While APR is explained here, trying to compare APR rates between credit cards can be slightly tricky.
What you need to be aware of is how the rate of APR you can expect to pay compares to other credit cards. The first thing to watch for is whether headline rates are introductory offers or the LONG TERM STANDARD RATE. Also, be sure that the figure quoted is the annual rate if the rate isn’t stated as APR.
APR is always an annual figure while monthly figures can be quoted but without the APR abbreviation on the end. EXAMPLE: 1.4% APR only the second 1.4% APR Figure assures you it is an annual figure, for the first figure you must check the amount of time it applies to, normally its either annual or monthly.
This may be tucked away in small print.
Once you have established you are comparing annual figures you need to know if you are comparing typical figures or not. While credit cards advertise headline rates in actual fact they will have a spread of rates that will be offered depending on your personal circumstances and credit history.
For example, they may have a spread of 11.4% APR to 18.9% APR. Within this spread will be a rate that is the most usual interest rate offered to their customers, this is the TYPICAL RATE.
The Cardmember service website can be found at the myaccountaccess portal.
For the example shown the rate typical rate may actually be a more likely 14.9%.
So one headline may say: RATE’S FROM 11.4% APR
This doesn’t really tell you the rate you can EXPECT to pay you to need a headline that says:
TYPICAL RATE 14.9% APR
The typical statement tells you that this is the rate most often offered.
So the two above headline statements actually offer you the same rate in the most likely circumstances.
Another thing to watch for is whether a headline APR figure is based on an introductory offer.
It is often the case that a card may offer low interest for purchases in the first 6 months and then in brackets have a TYPICAL RATE 14.9% APR figure.
This is actually not the long-term rate as it has included the low interest of the introductory offer.
You need to find the LONG TERM TYPICAL APR RATE.
As a rule of thumb to more accurately compare rates between different credit card brands look for the LONG TERM APR TYPICAL RATE figure.