Find a Fixed-Rate Credit Card
There aren’t many left. But with interest rates headed up, it pays to look.
With interest rates likely to start rising later in 2015, now is a good time to think about how to keep the interest payments on your credit cards from creeping up, too. The vast majority of credit cards today have variable annual percentage rates, typically tied to an index.
The number of cards with fixed APRs has waned, largely because legislation that took effect in 2010 made raising fixed rates more difficult for issuers. But some small banks and credit unions still offer fixed-rate cards, so it’s worth inquiring locally.
Many such institutions limit availability of their credit cards to people who live within the region or work for certain employers. But a few credit unions serve a wider market by permitting membership if you join an associated organization or donate to a nonprofit.
Western Federal Credit Union offers a Visa card with a fixed APR as low as 8.99%. If you’re approved, you can then become a member of the credit union by making a $25 donation to the Surfrider Foundation (recently, Western paid the donation for new customers).
Purdue Federal Credit Union’s Choice Rewards Visa card has a fixed rate starting at 11.5%. It’s available if you join the Purdue Alumni Association ($50 annual membership; you don’t have to be a former student).