Credit card statistics can be such a useful tool in uncovering all the latent problems behind “plastic money” and its use.With each passing day, the global economy is becoming increasingly unstable, and with that credit card debt is spiraling more and more out of control.
In this article, we will focus on presenting both global and US facts and stats regarding this topic, including data concerning general credit card usage, global circulation, debt figures, fraud cases, trends, and more.
Read on to improve your chances of economic survival and avoid the “gravity of debt” by going over these insightful stats and facts!
Top 10 Facts & Credit Card Statistics for 2021
- 97 million American women and 95 million American men own a minimum of one credit card.
- Non-cash transactions are expected to reach 1 trillion by 2024.
- There are 511.4 million credit card accounts in the US.
- The current average APR for business credit cards is 17.57%.
- Interesting facts about credit cards: Canada is the world leader in credit card usage.
- 28.3% of Americans used credit cards and loans to cover their expenses during the pandemic.
- 69% of Americans have a credit score of 670 or higher.
- The total credit card debt in the US dropped from $893 billion in Q1 to $810 billion in Q3 of 2020.
- Credit card frauds cost the world $28.65 billion in 2019.
- Japan has the highest credit card penetration rate in the Asia Pacific region — 68%.
Credit Card Usage Statistics by Country
Who is the biggest credit card provider globally, and which countries prefer using cash over credit cards as payment methods?
1. Canada is the world leader in credit card usage.
(The Global Economy) (Statista) (Statista)
82.58% of Canadians older than 15 own a credit card, according to the available data.
In 2018, 79.6 million credit cards were issued in Canada, out of which 42.7 million were active. This was almost double the amount from 2004 when just 26 million credit cards were active.
2. Credit card ownership by country data shows that Myanmar (Burma) has the lowest credit card usage of all countries — 0.06%.
(The Myanmar Times) (The Global Economy)
With only 0.06% of its population having a credit card in 2017, Myanmar (Burma) takes the last spot on the list of 141 countries by credit card ownership.
In 2019, an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 people (out of 54 million) used credit cards in Myanmar. Still, a staggering 20%–25% of them incurred late payment charges, as stats reveal.
3. The Asia Pacific region is responsible for 50% of the global card payment expenditure, facts about credit cards reveal.
$25 trillion was spent on card payments in 2017 globally, which is a 13% increase from the previous year. The Asia Pacific region accounts for around $12 trillion of these spendings.
The way people use credit cards differs around the globe, and the Asia Pacific region is the global leader in credit card expenditure.
4. Asia marked the biggest increase in credit card usage in the world since 2011, fun facts about credit cards show.
(Financial Times) (Medianama)
Asia marked a drastic rise in credit card usage in the past few years.
For the period 2011–2017, the Asia Pacific region marked a whopping 205% increase in credit card expenditure.
In comparison, Europe registered only a 23% increase during the same period.
On the other hand, India experienced a 27% increase in the number of credit cards in circulation from 2017 to 2018, reaching 41 million in August 2018.
5. With 9 billion users, China-based UnionPay is the biggest credit card provider in the world, as per credit card statistics.
UnionPay is partnered with over 2,400 institutions globally, and the UnionPay International card is accepted in 180 countries and regions. There are over 9 billion issued UnionPay cards across 68 countries and regions.
What’s more, the company covers more than 55 million merchants and 2.9 million ATMs.
6. Credit card penetration by country is extremely high in Japan — the credit card penetration rate is a shocking 68%.
Japan has the highest credit card penetration rate in the Asia Pacific region. Statistics on credit card penetration by country report that, when it comes to the Asia Pacific region, the average credit card penetration rate is 14%.
Based on the 2020 March statistics, about 293 million credit cards were issued in Japan. That’s 9 million more compared to the same period in 2019.
Hong Kong is a close second, with 65%, as well as South Korea (64%) and New Zealand (61%).
7. By the end of 2020, Visa’s total volume, including payments and cash volume, amounted to $11.3 trillion.
(Visa Inc.) (Visa Inc.)
