Average rates on new card offers remained at 15.03 percent
Wednesday for the sixth consecutive week, according to the
CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.
None of the issuers tracked by CreditCards.com altered interest
rates this week. Issuers left promotional balance transfer offers
and introductory purchase rates alone as well.
This is the 25th week this year that the national average APR
hasn't budged. Credit card issuers tinker with interest rates so
rarely these days that the national average has changed just seven
times in our weekly survey since Jan. 1.
Four of those changes were due to just one issuer. Between April
2014 and July 2014, Chase increased the APR on a number of travel
rewards cards, including the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus
card and the Disney Rewards Visa.
Most of the issuers tracked by CreditCards.com haven't changed
rates since 2013.
Credit card spending heats up
Credit card holders are ramping up their spending this summer,
according to new research from First Data Corporation, and many of
those purchases are going on their cards.
According to First Data's latest
, credit card spending jumped 6.2 percent in July, thanks in part
to increased summer travel. That's the single biggest increase in
spending on plastic since December 2013.
Credit card holders spent significantly more on hotels and other
travel-related expenses. In addition, they also spruced up their
homes with brand-new building and gardening supplies.
According to First Data, consumers often prefer to pay for
travel and big-ticket home expenses with credit, rather than cash.
As a result, credit card spending outpaced debit card spending for
the third consecutive month.
Spending on signature debit rose by just 0.4 percent in July,
after increasing by 2 percent in June. Spending on PIN debit
increased by a relatively modest 3.9 percent.
Consumers also are reaching for their plastic more often this
summer -- indicating to analysts that many cardholders are becoming
much more comfortable with using credit for everyday purchases.
For example, card transaction growth -- which measures the total
number of times consumers swiped their cards -- grew 7.5 percent in
July after increasing by 5.3 percent in June.
Consumers were less eager to use their debit cards, by contrast,
particularly compared to credit. For example, debit card usage for
signature debit declined in July after remaining flat in June.
Consumers punched in a PIN slightly more often. Transaction
growth for PIN debit -- which consumers often use for food and gas
purchases -- grew by 3.1 percent. But debit card usage overall fell
behind credit for the second consecutive month.
Card balances rise, keep pace with slow spending