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80+ Credit Card Statistics: Must-Know Facts About Credit Cards in 2023

Did you know the average college grad has $8k in credit card debt? All others have just $3,390.

Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer
Written by
Finance Writer
Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert
Reviewed by
Personal Finance Expert
9 min
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Table of contents:

Pizzas and credit cards—can we ever get enough?

Why Trust Us
Advertiser Disclosure

There’s the temptation (for more cheese and credit), the insatiable appetite (too many slices and cards), and the self-control issues (you’re full but still eating—or you’re in debt and carry on using credit cards). 

I could go on—but you’re not here for crappy analogy games. 

You’re here because credit cards are a mystery and you want the numbers

From general facts and stats on US credit card debt, to usage trends and numbers on credit card crimes—we have it all.

We’ve taken out the fluff to give you a fact-checked comprehensive list of credit card statistics. Enjoy!

General Facts About Credit Cards

Let’s start off with a look at the credit card situation in the US—an appetizer for what’s to come:

  • There are 2.8 billion active credit cards worldwide—and 1.06 billion in the US. (Shift)
  • There were a total of 196 million American credit card users in 2021. (TransUnion
  • The US has a total of $4.3 trillion in credit card limits. (Finder)
  • Meanwhile, the total available credit adds up to $3.4 trillion. (Finder)
  • The average American credit score currently stands at 714. (Experian)

Check out more key statistics:

Statistics on Average Credit Card Debt in America

America is drowning in debt—and that’s putting it politely

The credit card debt statistics you’re about to see are disheartening—and make you wonder what led to this. 

Vipin Porwal, CEO and Founder at Smarty—an LA-based online shopping portal—shares some insights, “It’s interesting to see the current rise of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options. Our holiday spending survey from Smarty found that 81% of respondents plan to use BNPL programs to help purchase gifts. While it’s nice to access tools that help delay payments, you’re ultimately adding to regular payments in the long run.

How Much Credit Card Debt Does the Average American Have? 

Here are some eye-opening stats—

  • America’s total credit card balance is $925 billion. (Federal Reserve
  • Wondering what’s the percentage of Americans with credit card debt? It’s about 77% of US households. (ValuePenguin)
  • The average US credit card debt among cardholders with unpaid balances is $6,569. (LendingTree)
  • The average credit card bill per month is $110.50. (Wallethub
  • Americans carried a balance on 53% of their active credit cards in 2022. (American Bankers Association)
  • The average APR for all credit cards was 16.27% in 2022—while the average APR for cards collecting interest was 18.43%. (LendingTree)
  • The average APR across all new credit card offers is 22.91% —the highest rate since 2019. (LendingTree)
  • The 30-day delinquency rate—the number of consumers who are at least 30 days late for their card payment—grew from 1.85% to 2.08% in 2022. (Federal Reserve)
  • Similarly, the 90+ days delinquency rate currently stands at 7.6%. (Finder)
  • Over half (51%) of American credit card holders increased their credit balance as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. (CreditCards
  • At least 29% of American parents regularly carry unpaid credit card balances—in contrast, 27% say they never owe any balances. (Statista)
  • But what is the average American credit card debt per household? Recent data suggests it’s $8,900. (Experian)
  • Two-thirds (64%) of credit card users in the US believe they’ll be debt free within a decade. (CreditCards)

College Students Credit Card Debt Statistics

Tuition in America costs an arm and a leg (plus a kidney, a lung—you get the idea). 

But American college students have more to worry about than just student loan payments. 

They’re drowning in credit card debt too— 

  • Over 80% of graduating college seniors have credit card debt before they even have a job. (Ramsey Solutions)
  • Americans with a college degree have an average credit card debt of $7,940. (Federal Reserve)
  • Meanwhile, people with a high school diploma only have an average credit card debt of $3,390. (Federal Reserve)
  • Nearly one in five adults between 18 and 24 with a credit file in the US currently have debt in collections. (Urban Institute)

Credit Card Usage Statistics

Everything from rising inflation rates to debt debauchery has landed Americans in trouble—but how is everybody using their credit cards