Based on the U.S. credit card statistics from 2020, Visa is the leader among the top four credit card networks (Mastercard, American Express, and Discover).
In 2020 alone, 340 million Visa credit cards were available in the US, and 797 million cards were in general use outside of the US.
For comparison, Mastercard issued 246 million credit cards in the US, i.e., 963 million cards outside the US.
8. Credit card vs cash statistics: 77% of South Koreans prefer to use credit cards as a payment method.
74% of Swedes agree with this statement, followed by 72% of Russians, 70% of Brits, and 67% of French people.
Regarding the US, 58% of Americans favor credit cards over cash.
It’s important to mention that in developing countries, people prefer using cash instead of credit cards. Why? The main reason is that many don’t have a bank account. In addition to that, the number of ATMs is pretty low in some countries.
Credit Card Usage Statistics in the US
How fond are Americans of their credit cards, and how often do they use them? How many credit accounts are there in the US?
9. 97 million American women and 95 million American men own a minimum of one credit card.
In a similar manner, women have a higher number of credit cards on average (4.5) compared to men (3.6).
When it comes to credit card applications, despite the fact that women are spending more, females are more likely to feel less confident (56%) than men (61%) about credit card approval.
10. Facts about credit cards and college students show 65.1% of college students have only one credit card.
(The Ohio State University)
In contrast, 8.4% of students have four or more credit cards to use at their convenience.
11. Credit card statistics in America show there are 511.4 million credit card accounts in the US.
61% of Americans owned a minimum of one credit card as of the first quarter of 2020. That’s 28 million more than in 2019 and 95 million more than in 2015.
While over half of them have at least one credit card, the average number of cards is four credit cards per American citizen.
On that note, Baby Boomers are the leaders of the pack, with the highest average number of credit cards:
- Baby Boomers: 5 credit cards
- Silent Gen: 4.3 credit cards
- Gen X: 4.2 credit cards
- Millennials: 2.9 credit cards
- Gen Z: 1.7 credit cards.
12. Credit card statistics by race state that 92% of Asian Americans possess at least one credit card.
While anyone over 18 can own a credit card, Asians are most likely to get at least one. Caucasians (88.75%), Hispanics/Latinos (81.32%), and Blacks (77.53%) follow close behind.
At the same time, Asians and White Americans have an average of 2.1 credit cards per person. Hispanic/Latino Americans have 1.8, whereas Black Americans have an average of 1.7 credit cards.
13. Debit card usage statistics from 2019 imply 18% of Americans used debit cards that were issued by the Bank of America.
There are a few differences between credit and debit cards. For example, if you use a debit card, you can draw the previously deposited bank funds, while credit cards come with limitations.
Next, credit cards are much more reliable than debit cards when it comes to customer protection. And lastly, unlike credit cards, debit cards can be used by children as well.
14. Non-cash transactions are expected to reach 1 trillion by 2024, projections for credit card usage statistics show.
(Federal Reserve) (Business Insider)
To put things into perspective, in 2018, the number of non-cash payments, including payments made by ACH debit cards, credit cards, and check payments, reached just 174.2 billion.
Of the total card payments in 2018, credit card payments contributed 34.1%.
That said, card payments are expected to account for 44% of all e-commerce and 68% of all peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.
15. 38% of Americans prefer using credit cards as a point of sale payment method.
Cash vs credit card spending statistics indicate that Americans prefer to use credit cards when it comes to sale payments. The next popular method is debit cards as 29% of Americans are fond of them. Cash transactions are appealing to only 12%.
16. 39% of first-year college students own a credit card.
(The Ohio State University)
Likewise, 52% of second-year, 63% of third-year, 71% of fourth-year, and 77% of fifth-year undergraduates are credit card owners.
Having said that, 52.5% of the respondents said they pay the full balance, whereas 31.5% make minimum monthly payments without paying the total balance.
