NEW YORK (CNN) -- Tired of your old credit card rate? Skyrocketing fees and shrinking credit limits? In the first of our series on Financial Resolutions -- here's how you can find the best terms.
If you're fed up with your credit card, you have every right to be.
Credit card issuers, on average, have raised rates up to 15% since January, according to billshrink.com. The average American is likely have paid about $110 more in credit card interest fees since the beginning of the year, or $10 billion for Americans as a whole. The worst offenders here: Capital One (COF, Fortune 500), Citi (C, Fortune 500) and Discover (DFS, Fortune 500) according to Billshrink.com. Their cardholders were socked with an average 32% rate increase since January.
Fortunately, the end of arbitrary rate hikes is coming very soon. The House voted to enforce tougher credit card rules with the CARD Act by February 22, 2010, although not in time for the holidays when credit-card purchases skyrocket.
So, the big question is how can you find a card that best fits your needs and your wallet?
First -- try a different bank. Local community banks typically have rates that are 1-2 percentage points lower that big bank cards.
If you do decide to switch to a new card, here are some things you should ask for before signing up. You should be getting an interest rate below 10%, if you have good credit. Make sure that fees are capped and that you have a grace period of 25 days to get your payments to the right place.
We consulted with Curtis Arnold of Cardratings.com for his best picks this year. Here's the list:
-- CNN's Jen Haley contributed to this article.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.43%||4.46%|
|15 yr fixed||3.89%||3.89%|
|30 yr refi||4.43%||4.45%|
|15 yr refi||3.87%||3.88%|
Today's featured rates:
Apple Music's launch of a music publishing department is not a shift into signing songwriters directly. Instead, it'll allow the streaming service to work more closely and effectively with music publishers that represent songwriters. More
India has proposed hiking tariffs on 30 US products in order to recoup trade penalties worth $241 million. More
The net neutrality repeal officially took effect on Monday. Here's what it means and what's really at stake. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More