Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prime Rate Plateaus At 8.25%, and Will Stay There for A While

Prime Rate
Prime Rate
Just about every credit card on the U.S. market is tied to the Prime Rate. The Prime is currently at 8.25%, and according to the best predictions out there, it most probably won't go any higher this year. It's a good idea to stay on top of what's happening with interest rates, especially if you plan on consolidating your credit card and other debts. Timing is everything!

For example, you may want to hold off on consolidating your debts if interest rates are on their way down. Consolidating when interest rates are low can end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long term, no doubt.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Consolidating My Debt While Avoiding Interest Charges: Zero Balance On All but Two of My Credit Cards

I recently transferred a few balances in order to consolidate my credit card debt and take advantage of some great lower interest balance transfer deals. Once again, I used a "2.99% until the transferred balance is paid in full" promotional offer that was presented to me by the folks who manage my Citibank Dividend Platinum Select® Card, simply because it was the best deal I could find at the time (Discover is still sending me offers of 0% APR on transferred balances, with the interest-free period recently extended until June 2007--which is a fantastic offer--but I'm still not sure about using Discover, and I really shouldn't be opening a new credit card account. I think I have too many as it is!)

Within a couple of weeks, I will have a zero balance on all my credit card accounts save two, which makes me happy: it means that I have far fewer accounts to monitor, thus reducing the number of did-I-forget-to-make-a-payment-on-one-of-my-credit-cards-this-month? panic attacks, I hope. These days, if you're late on a payment, or skip a payment, you not only get in trouble with the credit card account in question, but all your other creditors can raise your APR's as high as 29% (not all do, but they can); they may also nullify any promotional APR's related to any balance transfer deals you've signed up for, which for me would translate to a nightmarish escalation of debt. It's called Universal Default, and it's perfectly legal.

Stay tuned for more on my adventures with credit card balance transfers!

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Interest Rates on Non-Reward Business Credit Cards Come Down

According to the folks at, interest rates--or APR's--on non-reward business credit cards fell this week. Now may be a good time to get that business credit card you've been thinking about, as The Fed will most likely be raising interest rates right into the summer.

Here's a snippet from today's press release:

"In an escalating interest rate environment for consumers, the average credit card rate for business customers actually went down this week, according to the weekly Credit Card Monitor.

So far, 2006 has been a year of steady rate increases in the consumer credit card market. The average credit card rate for standard, non-reward credit cards increased to 13.33% this week, up from 12.60% at the beginning of 2006.

Compare this to non-reward business credit cards and you find a significant difference. This week the average non-reward business credit card rate fell to 11.30%, just a shade less than when it started the year at 11.33%. Of note this week was Citi's move to chop down the rate on its CitiBusiness card two full percentage points, to 10.49% from 12.49%. Citi also added a 12-month, zero-interest introductory offer to sweeten the deal. And they're not the first issuer to increase its aggressiveness in courting small business owners.

'For a while now card issuers have been holding rates steady for business customers,' says Justin McHenry, Research Director for 'But to see an actual decrease in the average rate during a time of consistent hikes for consumers is surprising. It tells you there's money to be made in the small business niche, and that no one is dominating that space right now.'

Credit card rates were steady in most other consumer and business credit card segments this week:

The average rate for reward credit cards offering rewards ticked up to 14.46%, from 14.44% last week and 13.80% at the beginning of 2006.

Business credit cards offering rewards did not follow the non-reward cards' movement backward, but neither did they move forward. The average rate remained at 13.42% for the third straight week, although up a bit from the 13.21% average rate at the beginning of the year.

Average credit card rates for college students remained steady (for once), at 15.87%. Nevertheless, that number has jumped mightily from the 15.18% average at the beginning of 2006.

Financial institutions represented in the survey include Advanta, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, MBNA, National City, Providian, Pulaski Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo and more.

About offers credit card research, tips, news and perhaps the most comprehensive index of credit cards available on the Internet today, with a master listing of over 800 credit cards as well as categorized lists based on interest rates, reward programs, business credit cards, student credit cards and credit cards for those with poor credit histories.

Credit Card Monitor is a weekly survey tracking average credit card rates in multiple card categories. Credit Card Monitor information provided in this release may be reproduced free of charge, provided credit is given to"

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Advanta Platinum Business Credit Card Tops Competitors As The Business Credit Card with the Best Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The latest news from the front of the business credit card wars is that The Advanta Platinum BusinessCard tops competitors as the business credit card with no annual fee that has the lowest annual percentage rate (APR): The Advanta Platinum BusinessCard currently has a fixed APR of 7.99%, and also makes its competitors green with envy by adding a 5% travel or cash back rewards program and a 0% APR on balance transfers for an extraordinary 15 months!

Right now, the average business credit card has an APR of 9.91%, and the average business credit card with rewards has an APR of 11.37%.

Click here for more information about the Advanta Platinum BusinessCard.

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