It’s interesting to mention that 65% of the surveyed who are burdened with student loans feel very optimistic about paying off their student loans.
Currently, 53% of students provided funds for schooling by applying for some of the top student loan options.
17. The current average APR for business credit cards is 17.57%, business credit card statistics reveal.
This is the lowest average interest rate compared to other cards.
For example, store credit cards have the highest average APR (24.26%), followed by secured credit cards (20.29%).
In comparison, travel rewards credit cards (19.29%), cash-back credit cards (19.18%), and student credit cards (18.83%) have lower rates.
Credit Card Fraud & Credit Card Debt Statistics
How do Americans fare with credit card debt? The latest credit card fraud figures are very worrying.
18. 69% of Americans have a credit score of 670 or higher.
In 2020, the average FICO® Score in the US increased by 1%, i.e., seven points, reaching 710.
This was the biggest recorded increase compared to the previous years. For example, before 2020, the most considerable increase (3.8 points) was noted between 2015 and 2016.
19. Credit card statistics from 2020 confirm that the total credit card debt in the US dropped from $893 billion in Q1 to $810 billion in Q3.
The credit card debt went up since 2017 when it amounted to $830 billion. It reached its peak in the fourth quarter of 2019 ($930 billion), but it managed to plummet to $890 billion in the first quarter, i.e., $810 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
20. The average American credit card debt in 2019 amounted to $6,194.
Iowa had the lowest credit card balance ($4,774), followed by Wisconsin ($4,961), Mississippi ($5,134), and Kentucky ($5,140).
In contrast, Alaskans had to deal with the highest credit card balance ($8,026).
Who else had a high balance? Mostly the states on the East Coast, like New Jersey ($7,084), Connecticut ($7,082), and the District of Columbia ($7,077).
21. Data on the average credit card debt by age points out that people under 35 have the smallest credit card debt ($3,660).
On the other hand, Americans over 75 years have the highest average credit card debt ($8,080).
Next, people between 55 and 64 have an average debt of $6,880, 35 to 44 year-olds have $5,990. In comparison, 45–54 year-olds ($7,670) and 65–74 year-olds ($7,030) have almost identical financial problems.
22. The U.S. census bureau credit card statistics show 28.3% of Americans used credit cards and loans to cover their expenses during the pandemic.
One-quarter of Americans used all the available resources to cover their expenses in a seven-days’ period during the coronavirus outbreak.
In fact, 26.5% resorted to their savings accounts, and 13.8% borrowed money from family and friends to make ends meet.
23. Facts about credit card debt reveal that households with an annual income of $290,160 have an average debt of $12,600.
This is the median yearly income. In contrast, families with an income below $16,290 have an average credit card debt of $3,830.
Yet, it is quite a hefty sum if we look at the income-debt ratio.
24. Minnesotans have the highest average credit score of 739.
The second place belonged to Wisconsin (732), closely followed by South Dakota (731), Vermont (731), North Dakota (730), and Washington (730).
As per credit card statistics, the states with the lowest credit scores are Mississippi (675), Louisiana (684), Alabama (686), and Texas (688).
25. Men have higher credit card debts than women by $125.
When it comes to other debts, men are slightly ahead of women. For example, they have higher personal loans (by 20%), compared to women, higher auto loan debts (by 16.3%), and higher mortgage debts (by 9.7%).
However, women have more credit card accounts in their name than men, 4.5 vs. 3.6.
26. Stats on the average credit card debt for college students show that 18% of students use credit cards to pay for college expenses.
(The Ohio State University)
56.7% of surveyed students have at least one credit card. When it comes to class ranks, first-year undergraduate students have the lowest percentage of individuals with one credit card (39.4%), while fourth-year undergraduates have the highest rates (70.9%).
Furthermore, 52.5% of students pay the total balance on their credit card, 31.5% make the minimum monthly payment, and 2% pay less than the minimum monthly.
