The old-fashioned way to find the cheapest credit card rates was to wait until you receive credit card offers in the mail and compare the terms. Now, with the internet, it is much simpler. Either you can visit the websites of individual card companies, or you can go to a comparison site that shows the benefits of many different types of cards, including their rates.
If you are ready to find a credit card with a great rate, use the FREE credit card finder today!
Credit card comparison websites usually have a variety of search functions, allowing you to look for a card by type, interest rate, or a number of other criteria. One thing to be aware of when comparing credit card rates, though, is that some credit card rates are introductory rates that will eventually expire, causing the rate to go up. It’s always a good idea to read the fine print before committing to any credit card offer.
Features to Look for in Credit Cards
The first major feature that people tend to look for in a credit card, besides a great rate, is a reward. According to Spendonlife.com, popular types of credit card rewards include airline miles, gasoline rewards, cash rewards, and retailer rewards. The idea behind credit card rewards is that for each dollar that you spend with the card, you receive points toward whatever reward it is that your card will eventually provide you with.
Another important feature of credit cards is the fee or fees that they have. An ideal credit card would have no annual fee, no fees or a low fee for cash advances, and minimal or no fees for other various circumstances.
Another feature that is sometimes important in selecting a credit card is the spending limit.
Some people like to look for good introductory rates on a credit card. Low or zero percent introductory rates can be good if you plan to make a big purchase and intend to pay it off quickly, but if you intend to carry a balance long term you might want to look for a card with the lowest permanent rate.
How Low a Credit Card Rate Can Go
A credit card rate can be as low as zero percent, at least as an introductory rate. It is not terribly uncommon for a credit card to offer zero percent interest for six months to a year. There are also similar offers with interest rates of .99% to 10% for a fixed period.
In terms of regular rates, you’re not likely to find a credit card in the current economy with lower than a 7.99% regular interest rate. The average interest rate is closer to 15%, with a really good rate being around 10 or 11%. There have been times in the past when the credit market was more solid when the best regular rates dipped down closer to 5%.
Credit card rates are dependent on a number of factors, including the credit rating of the borrower, the fees the card charges, the limit on the card and the rewards the card offers. You need to be careful in your quest for a card with low rate that you are not sacrificing other factors that could be important to you.
How High a Credit Card Rate Can Go
The maximum interest rate for a credit card is determined by the usury laws of the state in which the credit card company is located, and the rate limits can go higher than 23%. Usury laws set the maximum interest rate a lender, including a credit card lender, can charge.
Sometimes these limits are a fixed limit and sometimes they are flexible and tied to another rate, like the Federal Reserve Discount Rate.
In order to take advantage of favorable usury laws, credit card companies are careful to operate in lender-friendly states. Some of the more popular states, meaning those with more lax usury laws, are:
- North Dakota
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
It is important to note that it does not matter where the borrower is; the interest rate limit is entirely dependent on the home state of the lender.
If your credit card rate is too high, use the FREE credit card chaser to find a better card today!
- Where can I find local credit card companies in my area?
- What is the highest credit card interest rate allowed by law?
- Usury & Interest Guide: Usury Definition, Usury Rates, and is Your Credit Card Usurious?
- Are there laws capping credit card interest rates?
- History of Credit Card Rates
- What is the best small business credit card?