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50+ credit card trends and statistics for banks in 2022

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Credit card customer relationship

There are 531,540,000 credit cards in the United States, and the average American has three credit cards in their wallet.1

By the end of 2020, 7 out of 10 Americans had a credit card in their name.22

87% of Caucasian adults, 92% of Asian adults, 72% of Black adults and 76% of Hispanic adults have credit cards.1

28 million super prime customers, 22 million prime customers and 18 million subprime customers opened new lines of credit in Q3 2021, totaling 68 million new accounts.2

The top three customer complaints about credit cards were collection issues (32.95%), billing issues (19.38%) and the refund process (6.04%).3

American Express has the highest credit card customer satisfaction score, followed by Discover and Capital One. Customers were least satisfied with Credit One Bank, followed by US Bank and Synchrony Bank.4

Top General Purpose Credit Card Issuers in the United States in 2021 by Purchase Volume

Consumer credit card balances, payments and debts

Almost half (45.4%) of families have some sort of credit card debt.6

39.5% of credit card users do not use their cards for transactions but maintain a credit card balance, and 24.4% of credit card holders do not use their cards and have their accounts inactive .5

The average US family credit card debt is $6,270.6

U.S. Credit Card Outstanding Balances and Purchase Volumes21

Read more: 18 of the Best Credit and Debit Card Designs in Banking

Credit card debt is hitting new highs every quarter, up to $856 billion in Q4 2021, a 6.5% increase in credit card debt from the previous quarter.7

There is $3.2 trillion in credit card credit available in the United States, as of the fourth quarter of 2021.7

Age distribution of total credit card debt held by US consumers

The average monthly credit card bill has an average minimum payment due of $110.50.3

American households with credit card debt pay interest charges of $1,029 on average.8

One in 12 credit cards has a delinquency rate of more than 90 days.7

Breakdown of credit card holders by age who were overdue by age 90 in 2021

Credit cardholders in Alaska have the highest credit card balances, at 30.9% above the overall average. Connecticut ranks second with 15.1% and Virginia with 14.3%. Meanwhile, Iowa had the lowest credit card balance – 17% lower than the overall average.9

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Travel rewards

More than one in six (17%) of travel rewards credit card holders place all of their credit card purchases on their travel rewards card. But one in five (19%) travel rewards credit cardholders don’t place any of their credit card purchases on their travel rewards credit card.8

Since 2020, 39% of travel rewards cardholders have used a cashback credit card more often than their travel rewards card.8

Americans with travel rewards credit cards have an average of 64,800 points/reward miles saved. 56% of travel rewards cardholders have less than 10,000 points/miles, but 25% have 50,000 points/miles or more.8

Among travel rewards cardholders, 14% say they have opened a new travel rewards credit card account since 2020. 7% of Americans say they had a travel rewards credit card, but canceled it in 2020 or 2021.8

The average initial points/miles bonus awarded for new credit card accounts has increased by more than 19% in 2022.3

Cash back, incentives and other credit card rewards

The average initial cashback credit card rewards premium increased 6.60% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022.3

82% of credit card holders are not interested in crypto rewards, but 13% would like the option and 5% are interested.ten

Credit card companies are emphasizing credit card balance transfers over funding new purchases, offering 0% introductory rates on credit card balance transfers for 9.1 % Longer.3

Credit card trends between Gen Z and Millennials

50% of active Gen Z consumers in the US have a credit card.11

27% of Gen Z consumers report being declined when applying for their first credit card – twice the rate of any other generation.13

Credit cards (50%) were the most common financial product held by Gen Z, ahead of student loans (39%), car loans (25%) and unsecured personal loans (4%).11

Young shoppers like the flexibility of Buy Now, Pay Later, with 44% of Gen Z and 37% of Millennials expected to make a BNPL payment in 2022, compared to 23% of Gen X and 9.4% of babies -boomers.12

While cash and debit cards are the primary payment types for all consumers, Gen Z is also welcoming non-traditional digital payment options. 53% use person-to-person payment apps (more than any other generation), 50% use PayPal, and 25% would consider using cryptocurrency.13

Read more: Millennials and Credit Cards: Separating the Facts from the Myths

36% of Gen Z use credit cards for purchases between $30 and $150.13

59% of Gen Zers with credit card debt aren’t shy about talking about it with friends and family.14

Young millennials have an average credit card debt of $2,288, while older millennials have an average credit card debt of $6,675.9

Millennials accounted for 32.7% of credit card issuance in Q2 2021, followed by Gen X at 28.8% and Baby Boomers at 21.3%.11

Mobile wallets/contactless payments

There are over 175 million contactless cards in the US market.15

51% of Americans now use some form of contactless payment, which includes tap-to-pay credit cards and mobile wallets like Apple Pay.16

Nearly 150 million Americans say they have used a mobile wallet/contactless payment method at least once.17

43.7% of the US population is expected to try and make at least one contactless mobile payment by 2025, up from just over a third (36.4%) of customers using contactless payments in 2021.12

About 85% of transactions in grocery stores were made using contactless options, 39% in pharmacies, 38% in retailers and 36% in restaurants.17

50% of consumers said that a contactless payment is safer for their health than swiping or inserting their credit card.18

Read more: Growth of digital wallets and contactless payments set to explode

By 2025, QR code payment users are expected to exceed 2.2 billion, or 29% of all mobile phone users worldwide.12

QR codes have a usage rate of 70% in China (but only 8% in Japan). The use of QR codes for payments is expected to grow internationally.12

Most credit card companies set the maximum threshold for a contactless credit card at $250.17

66% of issuing banks were providing contactless cards by 2020. 25% planned to start issuing contactless cards within one to three years. The remaining 9% had not yet changed their position on contactless cards.5

APR, interest rate and credit card fees

The average credit card APR was 18.32% in the first quarter of 2022.3

The credit card issuer with the longest 0% introductory APR is Wells Fargo, which promises 21 months interest-free with eligible credit card balance transfers to its Reflect credit card. After that, the rate rises rapidly between 13.24% and 25.24%.

Credit Card APRs and Introductory Rate Comparisons

38% of credit card companies surveyed charge penalties. The highest penalty rate charged is 29.99% for non-payment on a credit card.19

Customers with good or excellent credit have an average of 19.53% APR on their credit cards and customers with average credit have an average of 23.68%.19

The average APR of a travel rewards card is 19.75%.20

Average APR among student credit card offers increased the most over last year, increasing 95 basis points from 15.38% in Q1 2021 to 16.33% in Q1 2022 .3

The average annual credit card fee is $21.94, a 14% increase from 2021.3

The average credit card balance transfer fee is 2.44%. It was down 9.29% from last quarter and nearly 20% from a year ago.3

The average foreign transaction fee on a credit card is 1.44%, down more than 38% since the third quarter of 2014.3

The average cash advance charge on a credit card is $8.12.3

1 Federal Reserve, 2 Verisk Financial, 3 WalletHub, 4 CreditCards.com, 5 American Bankers Association, 6 Valor Penguin, 7 New York Federal Reserve, 8 nerdwallet, 9 Experian, ten Finder.com, 11 TransUnion, 12 Global Payments, 13 Alliance Data Systems, 14 The bank rate, 15 Visa, 16 MasterCard, 17 Finical Holdings, 18 American Express Digital Payments, 19 The balance, 20 loan tree, 21 Nilson Report, 22 CFPB