Consumer Payment Card News

Card Purchases

It comes as no surprise that Americans use debit cards for the small stuff and credit cards for the big stuff. Based on data through the end of September, U.S. consumers made an average purchase of nearly $82.00 on their credit card while the average debit card purchase runs about $38.00. Over the past twelve months, the average credit card purchase transaction has increased while the average debit card purchase transaction has declined. For example, the average purchase for a VISA credit card, according to CardData ( has increased from $81.08 to $81.94, while the average purchase for a VISA debit card has decreased from $38.36 to $37.83. Previous research supports the notion that Americans tend to use their VISA and MasterCard debit cards for convenience purchases close to home such as gas and groceries. U.S. consumers use credit cards for large-ticket purchases and for travel. Reward programs are another factor driving credit card transactions upward as more consumers shift spending onto plastic to chase miles or points. Reward programs have experienced a resurgence this year, according to CardWatch (

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