Credit card use stages a comeback

Credit card use stages a comeback


At the end of 2008, more consumers were using debit cards than credit cards but now that trend has reversed, said Silvio Tavares, senior vice president at First Data, which processes card transactions for 4.1 million merchant locations.

"Credit is back in favor," he said. "Consumers have spent the last couple of years de-leveraging and reducing credit card use, but during the past month -- and since April [of this year] -- they've been using their credit cards more and are starting to return to pre-recession buying habits."

Purchases made with credit cards rose 8.2% in the first quarter of 2011, 9% in the second quarter and 10.6% in the third quarter, according to First Data. That compares with gains in debit card use of 9.6%, 8.3% and 5.9% for the same quarters.

And a growing number of holiday shoppers are already opting for credit this year. Payments made with credit cards on Black Friday jumped 7.4% from the same day a year earlier, while debit card use only rose 3.4%.

Comment: We are credit card exclusively. Never use the debit card and rarely use cash (except the pop machine at work)


  1. Same here. As long as you stay under budget, it's more convenient and gives credit card points (which I recently redeemed for a few hundred dollars of Amazon gift cards...).

  2. Even as Americans are using their credit cards more freely than they have been in a long time, the aggregate volume of credit card debt continues to decline. According to the Federal Reserve, the current level of outstanding credit card balances is the lowest in more than seven years and it is 18.9% below the peak reached in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed.

    Moreover, just a couple of weeks ago Moody’s, a credit ratings agency, told us that in October Americans were paying back credit card debt at a rate of 20.91% of their overall outstanding balances, compared to a historical average in the mid-teens.

    What all these statistics seem to be telling us is that Americans have become much more responsible with credit than they have been in a long time. As the numbers clearly show, more responsible with credit doesn’t necessarily mean using less of it. What it does mean is using it within one’s means. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/credit-cards-back-in-favor-with-americans-gain-ground-on-debit

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