In spite of the tough global economy, credit card usage is still growing. There are about 181 million credit cards in the US! Most people actually use it on travel expenses, and surprisingly only 1 in 5 use them to pay for bills.

2012 US Credit Card Usage

Infographic by- The Credit Examiner

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Estimated number of Credit Card Holders in USA – 181 Million

Estimated number of Credit Cards in USA – 609.8 Million

One-third of Americans do not own a credit card

Annual Purchase Volume of US Credit Cards (2011) – $2,050 Billions

Credit Cards Purchase Volume ( in Billions) Number of US Credit Cards ( in Millions)
Visa $888.00 234.1
Amex $540.14 50.6
MasterCard $508.00 175.7
Discover $114.15 58.7


The average age at which a U.S. consumer first adopted a credit card is 20.8 years. 84% of the student population overall have credit cards

Average Credit Card Consumer holds 4.4 Credit Cards, One in ten consumers has more than 10 credit cards.

Usage Number of Credit cards
Regularly Use 1.9
Rarely Use 1.6
Never Use 1.0


Cash Point-of-Sale purchases are expected to drop from 27% to 23% by 2017

Credit cards Point-of-Sale purchases are expected to grow from 29% to 33% by 2017

54%  of US Credit Card Consumers pay their balance in full each month, 33% carry balances up to $10,000 and 13% carry balances over $10,000

Expenses for which Card Holders use Credit Cards the Most

Expenses %age
Travel Expenses 81%
Expensive Purchases 77%
Personal Items 46%
Eating /Dining Out 44%
Grocery 38%
Entertainment 37%
Household BIlls 20%
Small Expenses 15%


Two-thirds of Credit Card consumers said they would consider switching their primary credit card if better features are offered.

Most Sort Features in Credit Cards

Features %age
No Annual Fee 73%
Low Interest Rates 47%
Reward Points 46%
Bonus / Exclusive Deals 41%
Introductory reward points 38%
Unlimited Cash back 30%
Airline Miles 20%
Zero liability on unauthorized purchases 19%
Discounted Retails Partnerships 10%