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Historical Credit Card Interest Rates

CH Interest RatesThe following represents historical data on credit card interest rates in the United States. These rates are presented as functions of credit card delinquency, national unemployment and credit card charge-offs. The margin reflects the differential above the Prime Rate.

Credit card interest rates are quite revealing, as they speak to changes in the economic environment, allow for historical comparison, and enable consumers to determine if they are getting a good deal on their credit card.  Furthermore, they can be used to unearth seasonal trends in credit card offers and therefore time applications more fortuitously.

Historical Credit Card Interest Rates

Historical Credit Card Interest Rates

Date Avg. Interest Rate of All Credit Card Accounts Avg. Assessed Interest Rate of Accounts with Finance Charges Interest Rate Margin of All Credit Card Accounts Interest Rate Margin of Accounts with Finance Charges 30+ Credit Card Delinquency Rate Unemployment Rate Charge-off Rate
Feb:91 18.28% N/A 9.23% N/A 5.29% 6.60% 4.18%
May:91 18.22% N/A 9.72% N/A 5.32% 6.90% 4.68%
Aug:91 18.25% N/A 9.75% N/A 5.41% 6.90% 4.75%
Nov:91 18.20% N/A 10.62% N/A 5.30% 7.00% 4.69%
Feb:92 18.10% N/A 11.60% N/A 5.31% 7.40% 4.91%
May:92 17.98% N/A 11.48% N/A 4.96% 7.60% 4.93%
Aug:92 17.68% N/A 11.68% N/A 5.04% 7.60% 4.32%
Nov:92 17.36% N/A 11.36% N/A 4.70% 7.40% 4.58%
Feb:93 17.23% N/A 11.23% N/A 4.63% 7.10% 4.09%
May:93 17.18% N/A 11.18% N/A 4.33% 7.10% 3.90%
Aug:93 16.59% N/A 10.59% N/A 4.14% 6.80% 3.58%
Nov:93 16.31% N/A 10.31% N/A 3.91% 6.60% 3.39%
Feb:94 16.09% N/A 10.09% N/A 3.62% 6.60% 3.29%
May:94 16.15% N/A 9.16% N/A 3.18% 6.10% 3.06%
Aug:94 16.32% N/A 8.81% N/A 3.29% 6.00% 2.92%
Nov:94 15.69% 15.77% 7.54% 7.62% 3.30% 5.60% 3.13%
Feb:95 16.10% 15.28% 7.10% 6.28% 3.48% 5.40% 2.94%
May:95 16.14% 16.26% 7.14% 7.26% 3.57% 5.60% 3.33%
Aug:95 15.92% 15.90% 7.17% 7.15% 3.90% 5.70% 3.63%
Nov:95 15.81% 15.74% 7.06% 6.99% 3.99% 5.60% 4.01%
Feb:96 15.80% 15.42% 7.55% 7.17% 4.04% 5.50% 4.21%
May:96 15.44% 15.33% 7.19% 7.08% 4.12% 5.60% 4.53%
Aug:96 15.66% 15.66% 7.41% 7.41% 4.53% 5.10% 4.45%
Nov:96 15.62% 15.52% 7.37% 7.27% 4.68% 5.40% 4.73%
Feb:97 15.88% 15.15% 7.63% 6.90% 4.67% 5.20% 4.92%
May:97 15.74% 15.72% 7.24% 7.22% 4.55% 4.90% 5.40%
Aug:97 15.80% 15.79% 7.30% 7.29% 4.77% 4.80% 5.38%
Nov:97 15.76% 15.74% 7.26% 7.24% 4.90% 4.60% 5.60%
Feb:98 15.68% 15.34% 7.18% 6.84% 4.72% 4.60% 5.26%
May:98 15.65% 15.70% 7.15% 7.20% 4.56% 4.40% 5.08%
Aug:98 15.82% 15.84% 7.32% 7.34% 4.80% 4.50% 5.24%
Nov:98 15.67% 15.73% 7.78% 7.84% 4.82% 4.40% 5.30%
Feb:99 15.39% 14.73% 7.64% 6.98% 4.61% 4.40% 5.04%
May:99 15.19% 14.94% 7.44% 7.19% 4.29% 4.20% 4.38%
Aug:99 15.07% 14.80% 7.01% 6.74% 4.64% 4.20% 4.40%
Nov:99 15.12% 14.78% 6.75% 6.41% 4.63% 4.10% 4.64%
Feb:00 15.55% 14.30% 6.82% 5.57% 4.35% 4.10% 4.62%
May:00 15.60% 14.76% 6.36% 5.52% 4.32% 4.00% 4.24%
Aug:00 15.98% 15.37% 6.48% 5.87% 4.62% 4.10% 4.29%
Nov:00 15.99% 15.26% 6.49% 5.76% 4.70% 3.90% 4.70%
Feb:01 15.63% 14.63% 7.13% 6.13% 4.75% 4.20% 4.77%
May:01 15.06% 14.65% 7.82% 7.41% 4.75% 4.30% 5.24%
Aug:01 14.59% 14.67% 7.92% 8.00% 5.09% 5.00% 5.25%
Nov:01 14.21% 13.90% 9.11% 8.80% 4.86% 5.50% 6.43%
