How can your Credit Card APR double? The current national average credit card APR is 16.75 percent, which is ridiculously high (and that’s a record high). Failing to make a payment may cause your APR to almost double that rate for months afterwards.
Missing your minimum credit card payment by more than 60 days, may make your issuer apply for a “penalty APR” that can go as high as 29.99 percent. This new APR can be charged on your current and future balances for the next six months.
After six months from the new APR, your card issuer is required to re-evaluate your rates. If you have made all those payments on time during that period then your rate should return back to normal.
You should read the card’s terms and conditions to figure out what APR your issuer charges you. However, not all cards have penalty such as Chase, Citi, and Discover credit cards. These cards have no penalty APR but remember they might be strict on other requirements. If you usually miss the payments because of forgetting the date, then you should setup automatic payment method or set calendar reminder.
In order to maintain your baseline APR, you should always make the minimum payment. But always aim to pay off your entire bill each month to avoid falling into debt.