Study warns of new sky-high credit interest rates

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Most of us can probably recite the speech we get at the cash register, “Do you want to open an “X” card? I can save you 25 percent.”

It’s easy to cave into the instant savings especially with the holiday shopping season right around the corner. A new study from CreditCards.com might have you thinking twice. The website found store-branded credit cards carry an all time high average interest rate of 23.43 percent. Tampa resident Meghan Steiner isn’t surprised to hear about these new statistics.

“That just seems like status quo for these companies now,” Steiner said. “It doesn’t surprise me. I don’t use store credit cards because I had them in college and once they were all paid off I said ‘no absolutely not, I’m not going through that again.’”

At the top of the CreditCards.com report, with the highest APR, is the jewelry store Zales with 28.99 percent. Staples is next on the list at 27.99 percent. Just to put it in perspective, the average credit card charges 15 percent interest. The retail cards with the lowest rates are Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Williams-Sonoma.

Yeci Paradela, a Tampa mom, says she’s not the type of customer credit card companies want.

“I pay everything off at the end of the month,” Paradela said. “If I can’t pay for it I don’t buy it. Credit card companies don’t like me.”

She might be right. The retail cards aren’t all bad though, if you pay your bill on time and even early, the discount might be worth it. For more information on the study plus a detailed list of retailers and the APRs click here.

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