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

Average Credit Card Interest Rate in America Today

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The average credit card interest rate in America today is 24.84% — the highest since LendingTree began tracking rates monthly in 2019.

LendingTree reviews about 220 of the most popular credit cards in the U.S. — from more than 50 issuers — to comprehensively look at the state of credit card interest rates. We publish our findings here.

The average APR offered with a new credit card today is 24.84%, up from 24.80% last month.

CategoryMinimum APRMaximum APRAveragePrevious month
Average APR for all new card offers21.41%28.28%24.84%24.80%
0% balance transfer cards18.97%28.00%23.49%23.45%
No-annual-fee cards20.90%27.76%24.33%24.31%
Rewards cards21.15%28.39%24.77%24.72%
Cash back cards21.49%28.28%24.88%24.81%
Travel rewards cards21.15%28.97%25.06%25.01%
Airline credit cards21.32%29.41%25.37%25.37%
Hotel credit cards21.73%29.43%25.58%25.58%
Low-interest credit cards13.72%21.39%17.55%17.51%
Grocery rewards cards20.92%28.51%24.71%24.64%
Gas rewards cards21.49%28.32%24.91%24.83%
Dining rewards cards20.86%28.64%24.75%24.69%
Student credit cards19.14%28.74%23.94%23.94%
Secured credit cards27.18%27.18%27.18%27.18%

Hoping to save on interest with a new credit card? See our picks for the best 0% APR credit cards with long intro periods.

With the small increase in rates in July, we have now gone 29 months — nearly two-and-a-half years — without a decrease. We have seen rates go unchanged from month to month twice already in 2024 (January and April), but they haven’t decreased since they dipped by two-hundredths of a percentage point in February 2022 — the month before the Federal Reserve began raising rates to try to combat inflation.

Most Fed observers agree that the Fed is done with that run of rate hikes that included 11 increases — seven in 2022 and four in 2023. That said, the Fed is signaling just one rate cut in 2024. Even one cut would be welcome news for credit cardholders, though it’s uncertain when that might happen. In the meantime, the pause in rate hikes doesn’t mean credit card rates won’t still rise in the near future, as evidenced by the increase in July.

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Important: Most credit card issuers don't offer one rate to everyone

Issuers offer a range of possible rates based on whether you have good or bad credit. The better your credit, the lower the rate you can typically expect. But that’s not guaranteed as issuers consider various factors when approving you for a new card account.

 Learn more about how to increase your chances of instant approval for credit cards.

If you have really good credit now, the average APR you can expect to be offered is 21.41%. If you have really crummy credit, the average APR offered is 28.28%. That’s a big difference.

The good news is that the average FICO Score of Americans in October 2023 was 717, according to FICO — down one point from April 2023. That means most Americans may be more likely to qualify for lower interest rates. For those who don’t, however, things get expensive in a hurry.

For example: Say you owe $5,000 on a card and pay $250 a month.

  • With a rate of 28.28%, you’ll pay $1,842 in interest and take 28 months to pay it off.
  • Lower the rate to 21.41% and you’ll pay just $1,239 in interest and take 25 months to pay it off.
  • That’s a savings of $603 in interest and three months in payoff time. In normal times, given that most Americans’ financial margin for error is tiny, that’s a big deal. However, these aren’t normal times, so those savings are even more important.

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The type of card makes a difference in what APR you can get

The type of card you shop for also makes a difference in what APR to expect. For example, we found that cash back cards and 0% balance transfer cards tend to have lower APRs than travel rewards cards. (That’s true even when you exclude the 0% offer.) Meanwhile, secured credit cards — which require a deposit to open and are typically held by folks new to credit or rebuilding it — have the highest APRs overall.

 Learn more about our picks for the best cash back credit cards and why we chose them.

CategoryAverage APR
All credit card accounts21.51%
Accounts assessed interest22.76%

Each quarter, the Federal Reserve releases data on cards currently in Americans’ wallets. It looks at the average interest rate for accounts assessed interest — those that weren’t paid in full at the end of the month — and across all credit card accounts.

