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71 Intriguing Credit Card Statistics to Make You Think Twice Before Paying With Plastic in 2020

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Some people argue that cash is still king in the US. But there’s no denying that Americans love plastic more than paper.

Debit cards may be the most popular form of payment in the country, but credit cards are not that far behind. Actually, the US financial system incentivizes consumers to shop on credit.

The use of revolving credit is instrumental in pleasing FICO and VantageScore. Credit card purchases can be rewarding and safe because they can be disputed and reversed.

Check out these cherry-picked credit card statistics that show how plastic has fueled consumerism in the US and helped shape people’s way of life.

Top Statistics About American Consumers and Their Credit Cards

  • Nearly 36% of US consumers usually pay for goods and services with a credit card.
  • Over 70% of American households own general-purpose credit cards.
  • Only 6.8% of American consumers use cash for most of their payments.
  • About eight out of ten Americans erroneously think that having high credit card balances matters to drive up credit scores.
  • 55% of American credit cardholders are indebted.
  • 80% of credit cards in America have been subject to fraud.
  • A 2018 survey revealed that 30% of adults in the country do not use cash during an ordinary week.
  • In 1970, merely 16% of the American population had a credit card.

Interesting Credit Card vs Cash Statistics in the US

1. Only 6.8% of American consumers use cash for most of their payments.

The evidence is clear that way more Americans are paying for goods and services with plastic. Recent cash vs credit card spending statistics highlight that almost 36% of consumers use a credit card for most transactions.

(The Ascent)

2. In 2018, credit card payers outnumbered cash users in the US by 26% to 14%.

In the battle of plastic, debit cards dominated, as they were used to pay for daily expenses at gas stations and supermarkets.

The latest credit card and debit card transaction volume statistics reflect how Americans use plastic:

The average cost of transactions completed with Visa and Mastercard debit cards was just $76.75. This was $94.37 less than the average amount recorded with the credit card payments facilitated by the two leading networks.

(CreditCards.com & Finder)

3. A 2018 survey revealed that 30% of US adults don’t use cash during an ordinary week.

The large variety of payment options has given consumers the opportunity and luxury to go cash-free. In fact, 46% of the respondents stated their wallets contain no cash anymore.

(CreditCards.com)

4. Cash use sets Americans back $200 billion a year.

Perhaps one of the reasons why the credit card market share has risen at the expense of cash is the fact that more and more consumers are waking up to the real cost of cash payment. Access to cash could incur charges like withdrawal fees for using a non-network automated teller machine.

(TODAY)

5. In 2017, the USA ranked fifth among the preeminent cashless societies in the world.

According to debit card and credit card usage statistics by country, America is not going to overtake the global leaders in this department soon, maybe ever. Sweden aims to be the first cashless society by Q1 2023.

Some US consumers may intentionally never let go of cash. But it’s encouraging that most are using non-cash payment methods regularly.

(Small Business Trends, Interesting Engineering, & Statista)

6. If more businesses go cashless, cash transactions will drop from 11 to 3 payments per person per month.

Wider adoption of cashless payment options will have a considerable impact on cash use. The new dominant payment culture, however, could hurt the unbanked most unless they embrace fintech-driven financial services to adapt.

(Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

7. 83% of US businesses say they will never stop accepting cash payment.

The vast majority of merchants recognize that they could face a backlash from consumers for going completely cashless.

(Cash Matters)

Credit Card Statistics and Facts about Ownership and Usage

8. In 1970, merely 16% of the American population had a credit card.

The issuance of credit cards started as a status symbol for the elite. However, as merchants saw the convenience of non-cash payment for consumers and technology advanced enough to enable banks to extend credit cards to the masses, credit card ownership quickly became the norm in the US.

(The Nest)

9. 70.2% of US households have general-purpose credit cards.

The brands behind most of the credit card volume statistics are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. These networks provide the infrastructure necessary to issue and process credit card transactions.

The most used credit cards in the USA, general-purpose credit cards were used in payments valued at $3.32 trillion in 2017.

(The Nest, The Nilson Report, Credit Karma, & CreditCards.com)

10. Including store cards and oil company cards, 1.27 billion is the grand total of cards in use in the US.

Visa and Mastercard, the two financial giants that oversee the use of the most popular credit cards in the USA, power 104 and 83 million credit cards, respectively.

