Bankcard charge-offs rates are still riding near their lowest levels ever, but the wind is shifting slightly for private-label retail credit cards.

The average charge-off rate on U.S. consumer bankcards stood at its lowest level in more than four years at the end of 2011, according to data Fitch Ratings Inc. released last week.

The bankcard charge-off rate on outstanding receivables at the end of December was 5.33%, down 31 basis points from 5.64% at the end of November.

Bankcard charge-offs hit an all-time high of 11.37% in February 2010 following the recession, according to Fitch data.

The average delinquency rate on bankcard accounts at least 30 days past due at the end of December declined 10 basis points to 3.1% from 3.2% at the end of November. The delinquency rate on accounts at least 60 days past due fell 4 basis points to 2.26% from 2.3% a month earlier.

The average charge-off rate on private-label retail credit cards at the end of December rose 6 basis points to 8.42% from 8.36% at the end of November.

Delinquency rates on private-label cards at least 30 days past due fell 30 basis points, to 4.82% compared with 5.12% a month earlier. Delinquency rates on private-label cards at least 60 days past due also fell 30 basis points, to 3.28% from 3.58%.

Despite the slight uptick in private-label credit card charge-offs, Fitch said in a press release that the latest trends spell continuing “positive momentum” for credit card issuers’ average portfolio performance through the first part of 2012.

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