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New credit card interest rates hit record high

Interest rates on new credit card offers hit a record high this week, according to a new credit card rate report.

The weekly report conducted by CreditCards.com takes an average of 100 of the nation’s most popular credit cards, including cards from several leading issuers and representing every card category, according to SanFranciscoBayAreaToday.org.

The study did not include introductory rates.

The average annual percentage rate (APR) on new credit card offers increased by 14.94 percent, SanFranciscoBayAreaToday.org. reports. A week earlier, the rate was at 14.90 percent, while six months ago the rate was at 14.74 percent.

During last year’s financial reform debate, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) offered an amendment to force credit card issuers to abide by state-based interest rate caps. The amendment failed, however, but Whitehouse pledged to continue his efforts to require companies that offer credit cards to follow the interest rate limits in effect where their customers live, according to E-Wisdom.com.

"Consumers are fed up with interest rates that are beyond reason and intended primarily for maximum profit," Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), one of the amendment’s co-sponsors, said during the debate. "Consumers are fed up with interest rates that are beyond reason and intended primarily for maximum profit. Banking services – from credit cards to checking accounts – are essential to family finances, and we have to ensure that they can remain affordable."

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