Average rates on new credit card offers stayed put this week,
according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained at 15
percent Wednesday after
falling the previous week
from 15.02 percent.
Most issuers left credit card terms alone this week. Chase
floated a slightly higher APR on the Marriott Rewards Visa
Signature card. However, the rate change didn't affect the national
average because the hotel card's lower rate is still being offered
to some applicants.
Credit card issuers frequently test new offers by presenting
different terms online. For example, some computer users who visit
Chase's website and click on the Marriott Rewards Visa Signature
card are now offered a slightly higher APR of 15.99 percent. Others
who pull up the same application are being offered an APR of 15.24
This is the first time in nearly a year Chase has experimented
with new terms for Marriot's hotel rewards card. The last time
Chase increased the APR on the Marriott Rewards Visa Signature card
was in June 2013. At that time, Chase increased the APR from 14.24
percent to 15.24 percent.
Economy, weather improve together
The research firm looked at several leading economic indicators,
including consumer confidence, employment and lending activity, and
concluded economic growth is once again beginning to accelerate
after slowing down earlier this year.
"The economy is rebounding from widespread inclement weather and
the strengthening in the labor market is beginning to have a
positive impact on growth," said The Conference Board's Ken
Goldstein in an April 21
Economists had previously suspected an unusually cold winter
across much of the nation had temporarily depressed economic
Retailers saw less foot traffic during the early winter because
of harsh weather conditions. And employers hired significantly
fewer workers than expected. Economists widely blamed the wintery
weather for the temporary setbacks.
Now that the weather has markedly improved, the economy is
improving at a much faster pace as well. Retail sales, for example,
jumped sharply in March, according to the Commerce Department.
The job market has also picked up momentum. The Labor Department
reported earlier this month employers created 192,000 new jobs in
March and 197,000 new jobs in February, revised upward from
A second report, released last week by the Federal Reserve,
showed similar improvements. The Fed's April 16 "beige book"
summary of economic conditions
reported consumer spending has picked up considerably in most areas
of the country after weakening earlier this year. Lenders also
reported stronger demand for new loans. Business lending, in
particular, increased throughout most of the U.S., indicating that
many businesses are getting ready to expand. However, mortgage
lending was considerably weaker and even declined in some
Another report, released April 23, shows that employers are feeling
pretty good about their economic prospects, which could help fuel a
stronger job market. A
survey of 3,500 business leaders by J.P Morgan
found that a large number of employers expect sales to increase
considerably over the next year, and are optimistic about the
overall direction of the economy. Employers were especially
optimistic about their local economies, according to Chase, and
more than half said they planned to increase their borrowing in
order to expand their businesses.
Despite the brightened outlook, however, just 29 percent of the
small businesses surveyed said they planned to hire more workers.
Fifty-three percent of midsized companies said the same.
See last week's survey:
Rate survey: Portfolio shift brings down average