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Credit Card Statistics

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Credit Card Statistics

Welcome! This section of our site provides statistical information that can be used by members of the press and media. We have been fortunate enough to receive much national media attention and welcome media inquiries. We will do everything we can to assist you. Providing objective, credit card ratings has always been one of our main missions since our founding in 1998. We are extremely proud of the consumer-friendly reputation that we enjoy.

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Credit Card Industry General Information:

  • Credit card companies mailed a record $6 Billion in mail solicitations in 2005 alone to US households. That comes to around 20 per every one of 30 million Americans in the US.
  • The response rate for above was 0.2% to 0.3% in 2005
  • Around 640 million credit cards are in circulation in the United States with about $750 Billion and $800 Billion in credit card balances based upon Federal Reserve figures.
  • From 1996 to 2005, the total number of bank credit cards increased 46%. (Card Industry Directory 2006, Chapter 1)
  • Around 60% of credit cards had some type of rewards feature built into it (per 2004 Comperemedia info).
  • Credit card companies made $43 Billion in fee income from late payment, over-limit, and balance transfer fees in 2004
  • According to the October 11, 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, late payment fees averaged $34 in 2005 which is a spike of 115% from $13 in 1995.
  • After buying MBA, Bank of America is the nation's largest issuer of credit cards with nearly $166 Billion in receivables. This is followed by Chase ($138B) and Citi ($136B).

American Credit Card Holders:

  • Credit card usage grows with 14% Americans holding more than 10 cards per Experian. That's around 1 in 7 Americans. This is up from 10% in 2004.
  • The average American has four credit cards; up from 3.2 cards in 2004
  • The average American has access to approximately $19,000 in all credit cards combined (per Fico).
  • On average, 39% of Americans pay their credit cards off in full each month in 2004. This means, that on average, around 60% carry a credit card balance.
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that credit card late payment fees averaged $34 in 2005, a spike of 115% from $13 in 1995.
  • Many cardholders now appear to have cards with interest rates less than the 20% rate that most cards charged prior to 1990. This is thanks in part to the deregulation of the card industry.

American's Credit Score Information:

  • The average credit score dropped nationally from 678 to 674.
  • A study conducted by Experian shows 14% use more than 50% of the credit available to them. These card users have an average credit score of 645 and up from 631 in 2004
  • According to myfico.com, the oldest obligation on a credit card is 14 years old. Also, 1 out of 4 had credit histories of 20 years or more. Only 1 in 20 had credit histories shorter than 2 years.
  • The myfico.com information also showed that about 40% of credit card holders carry a balance of less than $1,000.

Sources:

Experian study at http://www.nationalscoreindex.com/

Market Research firm www.synovus.com

Federal Reserve's 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances

http://www.salliemae.com/bedebtsmart

The Electronic Card Industry Directory (eCID), 2005 Edition

www.myfico.com

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Our editors rate credit cards objectively based on the features the credit card offers consumers, the fees and interest rates, and how a credit card compares with other cards in its category. Ratings vary by category, and the same card may receive a certain number of stars in one category and a higher or lower number in another.

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