The number of credit cards in circulation and the number of people using them are crucial metrics when it comes to understanding both the payments landscape and consumer preferences. Not only do these figures speak to the overall availability of credit, but they also reveal market share by card network and indicate whether most consumers are using a single credit card for all expenses or a few cards targeted to different types of transactions. Furthermore, these statistics speak to the overall popularity of credit as a spending vehicle.
Number of Credit Cards
The number of credit cards from the four primary credit card networks (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) is 679 million in 2018. There were a total of 1.06 billion credit cards in 2017 and the projection for 2022 is close to 1.2 billion.
WalletHub analyzed the consumer payment landscape using publicly available data and a variety of metrics that clearly illustrate significant patterns in consumer spending. The results listed below not only elucidate consumer payment preferences, but also indicate how usage costs and transaction amounts differ across payment vehicles as well as over time.
(Source: Federal Reserve, 2018)
(Source: Federal Reserve Payments Study, 2000-2018)
(Source: Federal Reserve Payments Study, 2002-2018)
The American narrative is a story of diversity. Our history tells of many different peoples coming together from every walk of life to form what is today a complex tapestry of backgrounds.
And our story will continue to advance that narrative in the decades to come. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2044 the U.S. will no longer have a single ethnic majority, currently non-Hispanic whites, and will grow increasingly more diverse in the years to follow.
Banking industry market share is important to consumers and investors alike. On the one hand, understanding which banks and credit unions do the most business will help guide your search for the right credit card, prepaid card, checking account, etc. Not only can the biggest banks typically afford to offer the best deals, but they’re popular for a reason and you can use the comparison shopping that other consumers have already done to make your search more efficient. On the other hand, banks with a heavy deposit base typically dominate the lending space, while those with significant assets may garner higher valuations.
The top 15 banks make up over one half (52%) of the deposits for all banks in the U.S.
Top 15 Largest U.S. Banks based on Total Domestic Deposits
Everyone likes to have fun. But we all prefer our personal brand of a good time. Some people like trying new restaurants, traveling, going to bars and clubs or playing outdoor sports. Others enjoy riding roller coasters, going to the movies, or playing video games. But having fun can be expensive – the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American spends nearly $3,000 on entertainment per year.
With such different preferences, what, then, makes a fun city? At WalletHub, we define such a place as one that packs a little bit of everything for everyone — except maybe people seeking the most extreme of thrills. In a city with enough variety, you won’t have to compromise with your friends, your family or even yourself about the next fun activity to do alone or together.
The debit card market’s corporate hierarchy is important for a number of reasons. For starters, financial institutions with a large deposit account business are well-positioned for success in the lending space, as they typically to have a lot of cash on hand. In addition, the largest debit card issuers tend to offer some of the best checking accounts, and their popularity is tantamount to a seal of approval borne from consumer comparison shopping. Finally, comparing the largest debit card issuers to the largest credit card issuers will give you a sense of how the power structure varies across segments of the personal finance industry.
(Source: Nilson Report, April 2019)
Largest U.S. Debit Card Issuers based on Purchase Volume (in Billions)
The following represents historical data on credit card interest rates in the United States. These rates are presented as functions of credit card delinquency, national unemployment and credit card charge-offs. The margin reflects the differential above the Prime Rate.
Credit card interest rates are quite revealing, as they speak to changes in the economic environment, allow for historical comparison, and enable consumers to determine if they are getting a good deal on their credit card. Furthermore, they can be used to unearth seasonal trends in credit card offers and therefore time applications more fortuitously.
You can’t get an accurate sense of the consumer debt situation without considering credit card delinquency and charge-off rates. These metrics speak to the sustainability of consumer spending habits, indicating the ability of credit card users to stay current on their bills. For example, high delinquency rates may foreshadow a rash of defaults as well as the potential for a downturn in the economy, while a downward trend in default rates could indicate economic or habitual improvement.
Furthermore, consumers continue to owe charged-off debt for years, which means ignoring such sums will paint a misleading picture of the debt landscape.
Americans have much to thank the Germans for: BMW, bratwursts and hard syllables for letting off steam, for instance. Another of the Germans’ most famous contributions to our society is Oktoberfest, a weeks-long festival with beer as one of its centerpieces.
Oktoberfest often lasts from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. It originated in early 19th century Munich. It was only a matter of time before the Oktoberfest madness would find its way to U.S. soil, where nearly 45 million German-Americans make up the largest single ethnic group. A typical Oktoberfest in the U.S. includes many varieties of beer, live music, folk dancing, German fare and elaborate parades. Some American cities have even added their own traditions, like the “Running of the Wieners” race in Cincinnati or “Keg Bowling” in Denver.
After a string of nine interest-rate increases that took the Federal Reserve’s target rate from near zero in December 2015 up to a range of 2.25% - 2.5%, the Fed is poised to reduce rates for the second time since the Great Recession. Exactly what impact such a move will have on consumers’ wallets and the economy more broadly remains to be seen. But the hope is that lower rates will prolong what is already the longest economic expansion on record. At the very least, we can expect people with credit card debt to save hundreds of millions of dollars on interest.
