Credit Card Facts & Statistics

Credit cards are very popular among consumers. Credit card statistics are popular, too. For example, it is possible to find different — but accurate — answers to the question, “What is the average credit card debt?”

This page contains student loan statistics gathered by the MoneyGeek.com editors. We will update the statistics here as we receive new and updated data. If you have credit card statistics you want to share, or if you have a question, comment or concern about what you see or don’t see here, please send us an e-mail message.

Credit Card Use: Number of Cards, Satisfaction & Spending

Ownership & Circulation

There are 359.64 million credit card accounts as of Q1 2015, up from 344.53 million in Q1 2014. New account originations increased to 14.41 million in Q4 2014, up 7.1% from 13.46 million in Q4 2013.

Millennials (age 18-32) are the largest group to use prepaid cards, with nearly half saying they use these types of cards.

Twenty-nine percent of Americans do not own a credit card, which is up from 22% in 2008.

Americans have an average of 2.6 cards, including those who say they have no credit cards. For credit card owners, the average is 3.7 cards.

Satisfaction

The research group J.D. Power reports Discover users are the most satisfied credit card users. GE Capital Retail Bank/Synchrony Bank users are the least satisfied.

Credit Card Issuer

Rating (1,000-point scale)

  • Discover

    828

  • American Express

    820

  • Chase

    792

  • Capital One

    790

  • Industry Average

    790

  • Barclaycard

    788

  • Wells Fargo

    779

  • Bank of America

    777

  • U.S. Bank

    776

  • Citi

    765

  • GE Capital Retail Bank/Synchrony Bank

    743

  • Source: J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Credit card Satisfaction Study

Payment

The estimated number of noncash payments, excluding wire transfers, was 122.8 billion in 2012, with a value of $79.0 trillion. The fastest growing type of non-cash payment is debit cards followed by credit cards. There were 26.2 billion credit card payments in 2012. Payment by check is roughly half the number of 2003.

The average value of card payments (including credit, debit, and prepaid) decreased from $66 in 2003 to $55 in 2012.

Mobile Use

Eighty-seven percent of the U.S. adult population has a mobile phone. Of mobile phone uses, 71% are internet-enables smartphones. Sixty-nine percent of smartphone users password-protect their devices.

Half of U.S. consumers do not have a banking app for their mobile devices. The heaviest users of mobile banking apps have some college education, or obtained a 2- or 4-year degree.

Spending

The Federal Reserve reported in a 2014 survey that 57% of respondents pay off their credit card balances in full each month.

Online Spending

The total value of general-purpose card-not-present payments reported by the networks was $1.4 trillion in 2012.

FICO & Credit Score

As of April 2015, the average FICO score was 695.

As of 2015, the average VantageScore credit score was 669, up three points from 2014.

FICO & Credit Score

Chase is the largest U.S. credit card issuer by outstanding balance.

Bank

Outstanding Balance (billions)

  • Chase

    $130.2

  • Bank of America

    $99.8

  • American Express

    $98.3

  • Capital One

    $82.0

  • Citi

    $81.8

  • Discover

    $57.9

  • Wells Fargo

    $35.4

  • U.S. Bank

    $34.1

  • Barclays

    $23.0

  • USAA

    $18.5

  • Source: The Nilson Report 2016

Credit Card Types

Rewards vs. Non-rewards Cards

Finding the types of card in circulation is difficult because not all card issuers report this information. Here is the best available public information:

Percent of Consumers With this Type of Card 2010 2011 2012
Credit cards 68.5 69.5 71.6
Rewards 51.9 50.8 55.3
Nonrewards 41.3 41.0 41.9
Contactless 9.2 9.3 10.1
General purpose 65.3 68.0 70.8
Visa, MasterCard, Discover na 67.6 70.2
American Express na 10.7 11.8
Rewards 47.3 47.8 52.6
Nonrewards 31.1 31.8 32.0
Company or store branded na 44.3 45.4
Rewards 23.6 19.8 22.0
Nonrewards 23.9 22.9 24.0
Source: Boston Federal Reserve

Student Credit Cards

In 2015, students report spending an average amount of $1,410 on credit cards annually.

Prepaid

A Mercator Advisory Group study found that 56% of U.S. adults bought prepaid cards in year preceding the 2014 survey, up from 53% in 2013 and 47% in 2012.

Approximately $65 billion was loaded onto prepaid cards in 2012, more than double the amount loaded in 2009.

Business Credit Cards

As on December 2015, 31% of business owners report using credit cards to meet capital needs. That is down from 36% in 2014.

Credit Cards, Debt and Bankruptcy

Debt Statistics

According to TransUnion, the average credit card balance per borrower declined from $5,168 in Q1 2014 to $5,142 in Q1 2015.

Experian reports the average balance on bank cards for 2015 was $4,404.

Americans, including those who do not own a credit card, carry an average of $2,426 in credit card debt, more than $500 less than what they said in 2008.

The credit card delinquency rate (the ratio of borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on their general purpose credit cards) was 1.37% in Q1 2015.

90+ Day Credit Card Delinquency Rates for Various Age Groups

Age Range Q1 2014 Q1 2015 Pct. Change
Under 30 1.92% 2.03% 6.0%
30-39 1.93% 1.94% 0.6%
40-49 1.78% 1.73% (2.7%)
50-59 1.26% 1.20% (4.8%)
60+ 0.72% 0.70% (3.6%)

Source: TransUnion.

Bankruptcy

Nine out of ten chapter 7 bankruptcy filings contain at least some credit card debt. In filings of less than $250,000, credit card debt accounted for 42.8 percent of the total debt. The average credit card debt listed in a chapter 7 was $17,738.

Average Interest Rates

The average credit card interest rate is 13.70%, as on November 2015. The average credit card interest rate was 13.19% in 2014, and 12.96% in 2013.

Fraud & Identity Theft

Approximately 7% of U.S. resident 16 and older were identity victims in 2014. Most victims (86%) experienced the misuse of an existing credit card or bank account. Two out of three reported a direct financial loss.

According to the FTC, identity theft was its number one complaint category in the calendar year 2014 with 13% of its total complaints.

Thirty-five percent of financial professionals believe that EMV chips will be effective in preventing credit and debit card acceptance fraud. About half think it will be somewhat effective.

Credit Card Demographics

Use of Credit Cards & Age

Other Demographic Factors & Credit Card Use

  • Education
  • High school or less

    66%

  • Some College

    81%

  • College Degree

    94%

  • Post-Graduate School

    98%

  • Income
  • <$25,000

    48%

  • $25,000-$49,999

    75%

  • $50,000-$74,999

    90%

  • $75,000-$99,999

    92%

  • >$100,000

    96%

  • Net worth
  • <$50,000

    59%

  • >$500,000

    92%

  • Source: Boston Federal Reserve 2012

Complaints About Credit Cards

The most recent credit card complaint report published by the CFPB was released in September 2015.

The CFPB reports it handled approximately 79,500 credit card complaints, representing about 11 percent of total complaints.

Most common credit card complaints

  • Billing disputes

    16%

  • Other

    10%

  • ID Theft/Fraud

    9%

  • Interest rate

    7%

  • Closing or cancelling account

    7%

  • Late fee

    4%

  • Advertising and marketing

    4%

  • Customer service

    4%

  • Card protection / debt protection

    3%

  • Credit determination

    3%

  • Source: CFPB Monthly Report Oct. 2015