Interest Charges on Credit Cards

According to a survey released at the end of May 2008, the median amount of credit card debt carried by Americans is $6,600. The average interest rate on a standard card is about 13%. Making the minimum payment each month, it would take 250 months (almost 21 years) to pay off the debt and cost $4,868 in interest. If a 20-year-old was able to instead find a card with only a 7% interest rate, he or she could instead be completely out of debt in less than 10 years. If he/she then chose to invest the savings until retirement, this could be worth nearly $500,000. Explore the links below to see how you could save on credit cards.

  1. is another good index of credit cards by type. Start your search here. Newsweek magazine called this “As comprehensive a list as you'll find all the credit card offers on the table now.”
  2. Credit card terms can be complicated. This great publication from the Federal Reserve breaks things down and makes them very understandable.