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, and the highest rate I could find now is 36% on the current First Premier Credit Card. The next highest credit card interest rate seems to be 29.99%, charged by the Total Visa Credit Card and the First Access Visa. These rates are very high when you consider that the average interest rate is only around 19%.
Legally, there actually is no highest possible credit card interest rate. Credit card companies are allowed to charge any interest rate as long as they clearly state what that rate is in the card’s terms and conditions. Of course, companies that would like to charge outrageous interest rates are limited by what people are actually willing to pay. And you should always make sure you know a card’s interest rate before applying.
Don’t forget, though, that no matter how high or low your interest rate is, it will never affect you unless you carry a balance on your card between months. If you always pay off your bill in full, you’ll never be subject to any interest. So if you don’t spend beyond your means, interest rates shouldn’t be a huge consideration when you’re picking which credit card to get.
On the other hand, if you’re not confident about your ability to pay off your credit card bills in full, you should definitely prioritize low interest rates in your search. Many cards will even offer you 0% interest for a number of months to start, which is great if you need to finance a big purchase that you can’t pay off right away.