Feb:02 13.62% 13.00% 8.87% 8.25% 4.85% 5.70% 7.85%
May:02 13.53% 13.36% 8.78% 8.61% 4.61% 5.80% 6.27%
Aug:02 13.36% 13.29% 8.61% 8.54% 4.96% 5.70% 5.94%
Nov:02 13.11% 12.78% 8.76% 8.43% 5.05% 5.90% 5.63%
Feb:03 12.26% 11.96% 8.01% 7.71% 4.57% 5.90% 5.77%
May:03 12.12% 12.89% 7.87% 8.64% 4.38% 6.10% 6.11%
Aug:03 12.47% 13.13% 8.47% 9.13% 4.29% 6.10% 5.40%
Nov:03 12.35% 12.93% 8.35% 8.93% 4.62% 5.80% 6.07%
Feb:04 12.67% 12.42% 8.67% 8.42% 4.10% 5.60% 5.38%
May:04 12.69% 12.93% 8.69% 8.93% 4.02% 5.60% 5.39%
Aug:04 13.02% 13.60% 8.59% 9.17% 4.12% 5.40% 4.67%
Nov:04 12.51% 13.92% 7.58% 8.99% 4.20% 5.40% 4.71%
Feb:05 12.21% 14.13% 6.72% 8.64% 3.62% 5.40% 4.63%
May:05 12.77% 14.81% 6.79% 8.83% 3.56% 5.10% 4.35%
Aug:05 12.48% 14.75% 6.04% 8.31% 3.95% 4.90% 4.33%
Nov:05 12.58% 14.49% 5.58% 7.49% 3.65% 5.00% 6.05%
Feb:06 13.30% 14.38% 5.80% 6.88% 3.80% 4.80% 3.13%
May:06 13.16% 14.77% 5.23% 6.84% 4.01% 4.60% 3.52%
Aug:06 13.06% 14.67% 4.81% 6.42% 4.17% 4.70% 3.87%
Nov:06 13.31% 15.09% 5.06% 6.84% 4.05% 4.50% 4.03%
Feb:07 13.41% 14.64% 5.16% 6.39% 3.96% 4.50% 3.93%
May:07 13.46% 14.47% 5.21% 6.22% 3.90% 4.40% 3.85%
Aug:07 13.59% 15.24% 5.34% 6.99% 4.45% 4.60% 4.05%
Nov:07 12.75% 14.38% 5.25% 6.88% 4.68% 4.70% 4.15%
Feb:08 12.47% 13.77% 6.47% 7.77% 4.80% 4.80% 4.70%
May:08 11.88% 13.51% 6.88% 8.51% 4.74% 5.40% 5.47%
Aug:08 11.94% 13.64% 6.94% 8.64% 4.83% 6.10% 5.62%
Nov:08 12.03% 13.36% 8.03% 9.36% 5.72% 6.80% 6.30%
Feb:09 12.97% 13.54% 9.72% 10.29% 6.61% 8.20% 7.62%
May:09 13.32% 14.43% 10.07% 11.18% 6.53% 9.40% 9.77%
Aug:09 13.71% 14.90% 10.46% 11.65% 6.51% 9.70% 10.10%
Nov:09 13.60% 14.37% 10.35% 11.12% 6.43% 9.90% 10.12%
Feb:10 14.26% 14.67% 11.01% 11.42% 5.88% 9.70% 10.16%
May:10 13.84% 14.48% 10.59% 11.23% 4.90% 9.60% 10.97%
Aug:10 13.59% 14.22% 10.34% 10.97% 4.59% 9.60% 8.55%
Nov:10 13.44% 13.67% 10.19% 10.42% 4.22% 9.80% 7.70%
Feb:11 13.43% 13.44% 10.18% 10.19% 3.89% 9.00% 6.96%
May:11 12.89% 13.06% 9.64% 9.81% 3.50% 9.00% 5.58%
Aug:11 12.28% 13.08% 9.03% 9.83% 3.47% 9.10% 5.63%
Nov:11 12.36% 12.78% 9.11% 9.53% 3.32% 8.70% 4.53%
Feb:12 12.34% 13.04% 9.09% 9.79% 3.11% 8.30% 4.29%
May:12 12.06% 12.76% 8.81% 9.51% 2.79% 8.20% 4.15%
Aug:12 11.95% 13.21% 8.70% 9.98% 2.84% 8.10% 3.74%
Nov:12 11.88% 12.81% 8.63% 9.56% 2.78% 7.80% 3.78%
Feb:13 11.93% 13.01% 8.68% 9.76% 2.67% 7.70% 3.78%
May:13 11.95% 12.76% 8.45% 9.26% 2.41% 7.60% 3.62%
Aug:13 11.88% 13.11% 8.38% 9.61% 2.47% 7.20% 3.19%
Nov:13 11.85% 12.89% 8.35% 9.39% 2.45% 7.00% 3.33%
Feb:14 11.83% 13.14% 8.58% 9.89% 2.33% 6.70% 3.32%
May:14 11.83% 12.74% 8.58% 9.49% 2.15% 6.30% 3.45%
Aug:14 11.82% 13.18% 8.57% 9.93% 2.23% 6.10% 2.89%
Nov:14 11.99% 13.68% 8.74% 10.43% 2.22% 5.80% 2.98%
Feb:15 11.98% 13.53% 8.73% 10.28% 2.13% 5.50% 3.03%
May:15 12.04% 13.49% 8.79% 10.24% 2.01% 5.50% 3.03%
Aug:15 12.10% 13.93% 8.85% 10.68% 2.18% 5.10% 2.76%
Nov:15 12.22% 13.70% 8.97% 10.45% 2.23% 5.00% 2.91%
Feb:16 12.31% 13.51% 8.81% 10.01% 2.16% 4.90% 3.16%
May:16 12.16% 13.35% 8.66% 9.85% 2.09% 4.70% 3.13%
  • The 10-year average delinquency rate is 3.72% (May 2006 to May 2016)
  • The 20-year average delinquency rate is 4.09% (May 1996 to May 2016)

(Sources: Federal Reserve, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CardHub.com)

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