Credit Card Statistics

Table of contents

Debt, delinquencies and bankruptcy

  • Revolving debt (made up mostly of credit card balances) was at $999.8 billion as of March 2017. (Federal Reserve)
  • Average credit card debt per borrower: $5,332, as of Q1 2017. That’s down from a high of $6,276 at the end of 2008. (TransUnion)
  • Credit card debt as a percentage of disposable income: 5.46 percent, as of Q4 2016, down from nearly 8 percent at the beginning of 2009. (American Bankers Association)
  • 1.51 percent of all bank card accounts were 30 or more days delinquent, as of Q4 2016. The 15-year average is 2.19 percent. (American Bankers Association)
  • 1.69 percent of borrowers were 90 days or more delinquent on their credit cards, as of Q1 2017 (compared to 2.27 in Q1 2010). But that’s up, after four consecutive years under 1.5 percent (a mark that was hit in Q1 2016). (TransUnion)
  • Total bankruptcy filings (non-business): 733,897 in 2016. That represents an 7 percent drop from 789,332 in 2015. (American Bankruptcy Institute)
  • Total bankruptcy filings (business): 37,771 in 2016. That represents a 26 percent increase from 29,920 in 2015. (American Bankruptcy Institute)

Card circulation and transaction volume


  • Americans made 33.8 billion credit card transactions in 2015 (up 3.1 billion from 2012), worth $3.16 trillion (up $0.61 trillion since 2012). (Federal Reserve)
  • Americans made 69.5 billion debit card payments in 2015 (up 13 billion from 2012) with a value of $2.56 trillion (up $0.46 trillion from 2012). (Federal Reserve)
  • There were 775.4 payment (debit, credit, prepaid) cards in force in the 2012. (Federal Reserve)
  • The number of debit and prepaid transactions in 2012 was more than twice the number of credit transactions. In 2000, the number of debit and prepaid transactions was less than half that of credit transactions. (Federal Reserve)
  • 103.3 billion card transactions (credit and debit) were made in 2015, with a value of $5.72 trillion, up 19.9 billion and $1.07 trillion, respectively, since 2012. (Federal Reserve)
  • Debit cards had the highest payment intensity in 2012, with 23 payments per month. General-purpose credit cards saw 11 payments per month, and prepaid cards saw 10. (Federal Reserve)

Credit card stats by network

Debit card stats by network


Consumer behavior

Credit and charge cards

  • Americans have an average of 2.35 credit cards (as of Nov. 2016). (Experian)
  • As of 2016, for the first time, credit is the preferred payment type for American Consumers. When given a choice, 40 percent prefer using credit, 35 percent prefer debit and 11 percent prefer cash. Prior to 2016, debit was the preferred mode of payment. (TSYS)
  • When broken down by purchase type, consumers in 2016 preferred debit for everyday transactions (gas, discount stores, groceries) and credit for high-dollar purchases. For example, for grocery stories, 46 percent preferred debit while 34 percent preferred credit. For department stores, 36 percent preferred credit while 31 percent preferred debit. (TSYS)
  • Average APR across all credit cards was 12.54, as of Feb. 2017. (Federal Reserve)
  • Average APR for credit cards with a balance was 13.86, as of Feb. 2017. (Federal Reserve)
  • 29.1 percent of cardholders could be described as “transactors” (paying off their balances in full each month), as of Q4 2016. (American Bankers Association)
  • 43.7 percent of cardholders could be described as “revolvers” (carrying a balance month to month) as of Q4 2016. (American Bankers Association)
  • 27.2 percent of credit accounts were dormant as of Q4 2016. (American Bankers Association)
  • The average credit line as of Q4 2016 was $11,562 for super-prime borrowers and $3,622 for sub-prime borrowers. (American Bankers Association)
  • National average credit utilization: 30 percent, as of Nov. 2016. That’s holding steady from 2015. (Experian)
  • National average credit card balance: $5,551 as of Nov. 2016, up from $4,404 in Nov. 2015. (Experian)
  • Of those who applied for a credit card in the past 12 months (as of Feb. 2017), 17.7 percent were rejected (down from a 21.6 percent rejection rate in Oct 2013). (New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations, Oct. 2015)

Debit cards

  • Average amount for a debit card transaction: $38 in 2015, down from $40 in 2012. (Federal Reserve)
  • In 2013, consumers made an average of 20.1 transactions per active debit card per month (up from 19.4 in 2012. (PULSE Network)
  • Consumers made an average of 2.3 ATM withdrawals per active debit card per month in 2013, an all-time low. (PULSE Network)

Prepaid cards

  • 9.9 billion prepaid card transactions took place in 2015, up from 9.2 in 2012 (Federal Reserve)
  • Average amount for a prepaid card transaction: $34 in 2015, down from $35 in 2012 (Federal Reserve)
  • 18 percent of prepaid cards in circulation had purchase activity in 2012 (meaning they were used for a purchase or bill payment at least once a month). (Federal Reserve)
  • 25 percent of consumers owned a general-purpose reloadable prepaid card in August 2013, up from 21 percent in August 2012. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
  • 45 percent of Millennials (age 18 to 32) owned a general-purpose reloadable prepaid card in August 2013, compared with 35 percent of Generation X (age 33 to 48), 18 percent of baby boomers (age 49 to 67) and just 4 percent of the Greatest Generation (age 68+). (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Rewards cards