It’s important to distinguish between average assessed interest and interest across all credit card accounts because nearly half of active credit cardholders carry a balance. The average APR for all accounts in the second quarter of 2024 is 21.51%. That’s down from the first quarter of 2024, when the average was 21.59%, and is the first quarterly decrease since the fourth quarter of 2021. That’s a very hopeful sign for consumers.

Meanwhile, the average for accounts accruing interest rose to 22.76% — a jump from 22.63% in the first quarter. That ends a streak of two consecutive quarters in which this number had decreased. However, the positive is that the average remains below, albeit just slightly, the all-time high of 22.77% set in the third quarter of 2023.

The number for accounts accruing interest is the one that matters, though. After all, a credit card interest rate is a moot point if you pay your bill every month since interest never has the chance to accrue. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for most Americans.

In recent years, we’ve seen significant movement in interest rates, largely driven by the Federal Reserve. Rates rose significantly beginning in 2015 and continued to do so until 2019. The following year, the Fed dramatically lowered interest rates in response to the economic turmoil at the beginning of the pandemic. In 2022, however, the Fed reversed course, raising rates seven times. There were another four hikes in 2023.

Before 2015, credit card rates were largely stable for several years, following the introduction of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, better known as the Credit CARD Act. The pro-consumer law, signed by former President Barack Obama, brought enormous change to the credit card space. It set limits on when issuers could raise cardholders’ rates, changed how payments must be applied to balances, restricted certain fees and much more. Those changes forced issuers to scramble to figure out how to recoup the revenues lost under the CARD Act. As a result, credit card rates became volatile for several years — one card even famously featured a 79.90% APR for a short time — as banks determined what the market could bear.

Ultimately, all the changes led to overall higher credit card interest rates but relative stability, even as the nation emerged from the Great Recession. That stability lasted until the Fed began raising rates in 2015. Those hikes helped push rates to the high levels we see today.

These are certainly unusual times. Credit card interest rates are still climbing, in part due to prior rate increases from the Federal Reserve. Even though the Fed has likely stopped raising rates — and may even lower them once in 2024 — credit card rates are likely to continue to edge higher, at least for a little while. That means it’s perhaps more important than ever that you start knocking down your credit card debt in a big way. That’s certainly easier said than done, especially with stubborn inflation taking a toll on Americans’ budgets. However, if possible, one of the best things you can do is pay down your debt to free up more cash for a rainy day fund.

You also have more power over your credit card’s APR than you realize. Two concrete steps can significantly impact your credit card’s interest rates.

Get a 0% balance transfer credit card

It may seem counterintuitive to fight credit card debt by getting another credit card, but 0% offers can be a godsend, and banks are eager to lend. Many cards offer 0% introductory periods of 12 to 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, with some even offering 18 to 21 months. If you’re knee-deep in card debt, a yearlong reprieve from interest on a transferred balance can make a huge difference. Make sure you understand all the fees, deadlines and rules associated with the card before applying. These cards were hard to come by in the early days of the pandemic. Banks weren’t eager to take on transferred balances when so many people were out of work or struggling financially. They saw it as too risky. However, banks’ appetite for these cards has returned in a big way, so there are plenty of offers to choose from when shopping around.

Ask your issuer for a lower rate

A June 2024 LendingTree survey found that 76% of cardholders who asked to lower their credit card’s APR were successful. The average reduction was 6.5 percentage points. That’s a big deal! The problem is that just 20% of cardholders asked. The best way to go about it is to find credit card offers you would qualify for at sites like LendingTree or in your snail mail, and use those to frame your negotiations. Say something like, “I love my card, but it has a 27.00% APR and I’ve just been offered a card with an 21.00% APR. Will you match it?” There’s a good chance that they’ll work with you. Just know that you’ll have to make that call and ask for it. They likely won’t come to you.

 Looking for a way to free up more resources to pay off your credit card? Try a debt consolidation loan to help pay off your other debt faster.

For new credit card offer APRs, LendingTree examined the online terms and conditions for about 220 credit cards from more than 50 issuers, including banks and credit unions. To gather the data, we noted the standard purchase APRs listed for each card on each issuer’s or retailer’s website. (Introductory or promotional rates aren’t included in our averages.)

For current credit card account APRs, we used data from the latest G.19 consumer credit report from the Federal Reserve.

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