Press Release

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The average credit card APR has shot up over the last year: Here’s what you can do


New research has revealed that the average APR of available credit cards in the UK* has soared over the past year.
The personal finance comparison site found that the average APR in May 2023 was 31.6%, compared to 35.2% now. This is a change of 3.6 percentage points.
This is much larger than the increase in the Bank of England base rate over the past year. In May 2023 it was 4.5% and it is currently at 5.25%, an increase of 0.75 percentage points.

For a household paying off the average outstanding card debt of £2,476, and making payments of £150 every month, the increase in APRs could mean it would cost an extra £97 over the 22 months it would take to get debt-free.Michelle Stevens, personal finance expert at the comparison site said:

“In this analysis, rewards cards played a large part in pushing up APRs. Used correctly, these cards (or indeed any credit card) needn’t cost you a penny in interest, however, ‘APR’ takes into account interest and any annual/monthly card fee.

“So if you always pay off your full balance each month but your card’s annual/monthly fee has been hiked, it’s a good idea to reconsider whether the card is still worth having. If the value of the rewards outweighs the card costs, then great, but if that’s no longer the case, it’s time to take your custom elsewhere… and you can probably enjoy an introductory bonus on a new rewards card in the process.

“Some good cards to consider if you don’t expect to carry a balance over from month-to-month are the Barclaycard Avios Credit Card (no annual fee, a 5,000 Avios welcome bonus and a representative APR of 29.9% variable) or the American Express Rewards Credit Card (no annual fee, a 10,000-point welcome bonus and a representative APR of 31.0% variable).

“If you do expect to carry a balance over from month-to-month (rather than clearing it and avoiding interest), then a rewards card probably isn’t worth it, and you could consider a 0% purchase card instead. For example, Barclaycard and MBNA are both running 21-month offers (representative 24.9% APR variable in both cases).”


Finder analysed Moneyfacts data from May 2023 and May 2024. Business credit cards and charge cards were excluded from the study.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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