Gender Gap

The average American female carries about $200 less in credit card debt than their counterpart. A new survey has found that American males have an average of $2,742 of credit card debt spread out over 2.5 cards, and that females average $2,522 of credit card debt on 3.3 cards. The survey of 1,000 consumers concluded…

Jet Perk

Marquis Jet has become the exclusive private aviation partner of the “MERRILL+” and “Merrill Lynch VISA Signature” card program. Under the partnership, cardholders who purchase a 25-hour “Marquis Jet” card will have their choice of either an additional free flight hour or a one-way aircraft upgrade. In addition, Marquis Jet will now be a participant…

Spa Cards

The gift card industry is quickly massaging its way into the spa market. This week, three new cards were launched for beauty and health services. The “giveBeauty Gift Card” can be used at health and beauty professionals nationwide participating in the giveBeauty network. The value that is purchased on the “giveBeauty” card is exactly what…

Bankruptcy Oct

Bankruptcy filings dropped like a rock during October, declining more than 10% over year ago levels. Overall, bankruptcy filings are down more than 3% this year. During October, 133,404 filings were made compared to 148,044 for October 2003. Year-to-date bankruptcy filings were 1.3 million. The total number of bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending…

U.S. Cards

More than 20 million general purpose credit and debit cards were added to the national cardbase during the third quarter. VISA, which holds a 52% share based on total U.S. cards-in-force, added more than nine million cards to end the quarter with 452.5 million credit and debit cards. MasterCard, with a 37.5% share, added more…

Leadership Q3

VISA and MasterCard continue to jockey for leadership in the credit card market as MasterCard leads in accounts but lags in outstandings. At the end of the third quarter, VISA had $293.5 billion in U.S. credit card outstandings, compared to $282.7 billion for MasterCard. MasterCard ended the quarter with 218 million credit card accounts, about…

Red Friday

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…

Card Pictures

Getting your name embossed on a gift card is cool, but getting a card with a family portrait on it, or a pix of the intended gift is really cool. This week, Sears added personalization to its popular gift cards. Consumers can now truly customize their Sears gift cards with just about any graphic. Sears…

Paw Card

Those cuddly little “Boyds Bears” have landed their own credit card. Cleveland-based National City has launched a co-branded card with PA-based The Boyds Collection Ltd. The new “Boyds Bears VISA Platinum” credit card offers one collectible bear for the first card purchase or balance transfer, and “Paw Points” for each transaction thereafter. The “Paw Points”…

Plastic Volume

Americans made $598.8 billion in purchases and cash advances on VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit and debit cards during the third quarter of this year. Through September 30th, consumers charged more than $1.7 trillion on major credit cards and signature debit cards this year. By year-end, Americans will have charged more than $2.4…