than 30% of your credit limit. For example, on a credit card with a $500 limit, spend no more than $150. Utilization accounts for 30% of your credit score, so if your credit cards are currently maxed out, paying them down can improve your score.
  • Avoiding frequent credit applications. New credit accounts for 10% of your credit score, and length of credit history makes up 15%. Apply for credit cards and loans only as needed, as frequent applications can make you look like a risk to lenders.
  • Keeping old accounts open. As mentioned above, length of credit history makes up 15% of your score. This means that even if you’re not using your oldest cards regularly, it can be worth keeping them open and putting a small charge on them once in a while.

The key point people should understand is that building credit is a marathon rather than a sprint, Schulz emphasized.

“Pay your bills on time every time, keep your balances low and don’t apply for too much credit too often and you’ll be fine,” he said.

You can also try calling your credit card issuer and negotiating for a lower APR. A study by LendingTree found that 81% of those who asked for a lower rate were successful, but only one in five cardholders made the attempt.

To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express please click here.

The information related to the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card, the DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card, the Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum, and the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards prior to publication. Terms apply.