(The Nest)

11. As of mid-2019, there were 374 million open credit card accounts across the US.

Compared to the number from the same period in the previous year, the figure increased by 2.5%. Subprime credit card holders were the main driver of growth.

(CreditCards.com)

12. By August 2019, 75.5% of consumers had at least one credit card.

This credit card usage percentage includes the small number of Americans who pay with a charge card, a form of plastic that must be paid in full every month.

(CreditCards.com)

13. Nearly 60% of US consumers own a cashback credit card.

This form of plastic is one that pays back real dollars per transaction. No wonder why a retail credit card, the kind that gives redeemable rewards, is only used by 40% of Americans.

(CreditCards.com)

14. More than 30% of Americans have a low-interest credit card.

Out of 287 million credit card offers mailed in April 2018, 62% and 59% were about 0% balance transfers and 0% purchases, respectively.

Financial institutions do not just employ these marketing tactics to drive up credit card usage statistics. They specifically designed some of these low-interest credit cards as debt collection tools, too.

(CreditCards.com)

15. Between 2017 and 2018, credit card preference decreased by 7%.

Debit cards gained the lost points of credit cards. During that period, the number of consumers who preferred debit cards jumped by 10%.

This stat doesn’t necessarily indicate a decrease in the percentage of credit card usage in the country since it would be uncharacteristic for the average consumer to let go of one form of plastic in favor of another. Plus, closing a credit card account, especially an old one, can be financially detrimental. The stronger interest in debit cards might just be a sign of debt management maturity.

As a testament to the truth that credit cards were not swiped fewer times that year, the average credit card debt per household in 2017 went up to $7,377.76, from only $6,940.53 in 2016.

(CreditCards.com, Credit Card Insider, & NerdWallet)

16. Consumers with an annual salary of over $100,000 use credit cards more than people with lower income.

The fact above could point to financial discipline on the part of low-income earners. After all, they are more likely to use plastic as a revolving debt instrument instead of a payment tool.

However, it’s worth noting that one of the unspoken credit card facts is that people with low income are usually less creditworthy. And someone who is in the poor or fair credit score range is less likely to be given a credit card with liberal conditions.

Severe indebtedness could get someone shut out of mainstream financial services. As a result, a debit card would be one of the few viable options to settle bills and shop without carrying cash.

(CreditCards.com, CNBC, & The Balance)

17. 80% of open credit card accounts belong to consumers classified as prime and above.

If one would conduct some credit card industry analysis, it would be safe to assume that this stat is bound to fall.

The number of credit card usage among deep-subprime and subprime consumers increased every year (except one) between 2013 and 2019. In 2018, they collectively had 73 million open credit card accounts to their names, which was a million down from the previous year.

(CreditCards.com)

18. Nine out of ten superprime consumers, those who boast credit scores of 720 and above, had one or multiple credit cards by the end of 2018.

By Q2 2019, they had 197 million open credit card accounts in the US. This number exceeded the total of consumers in the prime tier and below, who owned 177 million cards only.

(CreditCards.com)

19. According to the 2018 data about the average number of credit cards per person in the US, two out of three subprime consumers had at least one.

Although just one-third of deep-subprime consumers had plastic in their wallets that year, more were able to get back on their feet faster with the introduction of VantageScore 4.0.

This credit-scoring model takes trended data into account. So, it considers two years’ worth of credit usage patterns instead of the credit utilization rate featured in the latest report.

In other words, deep-subprime and subprime consumers could move up to the next “credit risk” tier more quickly if they were able to create a history of a generally low average of credit card spending per month.

(CreditCards.com & Credit Karma)

20. In 2019, 57% of undergraduate students owned a credit card.

In addition, 38% of undergraduates had more than one card.

These college credit card statistics are promising, as young consumers have been struggling to establish their credit. After the 2008 financial crisis, Americans under 21 were disallowed to have a credit card without a cosigner or sufficient income to handle such a financial obligation.

In 2013, only 30% of undergraduates owned a credit card.

(Sallie Mae & CreditCards.com)

21. 43% of college students do not carry credit cards.

