(NBC News) There are currently more credit card accounts in the United States than there are people, with the average American carrying 2.6 cards.
Now the cost of carrying those cards is going back up.
"Right now the national average credit card rate is about 17-percent," says CreditCards.com analyst Ted Rossman. "That's up from about 16-percent from a year ago and about 15-percent from two years ago."
Rossman says the Federal Reserve has been raising rates for a few years now, and credit card companies are just catching up.
"It's happening for a good reason because the economy's doing better," he explains. "But, still that's cold comfort to somebody who's paying 17-percent on a credit card."
He says rising interest rates make it more important than ever to pay credit card bills on time, especially the ones with generous reward programs.
In addition, avoid cash advances, and if you do a balance transfer, find a card that doesn't charge fees, which are also rising with interest rates.
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