CreditDonkey Reveals Just How Much Americans Rely on Credit Cards [Infographic]

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Infographic reveals credit card debt rising to an expected $1.177 trillion this year; with one in seven Americans holding more than 10 cards. Includes usage and growth trends.

Infographic: Need Credit Cards

1 in 7 Americans have more than 10 credit cards

CreditDonkey has revealed today just how much we rely on our plastic through a new infographic, I Need a Credit Card.

The infographic, entitled “Just How Much Do We Need Our Credit Cards?”, shows that American credit card debt is expected to rise to $1.177 trillion this year. The colorful diagram also breaks down other details of the American credit card industry, including who uses credit cards, how many cards the average American carries, credit card usage growth and the types of cards preferred by Americans.


First introduced in 1950 by Frank X McNamara, credit cards have quickly become ingrained into American culture. And, despite the recent popularity of extreme couponing and budgeting books, websites and television shows, Americans continue to rely on credit cards in their daily lives.

Who uses credit cards

  • Young Americans are gravitating toward credit cards, with 21 being the average age that an American under the age of 35 first received a credit card; and 8 in 10 college students having at least one student credit card.
  • When evaluating race, it was found that Asians are most likely to carry a credit card (87.4% have at least one) and Blacks are least likely to carry a credit card (56.7% have at least one).

How many credit cards

  • Households, on average have more than one credit card, with the breakdowns varying slightly by race (1.5 in Black households, 2.1 in Hispanic households, 2.3 in White households and 2.8 in Asian households)
  • A shocking 1 in 7 Americans have more than 10 credit cards.

A decade of growth

  • The number of Americans with one or more credit cards has grown by 13.84% over the past decade (181 million Americans in 2010 versus 159 million in 2000)
  • While there has been a slight decrease in credit card debt in recent years, it’s still 27.35% more than in 2000 ($866 billion in 2010 versus $680 billion in 2000)

What card is king

  • Americans prefer Visa, with more than 104 million people carrying a credit card that features the Visa logo
  • Master Card, Discover and American Express are the three other highest ranking brands, at 83 million, 42 million and 36 million respectively
  • Store brand cards and gas credit cards also rank high on the list, with 99 million and 56 million Americans carrying these types of cards

The CreditDonkey infographic reveals the need for increased credit education, as expressed by 84% of undergraduates who say they need more personal finance education.

“Credit cards are powerful tools to increase your purchasing power,” said Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey. “They also carry security features that can make them safer to use than a check or cash. However, cardholders can easily fall into a pattern of overspending each month, putting them at risk of carrying more debt than they can pay off. That’s why at CreditDonkey, we place a high value on credit education and responsible credit card usage.”

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison site that publishes credit card research, informed opinions and related news/trends that empower American consumers to make informed credit decisions. For more information, go to


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Charles Tran
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