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Gas prices, food prices, and the cost of living are all on the rise. And so is your credit card’s APR.

[Friday, October 14th, 2011]

Many credit cards offer enticing introductory offers and teaser rates boasting zero percent APRs and lowered interest rates. Usually low APR rates last for the first twelve months of opening a new credit card account. But after those 12 months, many consumers may be shocked to find an excessively high APR rate.

Once the probationary period fades, consumers are now obligated to pay the highest standard APR rates in decades. This is all while banks still hold on to record-low borrowing rates.

According to most recent data from Credit-Land.com, the APR national average increased to 14.9 percent. This APR rate is the highest it has since the data began being collected in 2007.

The hike in APR rates can be attributed in part to the credit cards with the most customer appeal, such as rewards cards. “We’re seeing that the most popular credit cards are increasing their APR rates. Cards that offer APR for cash back and rewards cards are the prime culprits for APR rate increase,” a Credit-Land representative said.

For cash back cards, the APR rate has increased more than 1.5 percent in only six months. On the other hand, in the past six months, the APR rate on low-interest credit cards dropped one percentage point to 10.73 percent.

While it is true that APR rates are skyrocketing, the report omits that APRs as a whole are generally more stable than they were last year. Last year, rates were constantly teeter totting, due to frequent changes made by bankers to comply with the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

The changes that the Credit Card Act implemented cost banks nationwide approximately 12 billion dollars, but made some necessary changes and helped to regulate the credit industry. Now credit card issuers are looking to make their money back after the Credit Card Act of 2009.

In order to bounce bank from such a huge financial loss, banks have targeted the consumer to account for missing revenue streams.

So if you’re in the market for a new credit card, it’s best that you cut through the smoke and introductory offers, and actually get a credit card that gives you what you need from the day you open the card. In the long run, the perks don’t make up for the extravagant interest rates that you will have to pay in a year’s time.

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