Despite the relatively high figure reported last year, most college students still prefer debit over credit. The difference between the credit and debit card usage statistics was huge since 85% of undergraduates shop with plastic tied to their bank accounts.

Credit card ownership among college students jumps from 34% during their freshman year to 65% by their senior year.

The average credit card debt for college students is correlated with age. Only 28% of first-year students owe more than $1,000 while 10% more join the club by their senior year.

(EVERFI, CreditCards.com)

22. 44% of Millennials applied for a credit card in 2019.

Considering that the youngest Millennials will turn 24 in 2020, it’s safe to say that most of them are now regular members of the workforce.

They outnumbered the Gen X (32%) and Gen Z (31%) cohorts, suggesting that they are now more financially independent and capable of diversifying their credit mix and fattening up their credit files.

(CreditCards.com)

23. Nearly a quarter of Millennials plan to shop for a credit card in 2020.

Again, more Millennials are interested to have a new credit card than other generational groups before the year ends. Comparative credit card stats say that only 13% and 23% of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers share the same goal.

(CreditCards.com)

24. Almost 13 million more Centennials will be eligible to apply for credit in the next 3 years.

While the iGeneration has a reputation for embracing alternative payment methods, about 50% of them already have a credit card.

(CreditCards.com & PaymentsJournal)

25. 66% of Gen Z living in the US are the most credit-active on the planet.

Based on the data about credit card usage by country as well as similar stats related to other financial products, only 63% Centennials in Canada and 49% in Hong Kong are as active.

(CNBC)

26. The average Centennial has 1.5 credit cards.

This is one of the credit card ownership statistics that may be unusual but should not be surprising.

Historically, the number of plastic cards Americans own increases with time. The oldest Gen Z members will turn 23 this year, so most of them are still in school and have lighter personal finance to manage.

(CNBC, The Nest, & Pew Research Center)

27. 48.5% of Gen Z is already prime.

It is normal for young credit users to have lower credit scores at first since they are just starting to write their own credit histories.

But Centennials are different, for nearly half of them have already crossed prime territory. It supports the claim that Gen Z-ers are more comfortable with debt than Millennials.

Being highly active credit users and responsible payers, Centennials could convince many financial institutions to increase their average American credit card limit early for the benefit of the economy.

(PaymentsSource, CNBC Select, & The Ascent)

28. 33% of Americans plan to request a higher credit limit in 2020.

Leading the way are the Millennials, as 37.2% of them want to make up for lost time and boost their credit score more quickly after probably missing out on the opportunity to take part in the credit card game sooner.

If credit limits increase while the credit card spending statistics remain unchanged, credit utilization ratios go down. By understanding this strategy, discerning consumers could significantly move to higher credit ranges faster with any significant increase in spending.

(The Ascent & The Balance)

29. In 2020, 25% of Millennials and 23% of Gen X-ers intend to apply for a new revolving line of credit.

Opening a new credit card account could pull down credit scores in the short term, as it will decrease a consumer’s average age of active credit cards.

But the benefits of having a new credit card could outweigh its downsides. As long as the credit card debt as a percentage of credit limit does not hover above 30% and the balance is paid in full and on time every month, we could notice credit score improvements sooner rather than later.

(The Ascent & The Balance)

30. Going cashless is the primary reason why 62.3% of Baby Boomers own a credit card.

This is a departure from the goal of most Gen X-ers and Millennials who prioritize positive credit history.

In spite of the rising senior credit card debt statistics and the alarming current retirement crisis, Boomers care about debt consolidation (along with rewards and fraud protection) the least.

(The Ascent, National Council on Aging, & Investopedia)

31. In 2018, 32% of African-Americans and 28% of Hispanics had no access to credit cards.

Whereas only 12% of Whites experienced the same predicament.

Many reasons could explain why blacks and Hispanics struggle more to qualify for the most common credit cards in the States. Statistically, they tend to have lower credit scores and make less money than Asians and Whites.

But then again, being prime consumers does not automatically translate to increased creditworthiness. Blacks with credit scores of 700 and higher are about 80% more likely not to have enough savings and admit to living paycheck to paycheck.

(CreditCards.com & Peter G. Peterson Foundation)

Credit Card Statistics - Holding Card

Statistics about Common Credit Card Mistakes

32. 77% of US consumers subscribe to the misconception that maintaining a high credit card balance is key to creditworthiness.

