Offering up its latest quarterly report on the “Credit Card Landscape,” this time around for the second quarter of 2015, CardHub stated that rates were “fairly stable” with two exceptions: rates slipped (1.5 percent) for those consumers with excellent credit and rose (3.6 percent) for those with only fair credit from levels last year.
In the report, which also delved into bonuses and rewards programs, CardHub found that “following a 40 percent run-up [in the value of initial reward bonuses] over the past three years,” those programs experienced a correction in the latest quarter, with cash-based bonuses dropping by more than 5 percent and their point/mile counterparts falling more than 2.8 percent. Thus, said the report: “Interested consumers should therefore jump on the opportunity to apply for such a bonus while their value is still near historical highs.”
“Issuers,” CardHub noted, “seem to be focused on attracting new customers who have existing debt, while slowly steering away from people intent on incurring new debt in a recovering economy.” That is evidenced by a stable landscape for the 0 percent balance transfer period, while 0 percent purchase term periods are in fact shortening.
A few notable trends come from fees and complaints. Credit card companies, the report stated, “continue to exploit the weakness of cash-hungry consumers” by boosting cash advance fees by as much as 60 percent over the past five years. And complaints stemming from “advertising and marketing,” as well as “rewards,” have jumped in 2015, up by a respective 180 percent and 169 percent. The report singled out U.S. Bank as the main target of those complaints at more than half the tally across those categories.
Turning away from credit toward accounts (checking and savings), WalletHub’s “2015 Banking Landscape Report” stated that rates for checking and savings accounts fell 6 percent and 11.5 percent year over year in the second quarter, despite the prevailing mindset that interest rates would be on the rise.
Personal online-only savings accounts provide the market’s highest interest rates — offering 61 percent greater returns than the runner-up, personal online checking accounts.