The average credit card interest rate is 20.77% in the UK, but rates vary by type of card and for good and bad credit scores.
We researched data from the Bank of England and our own databases to get a sense of interest rates for different types of cards, such as credit builder, low rate, balance transfer or rewards. Use this information to understand how your APR compares to the current UK market.
Average Interest Rates (APRs) of Credit Cards in the UK
According to data from the Bank of England, the average credit card interest rate in the UK was 20.77% at the end of 2019.
|UK Average Credit Card Interest Rates|
The rate has been rising over the past few years—in July 2019, the average credit card interest rate to UK households passed 20% for the first time in 20 years (since May 1999).
Average UK Credit Card Interest Rate by Type of Card
The average credit card interest rate varies not only by credit worthiness of the applicant, but also by type of card. Generally speaking, credit-builder cards have the highest APRs. Because these cards will consider applicants with limited credit history or a poor credit history, the credit card companies charge a higher rate to compensate for the additional risk. Rewards cards might also charge slightly higher interest rates.
When considering these interest rates, remember that the representative APR is defined as the rate which at least 50% of successful applicants will receive. Applicants with a weaker credit history may receive a (much) higher rate. This is especially noticeable when it comes to credit-builder cards. For example, while the representative APR for the Vanquis Classic Visa card is 39.9% (variable), some applicants may be given a rate of up to 69.9%.
Note: The balance transfer rates discussed in this article are standard rates—that is, the rate that kicks in after any 0% promotional periods have ended (either because the promotional term finished or the promotional terms were violated).
What is a Good Interest Rate (APR) on a Credit Card?
You can tell if your interest rate is "good" if you’ve received a rate close to the representative APR according to credit card type (e.g., credit builder, student, etc.). It is unlikely anyone will receive a better rate than the average representative APR for a certain type of card; but up to 49% of applicants may receive a higher rate. Therefore, if your rate is near the average APR, you've got just about the lowest rate available.
Looked at another way, you can decide if you’ve been given a good interest rate based on your credit history—depending on whether you have good credit or poor credit—as you can see below.
Is Your Credit Card Interest Rate (APR) Good?
|Average UK Credit Card Interest Rate||Average Representative APR|
Those with poor credit pay nearly 2X as much to carry a balance as those with good credit. So while an individual with a weak credit history might be given a "good" rate near the average representative APR of 35%, this "good" rate is still relatively expensive. Interest on credit cards compounds daily, adding to the cost of carrying a credit card balance.
Top tip: Pay off as much as you can each month to become debt free sooner and save money in the long run by reducing interest charges.
Finally, keep in mind that when the Bank of England raises rates, your credit card interest rate may rise as well.