Credit utilization is an important teller of a person’s credit story. However, the magic number is 30%. Constantly owing over 30% of an individual plastic card’s credit limit can be viewed as irresponsible behavior.

To reach superprime status, keeping the total credit card debt below 10% (the median credit utilization rate of consumers with credit scores 720 or higher) of all available credit should be your top priority.

(New York Post, Investopedia, & The Ascent)

33. 83% of American consumers wrongly believe that not zeroing out credit card balances positively affects credit rating.

Keeping a balance on a credit card will not necessarily hurt a person’s credit. Actually, paying just the minimum on time will suffice to avoid getting reported late and receiving a major credit ding as a consequence.

However, minimum payments will not do much to pull down credit utilization. Interest will be applied to the unpaid balance, which will further inflate next month’s bill. If not paid in full, the cycle will repeat itself, the credit card debt will keep on ballooning month after month.

In other words, making the minimum payment on or before the due date can help establish a positive credit history. But it will not shrink the average credit card balance size unless regular credit usage is moderated.

(New York Post & The Balance)

34. Two-thirds of Americans allow a credit card balance to carry over the following month.

As explained above, unpaid debt is fertilizer for interest. With or without late fees, intentionally not paying what you owe fully could jack up the average credit card debt over time until it goes beyond your financial capacity. Such a scenario is the first act of many credit horror stories.

(The Ascent)

35. 26% of American consumers have made at least one late payment on a credit card that was 30 or more days past due.

In FICO’s book, credit history commands 35% of a person’s credit score—the most influential among the five primary factors, including credit utilization and credit history age.

A payment that is less than 30 days late can’t be forwarded to major credit bureaus. So, it is saddening that over a quarter of consumers in the US fail to capitalize on this rule in order to be creditworthy and stay in solid credit standing.

(MarketWatch, The Balance, & NerdWallet)

36. According to credit card default statistics, 12% of credit card holders have been delinquent on several occasions.

A 30-day late payment will not disappear from a person’s credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date.

Longer delinquencies are more negatively impactful than shorter ones. So, letting a credit card be late 60 or 90 days when the bill could have been settled on or before day 59 would be foolish.

(MarketWatch and Credit Karma)

37. Unpaid credit card statistics reveal that financial institutions have raked in as much as $3 billion in late fees.

Creditors usually charge first-time late payers up to $28 and repeat offenders $39. Despite hefty fines, the inability of American consumers has been a lucrative revenue source for credit card companies.

(MarketWatch)

38. One-third of Americans are more interested in great rewards than low interest rates when shopping for credit cards.

The interest rate and annual fee, two charges that directly affect a cardholder’s cost of borrowing, are given priority by only 29% and 19% of consumers.

Since the average credit card interest rate is 17%, four times greater than those of car loans and mortgages, paying less attention to interest is among the surest routes to chronic delinquency and perpetual indebtedness.

(MarketWatch & CreditCards.com)

39. Based on credit card payment statistics, almost 50% of credit card holders do not bring their balances to zero.

What’s even more concerning is the fact that two out of five consumers are not aware of their interest rates. Failing to zero out a credit card balance every month without knowing the penalty will almost certainly lead to financial ruin in the long run.

(MarketWatch)

40. Over 51% of all US consumers have maxed out their credit cards in the past.

Gen X-ers are the most guilty of this sin since 58.8% of them have used up 100% of their available credit.

(The Ascent)

Credit Card Statistics - Dollar Banknotes

Credit Card Debt Statistics

41. 55% is the percentage of Americans with credit card debt.

Called “revolvers,” these cardholders do not pay their balances in full every month. Unlike “transactors” that zero their balances monthly to avoid interest, some revolvers believe that doing so is necessary to propel their credit scores up, while others simply bite more than they can chew.

(TheStreet, CreditCards.com, & New York Post)

42. The national average credit card debt per household hit $7,104 in December 2019.

All in all, $466.2 billion worth of credit card balances were carried from the previous month.

(NerdWallet)

43. Between 2015 and 2019, credit card debt expanded by nearly 37%.

It swelled by 7% last year alone. In light of this, one of the sobering credit card debt facts to remember is that the peak is only $80 billion away, which could be surpassed in 2021, if not this year.

