Consumer Payment Card News

Holiday Cards

Due to a shorter holiday season, lower consumer spending and more aggressive risk management, purchases on payment cards for the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas will likely rise a mere 3%. Americans are projected to use general purpose credit/debit cards and store credit cards to charge more than $152 billion in retail purchases this holiday season. Based on payment card purchase volume data for the second and third quarters of this year, current spending indices and holiday sales projections, overall spending via all payment means is expected to be flat or retract this year. For the 2007 holiday shopping season, holiday purchases on general purpose credit/debit cards and store credit cards increased about 10%, according to CardTrak (“”: Signature debit card use is expected to increase by 7.2%, while store credit cards will be up 1.6%. Credit card volume is expected to be about 1.4% above last year. Consumers will likely rack up $152.8 billion in holiday sales on VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards. The figures exclude travel, everyday and business expenses. The National Retail Federation says total holiday retail sales are expected to increase 2.2% this year to $470.4 billion.

                        Holiday Card Volume
                     (four weeks ending 12/25)
                2005       2006      2007        2008    Y/Y Gain
    Credit:   $ 77.1 b   $ 85.6 b   $ 92.2 b   $ 93.5 b   + 1.4%
    Debit:    $ 28.2 b   $ 35.3 b   $ 41.0 b   $ 44.0 b   + 7.2%
    Store:    $ 14.7 b   $ 13.9 b   $ 15.1 b   $ 15.3 b   + 1.6%
    TOTAL     $120.0 b   $134.8 b   $148.3 b   $152.8 b   + 3.0%
                 Source: CardData (

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