Credit Card Statistics

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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, 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 information also showed that about 40% of credit card holders carry a balance of less than $1,000.


Experian study at

Market Research firm

Federal Reserve's 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances

The Electronic Card Industry Directory (eCID), 2005 Edition

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