High credit card balances are not necessarily evil, as they benefit the economy. But abusive and mindless credit card usage is a double-edged sword. If spending habits are not kept in check and the economy tanks, cardholders might default and get stuck in deep financial holes that could take forever to crawl out of.

(NerdWallet, Forbes, & Business Insider)

44. Q1 2019 American credit card debt statistics show that the average balance per cardholder shrunk to $6,028, a 0.2% decrease, year-over-year.

To put things into perspective, average American credit card debt in 2017, the year when the debt pile crossed $1 trillion, was $6,375.

(The Ascent & CNBC)

45. The percentages of men and women with an average credit card bill per month of over $2,000 are 19% and 8%, respectively.

American female consumers tend to gravitate toward debit cards, so it’s natural that their male counterparts swipe more often and for bigger purchases.

(ValuePenguin)

46. The average amount of credit card debt of women is 22% less than that of men.

Male American consumers carry more than $7,400 in credit card balances, whereas females only have to manage less than $5,250.

(ValuePenguin)

47. 80% of parents of children under the age of 18 carry credit card debt.

On the other hand, only 58% of childless parents owe their credit card company some money. In addition, one out of 10 indebted parents believes that it will take over a decade to break free from credit card debt.

(NerdWallet)

48. In 2019, revolvers paid $1,162 in credit card interest charges on average.

Households with children deal with higher interest payments. Couples with kids paid $220 more than last year’s national average.

A recent survey discovered that nearly half of all Americans underestimated the cost of parenting and believed that the first year would set back the average couple less than $10,000. This estimate is much lower than the actual expenses of parents either during pregnancy or the first 12 months of parenthood.

Considering that the cost of parenthood in America won’t go down in the foreseeable future, the new and current parents will likely take credit card statistics in 2020 to a new level.

(NerdWallet & The New York Times)

49. Among 20-year-olds, the average credit card debt in America in Q2 2019 was $2,709.

Consumers at the age of 20 had a credit card balance of $2,310 on average. Curiously, 21-, 22-, and 23-year-olds owed less – $1,881, $1,939, and $2,180, respectively. Starting at the age of 24, consumers began to put more charges on their credit cards.

(Experian)

50. Senior household credit card debt went from 24.2% in 2001 to 34.2% in 2016.

The rise in the average household credit card debt among the elderly during the 15-year period has led to a retirement crisis.

Many Baby Boomers failed to build up a sufficient nest egg that would have eased the financial challenges of daily living in their golden years. Due to fewer private-sector pension programs and shrinking Social Security benefits, many of today’s seniors have relied on revolving credit to get by and carried a large debt in the process.

(National Council on Aging & MSN)

51. In June 2019, American consumers aged 70 owed an average of $5,934.

Overall, cardholders in their 70s had an average balance of $5,250 in Q2 2019. This figure was 2.1% higher than the average credit card debt in Q2 2018, suggesting that more and more older Americans have become even more indebted deep into retirement.

(Experian)

52. By the end of June last year, the average 99-year-old American consumer could die owing their credit card company $1,198.

Usually, credit card debt is not inherited. If there is no cosigner or joint account holder, the creditor could collect the remaining balance using the proceeds from the sale of the debtor’s estate assets.

(Experian & Bankrate)

53. Serious credit card delinquency rate in Q4 2019 soared to 5.32%, up from 5.16% in Q3 2019.

Serious delinquency refers to payments made at least 90 days after the due date. While consumers aged 50 and older were responsible for most of the total US credit card debt, more credit cardholders below the age of 30 were guilty of being extremely late.

67% of Millennials confessed to experiencing some or tremendous stress due to their credit card debt. The goal of increasing their average credit card payment has proven to be more difficult because many of them are already drowning in student loan debt.

(Business Insider & Business Insider)

54. Alaskans, with an average credit card debt in Q1 2019 of $10,685, are the most indebted Americans.

Based on the latest credit card statistics by state, completing the “high” five were Virginians ($9,120), Texans ($9,100), Marylanders ($9,009), and Connecticuters ($9,000).

(Bankrate)

55. By the end of March 2019, Iowans owed credit card companies the least, with an average American credit card debt in 2019 of only $6,726.

