Americans went into the “red” to make last Friday “black.” VISA reported that overall retail volume on credit and debit cards for November 26th was up 12%. MasterCard processed over 35.1 million credit transactions on “Black Friday,” a 10% growth over the same day in 2003. VISA says the increase in sales volume for “Black Friday” was largely driven by a 20.9% increase in Discount, Mass Retailers and Drug Store purchases, a 15.7% growth in Department and Apparel purchases, and, a 15.6% rise in Home and Garden purchases. Specialty Retail, Gift and Hobby purchases remained relatively flat. Overall, sales volume on VISA-branded payment cards on November 26th totaled more than $4.1 billion, a 15.5% increase over the same day last year. For “Black Friday,” consumer spending on VISA credit cards exceeded $2.1 billion while debit spending grew to more than $1.7 billion, a 10.0% and 21.6% increase from the same time in 2003, respectively. At the end of the third quarter Americans owed $662 billion on VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards.