Two Virginia credit unions are among financial institutions offering the lowest interest rates on credit cards in the nation.
Charlottesville-based SNL Financial said Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union in Virginia Beach and Apple Federal Credit Union in Fairfax ranked sixth and 10th, respectively, among credit unions offering low rates on “platinum” credit cards.
Platinum credit cards tend to offer higher lines of credit and lower annual percentage rates than lower-tiered cards.
SNL found that Beach Municipal had an average rate of 5.24 percent, and Apple had an average rate of 5.74 percent in its latest survey.
The average rate for platinum cards offered by all financial institutions at the end of 2012 was 9.9 percent, according to SNL.
The lowest average rate among commercial banks was offered by Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank, 5.15 percent. The lowest average rate among credit unions was provided by Educational Systems Federal Credit Union in Greenbelt, Md., at 3.25 percent.
Apple Federal Credit Union also ranked seventh lowest in a separate survey on reward credit cards, with an average rate of 6.74 percent. The national average was 10.98 percent.
Rabobank, based in Roseville, Calif., topped this list among banks with an average of 5.25 percent, while Educational Systems again led credit unions with an average of 3.25 percent.
SNL said the credit cards and other revolving credit plans are seeing different growth patterns at commercial banks and credit unions.
At the end of 2010, aggregate credit card loans and other revolving credit plans stood at $36.37 billion at U.S. credit unions, accounting for 6.35 percent of total loans. By Sept. 30, 2012, that number had grown to $38.25 billion, or 6.39 percent of the total loan portfolio.
In contrast, credit card and other revolving loans stood at $710.61 billion at U.S. commercial banks at year-end 2010, accounting for 10.78 percent of total loans. By the end of the third quarter of 2012, total credit card and other revolving loans had fallen to $668.97 billion, or 9.7 percent of the industry’s total loan portfolio.
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