Many credit card offers carry an average of 33 different numbers, each describing a different rate or fee, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending. While many of those numbers – 41 percent – currently apply only to descriptions of the APR the card normally carries, 27 percent refer to penalty fees, 24 percent to miscellaneous fees, and 8 percent to "other" fees or rates.
However, the current level of clarity is a result of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, the report said. Before that, the offers were often more confusing.
"There is evidence that consumers cannot grasp anything close to 30 dimensions simultaneously when making a decision, with previous research suggesting the number may be closer to seven," the report said.
The Credit CARD Act recently mandated that lenders offer more clarity in their offers, and also reined in the number they could send out to consumers.