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Best Rewards Credit Cards 2012

March 23, 2012 by staff 

Best Rewards Credit Cards 2012, Current averages: Average consumer credit card rate, overall market: 16.87% Average consumer non-rewards credit card rate: 15.03% Average consumer rewards credit card rate: 17.66% Average student credit card rate: 16.98% Average business non-rewards credit card rate: 14.74% Average business rewards credit card rate: 15.53% The US bank prime rate was unchanged as of mid-March, at 3.25%.

While the prime rate has stayed the same for over three years now, credit card rates have been much livelier of late. This hasn’t generally worked in favor of customers. Of eleven changes in average credit card rates across five categories so far this year, eight have been upward adjustments, while only three have been moves toward lower rates.

Two of those three downward shifts in credit card rates occurred in the first half of March. That period also defied another prevailing trend: the spread between credit card rates for excellent credit customers and those with average credit had been rising sharply in recent months, but contracted a bit in early March.

A narrowing of this credit-quality spread would suggest growing optimism about the economy on the part of credit card companies. The trick, from a customer’s standpoint, will be for that optimism to remain strong enough to affect the credit-quality spread and the availability of credit, without it translating into higher interest rates, which are often a by-product of strengthening economies.

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