To help shed some light on what we can expect from interest rates in the near future and how Americans feel about the prospect of a Fed rate cut, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey and assembled some relevant research. You can find the results below.
Credit card debt statistics speak to the financial health of American households. They can also foreshadow over-borrowing bubbles, changes to lending standards, and other trends with the potential to impact our wallets.
Americans began 2019 owing more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. Although the forecast initially appeared brighter, thanks to consumers repaying $38.2 billion in credit card debt during Q1 2019, poor second-quarter results nearly erased that effort. U.S. consumers added $35.6 billion in new credit card debt during the second quarter of 2019 – the largest second-quarter build-up ever. As a result, WalletHub now projects a $70 billion net increase in consumer credit card debt for 2019 overall.
Public transportation may be a simple convenience or an absolute daily necessity, depending on the city and the size of its population. The scope of public transportation in giant metropolises like New York City can be massive. According to the MTA, the New York City subway has over 665 mainland track miles and transports over 1.75 billion passengers per year. That’s not to mention the city’s 5,700 buses that carry over 760 million passengers per year.
There are many benefits to using public transportation over personal vehicles. The first is economic growth. According to the American Public Transportation Association, “every $1 invested in public transportation generates $4 in economic returns.” In addition, the APTA states that taking public transportation is cheaper in the long run than buying a vehicle and paying for its upkeep and gas costs. Public transportation also has drastically lower odds of an accident than driving a personal vehicle and helps to cut down pollution from emissions.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance covers medical expenses when a car accident results in injuries to you, other drivers listed on your policy, members of your household and your passengers. These expenses can include medical bills as well as some other expenses that are not typically covered by health insurance such as lost wages.
Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors. We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy.
One thing that doesn’t drive happiness is money. Happiness only increases with wealth up to an annual income of $75,000 to $95,000. But one thing that can have a big influence on how we feel about life is where we choose to live.
The credit card market is highly competitive, ever-evolving, and top-heavy. As such, the hierarchy of companies in this space is very revealing. Issuer market share, and changes therein, indicate trends in financial brand recognition, consumer preference, and competitive dynamics. Such statistics also provide useful context to investors as they approach the banking sector.
Below you will find historical market share information for general-consumer credit cards, store credit cards, and business credit, expressed in terms of both purchase volume and outstanding balances.
Colorado is known for recreation: hiking, skiing and camping, to name a few. But as any native of the Centennial State will tell you, Colorado is much more diverse than it seems. And it’s all that diversity that makes Colorado an ideal place to raise children.
Filled with mountains, plains, valleys and deserts, Colorado boasts a much wider array of outdoor activities than most states. This abundance of natural beauty and fun has led to healthy living in the state: Coloradans are the least obese and most active people in the U.S.
After putting in decades of hard work, we naturally expect to have financial security in our golden years. But not all Americans can look forward to a relaxing retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey, two in three workers reported feeling at least somewhat confident that they will have enough money to retire comfortably, but only 23 percent said they were “very confident.”
If so many American workers are worried about their financial future, what other options provide a pathway to a comfortable retirement? For some, the only solution is to keep working. According to Gallup polling, workers in 2019 plan to retire at age 65 on average, compared to age 60 in 1995. The alternative? Relocate to an area where you can stretch your dollar without sacrificing your lifestyle.
The Verdict: The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is an attractive everyday spending vehicle for people with excellent credit (Bank of America is a WalletHub partner). Things begin on a positive note, with no annual fee to worry about and the ability to earn a $200 initial bonus for spending just $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card even supplements its base 1% cash-back earning rate with 2% back on groceries and wholesale clubs and 3% back on a category of your choosing. But there’s a catch. Those bonus earning rates apply to only the first $2,500 in combined grocery, wholesale clubs and gas purchases each quarter. So if you spend more than $833 a month on such everyday necessities, you will wind up hitting that limit and earning only 1% back — slightly less than the market average of 1.06% — on all your purchases for the rest of the quarter.
The Verdict: The BankAmericard® credit card is a very good tool for avoiding interest on credit card debt, whether you’re planning a big purchase or need a way to reduce the cost of an existing balance (Bank of America is a WalletHub partner). The stars of the show are BankAmericard’s $0 annual fee and its 0% introductory APRs, which apply to purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles. If you transfer a balance, you just have to do so within 60 days of opening an account to get that rate.
Those features compare favorably to most competing offers. The average 0% purchase APR lasts for about 10.7 months. And the average 0% balance transfer deal gives you about 12 months. But that is not to say BankAmericard’s financing offer is flawless. The most important imperfection for folks with expensive debt is the card’s 3% balance transfer fee. Not only is that above average for a balance transfer credit card, but it’s also a distinguishing factor between the BankAmericard credit card and its biggest competitors.