Let’s find out—

  • Americans are 40% likely to purchase things with a credit card. (Shift)
  • Only 35.5% of Americans use their credit cards every month. (Finder)
  • Roughly 23.7% of Americans don’t use their cards despite having an open account. (Finder)
  • 40.9% of the American cardholders don’t use their credit cards for transactions—but continue to carry a balance on those accounts. (Finder)
  • A recent survey says 14% of men and 10% of women claim to pay off their credit card balance each month. (BMO Harris Bank)
  • A majority of Americans (64%) believe the US will soon turn into a cashless society. (CreditCards)
  • Consumers with a preference for credit cards make at least half of their monthly transactions using a card. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • American adults earning less than $100,000 a year are more likely to use credit cards to carry balances each month. (Federal Reserve)
  • Nearly 51% of Americans use some form of contactless payment. (CNBC)

Credit Card Fraud Statistics

Credit card and identity theft crimes have been on the rise (as if we weren’t dealing with enough already). 

But here’s the thing—knowing just how big the fraud problem is will help you stay alert and take precautions. 

So let’s get into it—

  • Credit card fraud was one of the most common kinds of fraud in the US—with nearly 390,000 reports in 2021. (Federal Trade Commission)
  • Over 127 million American adults have been victims of credit card fraud. (Security.org)
  • America is set to lose $165.1 billion over the next ten years to credit card fraud. (Nilson)
  • Card-not-present fraud—involving online, over-the-phone, and mail-order transactions— lead to a $5.72 billion loss in 2022. (Insider Intelligence)
  • American retailers witness an average of 1,740 credit card fraud attempts each month. (Chargebacks911)
  • The US accounted for 36.8% of worldwide card fraud in 2021. (Nilson)
  • Americans ages 30 to 39 reported the most incidents of credit card fraud (108,592) in 2021. (Nilson)
  • Rhode Island tops the list for identity theft reports—followed by Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, and Georgia. (Federal Trade Commission)

Credit Card Creditors Statistics

What’s the most popular credit card? And who’s the biggest card issuer in the US? 

Read on for all the trivia—

  • Chase is the most popular credit card company—with 149.3 million cards in circulation. (Nilson)
  • Visa is the most popular credit card network—with 353 million cards in use—followed by Mastercard’s 319 million. (Nilson)
  • Chase had the highest outstanding credit at $154.3 billion in 2021. (Nilson)
  • American Express had the biggest year-on-year growth of outstandings at 21.80%. (Nilson)
  • Chase also recorded the most purchase transactions at 11.3 billion. (Nilson)
  • Goldman Sachs enjoyed the greatest growth—with an 86.8% rise in purchase transactions. (Nilson)

How many credit cards does the average American have?

Are you now trying to figure out if you have too many cards? 

Here are some stats to give you perspective— 

  • Each American has an average of 3.8 credit cards. (Federal Reserve)
  • 83% of adult Americans have at least one credit card. (Federal Reserve)
  • American college students own an average of 4.25 credit cards. (ThinkImpact report)
  • Consumers ages 40 to 74 have more than four credit cards on average. (Experian)
  • The majority of American consumers (61%) have at least one open credit card account. (Experian)

Credit Card Ownership Statistics

We’re all curious little cats—so if you’re wondering what kind of credit card other Americans own—you’re not alone. 

Here are some insightful credit card ownership statistics—

  • Recent data reveals there are over 365 million open credit card accounts in the US. (American Bankers Association)
  • New Jersey consumers own the most credit card accounts—4.54 on average. (Experian)
  • Over 13 million Americans owned a crypto credit card in 2022. (Finder)
  • Cash-back credit cards emerge as the most preferred cards for Americans. (Bankrate)
  • Recent credit card ownership data says 79% of Americans value loyalty rewards when choosing one credit card over another. (TSYS)

The Demography of Credit Cards

Just like Nutella on your toast, access to credit cards isn’t evenly spread across America. 

How do age, race, gender, and income factor in?