27. Credit card fraud statistics report there were 17,614 credit card fraud victims in 2020.
This was the highest number so far, compared to the previous years (14,378 in 2019, and 15,210 of credit card fraud victims in 2018).
Likewise, the report shows that people lost $129,820,792 due to credit card fraud. Again, much more than in 2019 ($111,491,163) and 2018 ($88,991,436).
28. Credit card fraud facts indicate credit card frauds cost the world $28.65 billion in 2019.
Over one-third of the loss was linked to the US since most credit card frauds occur in the New World.
Businesses often need to spend millions of dollars on protecting themselves and their companies from this viral menace.
To avoid being a part of these scary credit card statistics, you can protect yourself by:
- using credit-monitoring services
- checking your bank statements often
- setting up alerts on your accounts
- freezing your credit
- avoiding using the public internet servers
- using multi-factor authentications
How common is credit card debt?
Very common. Statistics show around 45.4% of US credit card owners have credit card debt. The average American household has a credit card debt of $6,270. The total US consumer debt amounts to $4.2 trillion, followed by a total credit card debt of $807 billion.
Residents of Alaska hold the highest percentage of credit card debt — $6,617 on average. In contrast, residents of Iowa have the lowest rate of credit card debt — $4,289.
What percentage of the population has credit cards?
There are 511.4 million credit cards in the US alone, with 61% of American adults owning at least one credit card.
What percentage of credit cards are Visa?
Visa is the most popular credit card in the world and one of the largest US credit card networks. In 2020, 340 million Visa credit cards were issued in the US and 797 million were in circulation globally.
In the same year, Visa’s total volume (including payments and cash volume), amounted to a staggering $11.3 trillion.
Mastercard is the second-largest US credit card network that in 2020 issued 963 million cards outside the US, i.e., 246 million credit cards within the US.
What was the average credit card debt in 2019?
The average credit card debt in 2019 was $6,194 per credit card holder, whereas, in 2020, it amounted to $5,315.
Generation Xers had the highest credit card debts on average, $8,171 in 2019 and $7,155 in 2020. Baby boomers were second on the list with an average debt of $6,889 in 2019 and $6,043 in 2020.
Generation Z had the lowest credit card debts, $2,090 in 2019 and $1,963 in 2020.
How much credit card debt does the average person have?
The average credit card debt per person is $5,315. With that in mind, credit card debt is influenced by the average household income. In other words, the greater the income, the higher the debt.
To demonstrate, people with an annual income percentile of 90–100, or a median income of $290,160, will have an average credit card debt of $12,600.
However, people with an income percentile less than 20, or a median income of $16,290, will have an average credit card debt of $3,830.
How many credit cards should the average American have?
Americans have an average of four credit cards, which is one more compared to previous years. Women have more open credit card accounts (4.5) than men (3.6).
The state with the highest number of cardholders is New Jersey, with an average of 4.1 credit cards per person. South Dakota is the state with the lowest number of cardholders — 3 per person.
Is $500 a lot of credit card debt?
Although having a $500 credit card debt is not alarming, you must be aware of the interest rate that could grow substantially if you don’t pay your debt on time. To get rid of the debt, calculate how much money you need to set aside each month.
For example, you can pay off your debt in 11 months if you set aside $50 each month, and if you have a 15 percent interest, according to credit card debt facts.
Credit Card Statistics Key Takeaway
There’s no doubt about it. The US is the world leader when it comes to the economy. Yet, figures keep revealing a dirty little secret — credit card debt, a financial burden that an increasing number of American cardholders are dragging over the years.
Keeping the upcoming economic instability in mind, there’s still a lot that can be done to reduce the national credit card debt.
Seeing how there’s a huge influx in the number of people placing confidence in “plastic wallets,” credit card statistics can help us better understand these cashless payments to keep ourselves financially afloat.
- Business insider
- Financial Times
- The Balance
- The Myanmar Times
- The Nest
- The Ohio State University
- Visa Inc.
- Visa Inc.
- Yahoo Finance