Average Rates for Credit Cards


Photo is from NerdWallet.com.

Photo is from NerdWallet.com.


CreditCards.com sent out the current interest rates for different types of cards this morning. Find out if your interest rates are on par with the national averages:

Credit card rate report

As of 7/17/2014
National Average
Low Interest
Balance Transfer
Cash Back
Bad Credit
Instant Approval

We’re Too Stupid for Convenience

This morning I read an article about UK-based financial institution Barclay’s bank rolling out yet another way to pay without opening your wallet and pulling out your debit, credit, or store card.

It is one third of the size of a standard credit card, with a sticky reverse side.

It will be sent without charge to customers who request it and will come in addition to their regular credit card.

The credit card provider believes that people should stick it to the back of their mobile phone handset because most adults carry their phone with them at all times. Cardholders may choose to attach it to their wallet or a key ring, instead.

Are we ready for this kind of technology? I don’t think so. Not only do I think we’re not ready, I think that financial institutions know that we’re not ready and that’s why they want us to sign up for stuff like this…. so we’ll blow our money and end up paying fees to them. That sounds kind of conspiracy theory-ish doesn’t it? Well, just because it sounds like that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.

Originally there was a limit of £10 on wave-and-go purchases. That maximum level now stands at £15 and is set to increase to £20 in June.

This is generally the kind of amount spent on debit cards, rather than credit cards, although Barclaycard is clearly encouraging customers to make more everyday purchases on a credit card.

You know what happens when you walk around with a sticker on your cell phone that lets you charge up to $15 worth of stuff at a time? You buy more crap that you don’t need. Don’t believe me? Barclays’s isn’t the only company looking into this kind of technology. Companies in Silicon Valley have been researching a “mobile wallet”idea for a while. Here are a few choice tidbits from the horse’s mouth:

They really start to salivate at the potential marketing bonanza. Companies developing these services plan on packing loyalty cards, coupon folders, and Groupon-like deal-of-the-day offers right into the digital wallet. Retailers could build comprehensive profiles of their customers, targeting them with additional discounts and come-ons at the checkout terminal or when they’re out and about, in pretty much the same way Amazon and other online retailers track shoppers as they browse the Web.

You know why they offer these deals? Because they know that not only will you make the original purchase, you’ll purchase a few more items because you got a discount. SMH They know what we don’t, that we’re too stupid to make good decisions when faced with “deals” and “convenience”.


Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.

5 Most Common Mistakes College Students Make

As students get ready to go back for the fall semester of college, I thought it would be a great time to take a moment and share some tips for saving a few dollars and getting started on the right financial foot. This is an article that I wrote for HBCU Digest.

Read the full article here.

Love my articles? Don’t forget to come out and see me as I drive cross country to spread simple financial literacy tips in a 1994 Ford Aspire.

Hoover High Event

Shay had a great time speaking at Hoover. Go Cardinals!

I had the honor of going back to my alma mater and speaking to the entire senior class about personal finance. We had groups of almost 100 kids come in for hour-long workshops. They were surprised to learn that they would not be able to credit cards after they graduate and thrilled to learn about credit unions. I had a great time working with the staff and students at Hoover and I look forward to working with them again.

Read what Vice Principle Kinlaw had to say about my visit.

Be well.

College and The CARD Act

There are two real changes that have taken place for college aged youth.

– You will not be sent any pre-screened offers if you are under 21.
– You will not be able to receive a credit card if you are under 21 unless you can a) prove that you have sufficient income to pay the money back or b) you have a co-signer over the age of 21.

What does that mean for college students? It means that no longer will many college students have access to easy credit. That means that students will really have to buckle down and look at the bigger picture. Before you go to your parents and beg them to co-sign on a credit card with you, think about the potential implications of you racking up bills that you might not be able to pay and your parents becoming frustrated by your inability to pay. If you have a card together and you can’t pay it falls to the co-payer to foot the bill.

Many college students don’t even need credit cards while in college. Credit cards are a tool that can be used in emergency situations, but they tend to have high interest rates. I’d think long and hard before turning to credit cards to pay for my college expenses. Think about this, before The CARD Act, the average American college student graduated with a little over $3,000 in credit card debt. The average APR was 14%**. Paying the minimum balance, let’s say $50 a month, it will take you 9 years to pay off the debt. Instead why not be proactive and figure out what you want to spend money on and then come up with a plan to bring in at least that much money. Each semester students should:

Write down all income that you anticipate.
Write down a spending plan for all expenses.
Keep an eye on your credit score so you’ll be able to get a good job after you graduate.
Monitor your checking accounts closely to make sure you’re not needlessly overspending.

Get out of college, not into debt.


* Undergraduates are carrying record-high credit card balances. The average (mean) balance grew to $3,173, the highest in the years the study has been conducted. Median debt grew from 2004’s $946 to $1,645. Twenty-one percent of undergraduates had balances of between $3,000 and $7,000, also up from the last study. (Source: Sallie Mae, “How Undergraduate Students Use Credit Cards,” April 2009)

** Average APR on credit card with a balance on it: 14.31 percent, as of December 31, 2009 (Source: Federal Reserve’s G.19 report on consumer credit, March 2010)