This report collects information on two measures of credit card interest rates. One measure is the average nominal finance rate for all accounts. The other -- average computed interest rates -- is derived from two items: total finance charges assessed to cardholders during the period and the total of balances on which the finance charges were determined. Also, the reporting form asks for total number of accounts and total balances for all accounts.
Purpose: The data are used to better assess the current conditions of the credit card market and are included in the commercial bank component of the aggregate consumer installment credit series.
In 1994, the Quarterly Report of Interest Rates on Selected Direct Consumer Installment Loans (FR 2835) was split into two surveys to allow more useful and specific questions to be directed to issuers of credit cards. Credit cards are one of four debt instruments for which interest rate data are routinely obtained from banks. During the past few years, pricing practices in the credit card market have changed significantly, and card issuers now offer a broad spectrum of credit card plans with different interest rates.
The panel consists of a sample of 50 credit card issuing banks, consisting of the largest issuers of credit cards and a randomly drawn sample representing the remainder of the bank-card industry. Participation is voluntary.
Quarterly, for a given month (or billing cycle). The reporting months are February, May, August, and November.
Aggregate data on interest rates are published in the monthly Consumer Credit (G.19) statistical release (http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/) and in the Federal Reserve Bulletin. Individual respondent data are confidential.