Credit card interest rates can be as low as 0%, but only for a limited time. On the other hand, interest rates can pretty much go as high as consumers are willing to pay. That’s largely because there is no national usury law and most credit card companies operate under charters that allow them to be federally regulated.
The highest interest rate among current credit card offers is 36% (First Premier), according to WalletHub’s database of 1,000+ cards. But we’ve seen rates as high as 49.9% in the past. And if you become at least 60 days delinquent, a penalty interest rate – 26.16%, on average – will take effect. That would certainly limit the savings available from even the best low interest credit cards.
Finally, it’s also important to note that usury laws do exist at the state level. So if you are getting a credit card from a local bank, there might be an interest rate ceiling.
The highest credit card interest rate in recent memory was 79.9% on a card offered by First Premier Bank in 2010. That offer’s not available anymore. The current highest credit card interest rate is 36%. That’s on the new First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card. The next highest credit card interest rate seems to be 34.99%, charged by the … read full answerTotal VISA® Credit Card and the First Access VISA® Credit Card. These rates are very high when you consider that the average interest rate is only around 17.87%.
Legally, there actually is no highest credit card interest rate that’s possible. Credit card companies are allowed to charge any interest rate. But they must clearly state what that rate is in the card’s terms and conditions. And companies that would like to charge outrageous interest rates are limited by what people are actually willing to pay. You should always make sure you know a card’s interest rate before applying. Otherwise, it may come as a nasty surprise.
Here are the highest credit card interest rates:
Highest historical credit card interest rate: 79.9% on the old First Premier Bank Credit Card. This card is no longer available. It was for people with bad credit.
Highest current credit card interest rate: 36% on the new First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card. The card is unsecured and for bad credit. It has an annual fee of $75 - $125 1st yr, $45 - $49 after that. Plus, there’s a $25 - $95 one-time processing fee.
High current credit card interest rate: 34.99% on the Total VISA® Credit Card. The card is for bad credit. It has an annual fee of $75 1st yr, $48 after that. It has a $89 one-time processing fee.
High current credit card interest rate: 34.99% on the First Access VISA® Credit Card. This card is for bad credit. It has an annual fee of $75 1st yr, $48 after that. It has an $95 one-time processing fee.
As you can see, the highest credit card interest rates are found on cards for people with bad credit. The better your credit is, the better your chance of getting a lower interest rate. But don’t forget that no matter how high or low your interest rate is, it will never affect you unless you carry a balance between months. If you always pay off your bill in full, you’ll never pay any interest unless you take out a cash advance. So, if you don’t spend beyond your means, interest rates shouldn’t be a huge consideration when you’re picking a credit card.
But if you’re not confident about your ability to pay in full, you should prioritize low interest rates in your search. Many cards will even offer you 0% interest for a number of months to start. But you’ll usually need at least good credit to get a 0% intro APR.
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