  • 83 percent of credit-card users had rewards programs associated with their accounts as of March 2015. That’s up from 77 percent in 2012. (American Bankers Association)
  • Cash back is the most common type of credit card reward (51 percent of cardholders utilize it). (American Bankers Association)
  • Cash back was the most-preferred type of rewards program as of March 2015, with 55 percent of cardholders saying it appeals to them most. General points cards came in second at 23 percent, followed by airline cards at 13 percent and hotel cards at 5 percent. (American Bankers Association)
  • 160.9 million rewards cards were active at the end of 2013, up from 135.9 million at the end of 2008. (American Bankers Association)
  • Active rewards cards made up 71.4 percent of active credit card accounts at the end of 2013, up from 55.6 percent at the end of 2008. (American Bankers Association)
  • Spending on rewards cards increased 47.2 percent between Q4 2008 and Q4 2013. (American Bankers Association)
  • 81 percent of seniors, 68 percent of 35-to-64-year-olds and 57 percent of young adults under 35 were taking part in credit card reward programs, as of June 2013. (Mercator Advisory Group)
  • More consumers in 2016 cared about rewards than APR. 59 percent said rewards were a card’s most attractive feature, compared with 30 percent who said the APR was a card’s most attractive feature. (TSYS)
  • Consumers in 2016 were more likely to redeem cash-back rewards than they were to redeem travel. While 30 percent of consumers said they redeem their cash-back rewards a few times a year, just 12 percent say the same about travel rewards. Meanwhile, 50 percent said they “never” redeem their travel rewards, just 18 percent said they “never” redeemed their cash-back rewards. (TSYS)

Small business credit cards

  • 32 percent of small business owners said in Dec. 2016 that they’d used credit cards within the past 12 months to meet capital needs, up from 31 percent in Dec. 2015. (National Small Business Association)
  • 18 percent of small business owners said in Jan. 2017 that their business credit card limit had been increased in the last 6 months, down from 19 percent in Dec. 2015. Five percent (down from 10 percent in Dec. 2015) said it had decreased. 77 percent (up from 75 percent Dec. 2015) said their limit had stayed the same. (National Small Business Association)
  • 13.05 percent: The average APR on business credit cards, as reported in Dec. 2014 by small business owners. (National Small Business Association)

Credit scores and reports

  • The average FICO score was 699, as of April 2016. (FICO)
  • The average VantageScore was 673, as of November 2016, up from from 669 in 2015. (Experian)
  • 79 percent of the population had a FICO score above 600 as of April 2016. (FICO)
  • There are far more people in the upper FICO echelon than on the lowest rung: As of April 2016, 20.4 percent of the population had FICO scores of 800-850, while 4.6 percent had scores of 300-499. (FICO)
  • The metro area with the highest VantageScore in 2016 was Mankato, Minnesota, at 708. (Experian)
  • The metro area with the lowest VantageScore in 2015 was Greenwood, Mississippi, at 622. (Experian)
  • About 26 percent of consumers had at least one error on at least one of their three credit reports as of 2012 (FTC)

Fraud and identity theft

  • 31.1 million unauthorized transactions took place in 2012 (Federal Reserve)
  • 17.6 million Americans (7 percent of all U.S. residents) fell victim to identity theft in 2014 (up from 16.6 million in 2012). (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • Roughly 42 percent of 2014’s identity theft incidents involved stolen and misused credit card information (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • 65 percent of the victims of credit card fraud experienced financial loss in 2014 (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • Total losses from identity theft: $15.4 billion in 2014. That’s down from $24.7 in 2012. This decline is attributed to smaller losses by victims in top 10 percent. In other words, fewer people lost large amounts of money. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • $2,895 was the average total out-of-pocket loss for victims in 2014. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • 1,093 data breaches took place in 2016, up from 780 in 2015. However, 13.1 percent of those cases exposed credit/debit card numbers, a drop from 20.5 percent in 2015. Things were even worse in 2014, when 138 card-related breaches exposed 64.4 million debit/credit card records. (Identity Theft Resource Center 2015 and 2016 reports)
  • 27 percent of U.S. adults say they were affected by stolen credit card information between Oct. 2015 and Oct. 2016. That’s up from 22 percent between October 2014 and 2015. (Gallup)
  • When it comes to security of online purchases, 42 percent of consumers said using a credit card was the safest option in 2016. Meanwhile, 26 percent said PayPal was safest, 12 percent said debit was safest, 10 percent said a prepaid or gift card was safest, and 10 had no preference. (TSYS)