Teenage Credit Card Debt Statistics

Beauty before age—let’s talk about teens and zoomers first—

  • Six million US parents say they have a child under 18 with a credit card. (Creditcards.com)
  • Nearly one in five American teens (ages 13 to 17) now has a credit card. (TransUnion)
  • Most teens in the US use their credit card at least once a week. (TransUnion)
  • Over 19% of American teens are authorized users on a parent’s credit card. (TransUnion)
  • Gen Z has the lowest average number of credit cards—1.7 per person. (Experian)
  • Zoomers also hold the lowest average amount of credit card debt at $2,312. (Experian)
  • About 4.5% of Gen Z consumers have credit card debt that’s over 60 days delinquent. (PYMNTS)
  • Over 65% of zoomers live paycheck to paycheck. (PYMNTS)
  • Gen Z cardholders have issues paying their monthly bills and report the lowest average savings of $1,158. (PYMNTS)
  • A recent poll says 52% of Gen Z credit card consumers experience a lot of stress about their debt. (Morning Consult)

And now for the older folk

  • Generation X has the highest average credit card balance at $7,236. (Experian)
  • Baby boomers come in second—with an average balance of $6,230. (Experian)
  • Female cardholders have 22% less debt than their male counterparts. (ValuePenguin)
  • 35% of women consider credit card debt a major financial concern—compared to 22% of men. (BMO Harris Bank)
  • Americans under 30 have the lowest credit card debt at 7.4%. (Federal Reserve)
  • On the other hand, Americans aged 50 to 59 have the most credit card debt at 22.2%. (Federal Reserve)

Here’s some perspective on how income brackets relate to credit cards

  • Credit card debt is most prominent in the $40,000–$80,000 income range. (CreditCards).
  • Americans earning less than $25,000 have a low average debt of $3,000. (Federal Reserve)
  • Americans with the highest credit score owe an average debt of $11,200. (Lexington Law)

A 2021 survey shows how generations use credit cards differently:

Generation Credit card usage
Baby boomers 46% use credit cards for most of their purchases.
World War II generation 72% use credit cards for most of their purchases.
Younger generations (like Gen Z and millennials) Mostly use cash, debit cards, and digital payment alternatives.

(Source: Mintel report)

Here’s a breakdown of credit card ownership of different ethnicities:

Ethnicity Credit card ownership
Asian people 93%
White people 88%
Hispanic people 77%
Black people 72%

(Source: Federal Reserve)

Cash vs Credit Card Spending Statistics

Cash vs. credit cards—a battle of the greats. 

What do Americans prefer—and where are we headed? 

Let’s find out—

  • 80% of American consumers prefer cards over cash—54% opt for debit cards and 26% go for credit cards. (CreditCards)
  • Only 10% of Americans use just cash. (Gallup)
  • 88% of Americans admit they spend with cash at least sometimes. (Gallup)
  • Stats say the average size of cash transactions is just $22. (Experian)
  • For non-cash transactions, the average transaction is way higher—$112. (Experian)
  • Debit cards are more popular—accounting for 67% of card payments. (Experian)
  • 90% of US households use more than one payment method. (Federal Reserve)
  • American consumers use an average of 3.6 different payment methods each month. (Federal Reserve)
  • Survey says 45% of US consumers prefer using stored card information for online transactions. (Statistica)
  • 38% of credit card users say the inconvenience of carrying cash is their reason for card use. (Experian)
  • The total credit card payment in America rose by 10% year over year. (Federal Reserve)

The Bottom Line

That was quite the journey—

Even though your head is probably still spinning from all these—often astounding—numbers, you’ll likely agree that credit cards and debt are not going away anytime soon. 

Meanwhile, you can speed your way out of debt with our free debt snowball spreadsheet—the most effective debt management tool!

So, how about another slice of pizza?

Editorial team

Meet the team
Deepti Nickam - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Content writing and marketing professional with 4+ years of experience in the B2B and B2C sectors. Deepti has written about several subjects, including finance, project management, human resources, and more.

Kacper Kozicki - Editor


Editor, copywriter, and multilingual translator with expertise in producing tailored content for global online brands. When not editing articles for LifeAndMyFinances.com, he enjoys rummaging through paper dictionaries, walking in nature, and making travel plans.

Derek Sall - Personal Finance Expert

Personal Finance Expert

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially—one email, one article, one person at a time.

Lauren Bedford - Finance Writer

Finance Writer

Lauren is a published content writer who is passionate about helping and informing others through her content. In the last 5 years, Lauren has written about a range of subjects, including business, technology and finance.

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