Apr 22, 2019

The Fed stopped raising rates, but credit card companies haven't

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
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Data: Reproduced from a Magnify Money chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Fed hasn't raised interest rates this year and isn't expected to do so any time soon, but interest rates on credit cards are still increasing.

Why it matters: U.S. card holders are expected to pay $122 billion in interest charges in 2019. That's 12% more than what they paid in 2017 and 50% more than what they paid as recently as 2014.

By the numbers:

  • Credit card interest rates tend to move in concert with U.S. overnight interest rates, controlled by the Fed.
  • LendingTree's Magnify Money website found that between December 2015 and December 2018, the Fed had increased rates by 2%, while credit card interest rates had increased by 2.16%.
  • The average credit card assessed interest rate is now 16.91%. It was 13.14% in the first quarter of 2014.

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