Consumer Payment Card News

Credit Card Spending

Americans racked up slightly more than $2.2 trillion in purchases and cash advances on their major credit cards during 2007. This is the second consecutive year that credit card activity for VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards has topped the $2 trillion milestone. Ten years ago U.S. consumers ran about $885 billion through their general purpose credit cards. Since 1985, the amount of credit card spending has increased twelve fold, according to’s “CardData” service. Meanwhile, spending on VISA and MasterCard debit cards, on a growth percentage basis, continues to outpace credit cards. The growth in all payment card spending has been driven by the expansion into new markets such as fast food, rent payments, taxis, vending and online purchases.

(VISA, MasterCard, American Express & Discover)
1985: $180 billion
1990: $338 billion
1995: $701 billion
2000: $1243 billion
2005: $1838 billion
2006: $2031 billion
2007: $2202 billion
Source: CardData (

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