North Dakotans ($7,068), South Dakotans ($7,199), Michiganians ($7,382), and Hoosiers ($7,393) also comprised the bottom five.

(Bankrate)

56. According to statistics about the average US credit card debt by demographic group, non-Hispanic Whites owe credit card companies the most, with an average balance of $7,942.

Blacks carry just $6,172 in credit card debt. Considering that African-Americans have the lowest median household income among major races and ethnicities in the US, they could be considered more indebted than Whites, Asians, and Hispanics.

(ValuePenguin & Peter G. Peterson Foundation)

57. The average Afro-American household credit card debt is 20% less than the national mean.

This is one of those somewhat deceiving credit card statistics in America. It does not suggest that black people are not big spenders. Because they are. And they have a lot of money to spend, $1.2 trillion in buying power, to be exact.

Like many other minorities, Blacks are less likely to seek and therefore be able to use credit as much as white consumers do because of long-standing discrimination by established financial institutions and the federal government. Many of them have experienced racism at a young age and grew up distancing themselves from banks and credit unions as a defense mechanism.

Actually, a study found out that, in 2010, about 15% of African-Americans (along with Hispanics) were credit invisible, and 13% were considered unscorable consumers. In other words, the credit card commerce statistics that year did not count them.

Sadly, the effects of having a thin credit file can follow traumatized minorities around their whole lives. Bad credit can negatively affect their ability to get employed, afford utilities with favorable conditions, and quality for financial products like credit cards.

(ValuePenguin, Black Men in America.com, CNBC, CreditCards.com, & The Atlantic)

58. A 2019 survey found that over a third of US college students owe more than $1,000 in credit card debt.

Among all college students credit card debt statistics, this one is deeply concerning. 53% of the respondents admitted that they were ill-prepared to manage their finances. Getting buried in a financial hole early could delay milestone purchases, which has sadly happened to many Millennials.

(Fox Business & Business Insider)

59. During the fall semester of 2018 and early spring semester of 2019, 15% of college students got slapped with a credit ding due to late payment.

Six in ten students interviewed for this survey planned to take out a student loan. If any of them are already delinquent credit card payers, seeking financing for college education will make personal finance even trickier.

Without receiving proper advice, they could see their student credit card debt statistics bubble up before they could get their degrees.

(Fox Business & EVERFI)

60. 78% of college students with credit cards have never been late.

Although students’ financial planning skills have been declining over the years, it’s refreshing to learn that the vast majority have never been delinquent.

Punctual payment will not only improve their college student credit card debt statistics but also help ensure that they are creditworthy enough to qualify for other financial products with more desirable conditions and cheaper interest rates.

(EVERFI)

Credit Card Statistics - Card Theft

Credit Card Fraud Facts and Figures

61. Between 2014 and 2018, the reported instances of credit card fraud went through the roof, growing by almost 300%.

In the 444,602 cases of identity theft two years ago, the largest slice of the pie went to credit card fraud.

(The Ascent)

62. Heartland Payment Systems suffered a data breach that exposed the information of about 134 million credit cardholders.

A quick review of historical online credit card theft statistics will give it the distinction as one of the biggest data heists of all time.

Although the perpetrators, led by the head of a notorious ring of cyberattackers named Albert Gonzalez, were eventually caught and were given the chance to pay their debt to society with a sentence of lengthy imprisonment, the major credit card processing company, a key data custodian, still had to pay for its shortcoming to the tune of $145 million.

(CSO & NBC News)

63. Counterfeit credit card fraud slid by 76% between September 2015 and December 2018.

Thanks to EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) chip technology, it has become extremely difficult to produce phony credit cards. Since most US merchants upgraded their credit card processors, the cases of card-present fraud began have become less frequent.

(The Ascent)

64. 80% of credit cards in Americans’ wallets have been subject to data theft.

Card-not-present cybercrime has been on the rise. Fraudsters could easily buy stolen credit card information on social media, retail websites, and online marketplaces on the dark web. Buyers could use the data to steal someone else’s identity and make unauthorized purchases.

65. 2018 credit card fraud statistics show that the number of compromised new accounts grew by 24% from 2017.