Consumer complaints

  • Since it launched, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 1,163,156 complaints about financial products and services as of April 1, 2017. They broke down as follows (CFPB):
    • Debt collection: 27 percent
    • Mortgage: 23 percent
    • Credit reporting: 17 percent
    • Credit cards: 10 percent
    • Bank account service: 10 percent
    • Consumer loans: 4 percent
    • Student loans: 4 percent
    • Payday loans: 1.5 percent
    • Money transfer: 0.7%
    • Prepaid: 0.6%
    • Other: 0.4%
  • Between July 21, 2011 and August 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received about 105,500 complaints about credit reporting. The majority (77 percent) were about incorrect information on credit reports. (CFPB)
  • The most complained-about credit reporting company for Nov 2016.- Jan. 2017, was Equifax, receiving 1,181 complaints. Experian was in second place with 1,063 and TransUnion was in third with 1,003. (CFPB)
  • The most complained-about bank for Nov 2016.-Jan. 2017 was Wells Fargo, with 970 complaints. (CFPB)


  • Payments with chip cards represented 2 percent of total U.S. in-person card payments in 2015. But that’s a 230 percent increase since 2012. (Federal Reserve)
  • 87 percent of Americans commonly use chip cards, as of Sept. 2016 (up from 49 percent in 2015) (MasterCard).
  • There were more than 700 million chip cards in U.S. circulation as of Oct. 2016 (PYMNTS).
  • 88 percent of MasterCards consumer credit cards had EMV chips, as of July 2016 (MasterCard).
  • Visa has issued 363 million chip-enabled cards as of Sept. 2016, a 156 percent increase YOY (Visa).
  • 37 percent of Visa in-store payment volume was EMV, as of August 2016 (Visa).
  • EMV payment volume for Visa was $8.9 billion in Oct. 2015. That has grown to $34.7 billion in August 2016 (Visa).
  • Merchants are rapidly adopting EMV. As of Sept. 2015, roughly 300,000 U.S. merchant locations had EMV chip-enabled terminals. (Visa). As of Oct. 2016, 2 million business (33 percent of all U.S. merchants) have upgraded to EMV (MasterCard).
  • U.S. retailers who have implemented EMV have seen counterfeit fraud costs decrease 54 percent (compared to the period of April 2015 to April 2016). Meanwhile, counterfeit fraud costs increased by 77 percent YOY among merchants who haven’t yet upgraded (MasterCard).
  • While, 44 percent of U.S. merchants had EMV equipment, just 29 percent percent of merchant locations were able to accept chip cards as of Sept. 2016. (The Strawhecker Group)
  • As of Jan. 2017, 52 percent of U.S. merchants had active, certified EMV terminals able to accept chip cards (The Strawhecker Group)

Payment technology

  • 9.9 percent of mobile phone users made in in-store purchases using a mobile payment app instead of using cash or a physical payment card in the 12 months preceding Nov. 2015. (Federal Reserve Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016 Report).
  • 8.3 mobile phone users sent money to friends/relatives within the U.S. via their phones (using Venmo, PayPal, Google Wallet, a bank mobile app, or similar) in the 12 months preceding Nov. 2015. (Federal Reserve Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016 Report)
  • 80 percent of mobile phone users who did NOT use mobile payments in the 12 months preceding Nov. 2015 said they hadn’t used mobile payments because it was easier to pay with cash or a debit/credit card. (Federal Reserve Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016 Report)
  • 31 percent of point-of-sale mobile payments in 2014 involved scanning a bar code or QR code (down from 39 percent in 2013), and 14 percent involved tap-to-pay or wave-to-pay (same as previous year). (Federal Reserve)
  • The most-used mobile payment services (as reported by smartphone users) in 2014 were: PayPal (43 percent), Starbucks (11 percent), Google Wallet (9 percent) and Apple Pay (5 percent). Note: Apple Pay launched in Q4 2014. (Federal Reserve)
  • 43 percent of mobile phone owners with a bank account used mobile banking in the 12 months preceding Nov. 2015 (up from 39 percent the previous year). (Federal Reserve)
  • Apple Pay: As of October 2015, 16.6 percent of iPhone 6/6s owners had tried Apple Pay. Among iphone 6/6s owners, 5.1 percent of transactions that could be done via Apple pay actually are. (PYMNTS)
  • While 36 percent of U.S. merchants had NFC contactless-capable terminals as of Jan. 2017, only 28 percent have activated those contactless terminals to accept contactless payments. (The Strawhecker group)
  • 23 percent of consumers sent money to another person via a P2P money transfer in 2016, up from 18 percent in 2015. (TSYS)
  • 28 percent of consumers said they would “never” load their credit card into a mobile phone/wallet in 2016. Meanwhile, 10 percent have already loaded a credit card into a mobile phone/app and 20 percent said they’re likely to do so. (TSYS)

Updated June, 2017

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


What percentage of Amex card holders also have Mastercard or Visa cards?

New MasterCard application. Account balance

Synchrony bank

Synchrony bank is a shark bank who charged $37 each late fee for my $60 purchase, and make it very difficult for customer’s time unless “they gpt you” by charging 5000% late fee. They refused to barge knowing it istheir digital game to scour your wallet just because they think they can.
Unless you have too much money to waste, Never Ever deal with Synchrony Bank and
their credit card. It is a scavenger entrapment.

Wow! But, the Amazon card is with synchrony bank. So far so good. But, your entry concerns me. I guess as your credit needs remain uneventful, they won’t strike back with their unfair business practice terms.
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