New account credit card fraud is when a criminal opens a new account using another person’s name without the victim’s knowledge. There were a total of 130,928 cases two years ago.

(Insurance Information Institute & The Ascent)

66. Only 29% of US credit card holders think the risk of identity theft is real.

Just less than 17% of consumers are paranoid enough to closely monitor fraudulent activity with high frequency.

(The Ascent)

67. Credit card theft statistics highlight that 35% of Americans have been defrauded.

The usual victims are Baby Boomers – 42.6% of them have been at the receiving end of fraud. On the other hand, only 33.1% of Millennials have suffered the same fate, which is unsurprising since they are more tech-savvy than the older generations.

(The Ascent)

68. Two-thirds of the 23 million pieces of credit card information stolen across the world from January to June 2019 were issued in the US.

Although data heists usually happen over the internet these days, the credit card skimming statistics in America do not seem to diminish. ATM and gas pump card skimmers getting busted in different states grab headlines too often for comfort.

(CNBC Make It, FOX19 NOW, South Florida SunSentinel, & MassLive)

69. Losses due to credit card fraud dropped from $8.1 billion in 2017 to $6.4 billion in 2018.

By and large, credit card issuers and merchants foot the bill. In the US, a consumer may only be liable for an unauthorized transaction when the credit card itself was stolen. But if a thief steals a consumer’s credit card details but not the card, a different party has to absorb the loss.

(The Ascent)

70. Cases of formjacking skyrocketed by 117% in 2018.

This form (no pun intended) of fraud happens when a criminal hijacks credit card information via online payment form. Two years ago, over 57,600 unique websites were targeted and successfully attacked, making the financial accounts of hackers greener by the millions.

(ConsumerAffairs)

71. By the end of December 2018, 10,590 cases of credit card fraud involving military personnel were reported.

Based on the online credit card fraud statistics that year, American troops were found to be the most vulnerable to identity theft in the US.

Active duty members of the armed forces were sitting ducks for cybercriminals because of the great likelihood of them being too preoccupied or too distracted to notice shady online transactions and/or receive a call from a relevant party like a credit card issuer or a debt collector about a suspicious purchase.

(ConsumerAffairs)

FAQ

Q: Why Do People Use Credit Cards?

64.4% of Americans confessed that building credit is their number one motivation for getting a credit card.

The next four motives are increasing spending power in case of an emergency, collecting purchase rewards, having an alternative to cash transactions, and paying for things that are otherwise unaffordable.

(The Ascent)

Q: How Many People Use Credit Cards?

More than 191 million US adults own a credit card, a charge card, or both.

While the data about credit card ownership by country say that Canada has more credit card users aged 15 and above than the US per capita, more and more Americans have stopped making cash purchases.

(CreditCards.com & World Bank)

Q: How Many Credit Cards Does the Average American Have?

Ordinarily, American wallets contain four credit cards. In comparison, the average for Canadian ones is 2.2.

Moreover, one survey of 1,000 respondents unveiled that one in ten US consumers had six credit cards or more.

(CNBC, CreditCards.com, & The Ascent)

Q: How Many Credit Card Transactions per Day?

In 2017, 40.8 billion purchases made in the US were put on plastic. That was over 111,780 credit card transactions per day. Visa, the most used credit card in the USA, handles about 1,700 transactions per second, on average.

(CreditCards.com & Bitcoin.com)

Q: How Much Credit Card Debt Does the Average American Have?

By April 2019, a typical adult residing in the US had been carrying $4,192 in credit card debt.

Apart from unpaid balances attached to standard credit card accounts, the “average American credit card debt” could also include unsettled bills related to consumer finance accounts, which are used to provide loans to consumers through a company. A payday loan is a shining example of such financial products.

(Bankrate, Discover, & CreditCards.com)

Q: What Age Group Has the Most Credit Card Debt?

Consumers in their early 50s have the highest credit card debt. According to the Q2 2019 data about the average credit card debt by age, 51-year-olds are the most indebted, with a credit card balance of $8,658.

(Experian)

Q: Has Credit Card Debt Increased?

By the start of 2020, the US national credit card debt bloat reached $930 billion. From Q3 to Q4 2019, it went off the charts. Some $47 billion was added to the pile.

(Business Insider)

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