United States: top 5 online payment methods

Visa is the most frequently offered payment method in U.S. eCommerce. 97% of the shops have indicated Visa as a payment method. The calculation is based on all online merchants that can be found on eCommerceDB and mainly operate in the U.S. In addition to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and PayPal are among the top 5 payment methods offered, which are also offered by many online merchants with at least 70% share.

Credit Cards in the U.S.

Compared to the German eCommerce market credit cards are more popular in the U.S. A Statista survey carried out in June 2018 revealed that 83 percent of Americans between 30 and 49 years owned a credit card. Even in the younger age group 18-29 years the number of credit card owners is still as high as 65%. The main benefit to the customer is convenience. Compared to debit cards and checks, credit cards allow the holder to take short-term loans without the need for calculating their remaining balance before making a transaction. This can, however, also be a great disadvantage as it may lead the consumer to make purchases they cannot afford. This can often result in difficulties for the cardholder in the form of credit card debt. 

Credit Card debt

Low introductory credit card rates are limited to a fixed term, after which much higher rates are often charged. In total, credit card debt in the United States amounted to approximately 0.83 trillion U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2018. Some credit cards can often levy rates up to 30 percent if a payment is missed, some customers become so indebted to their provider that they are driven into serious financial difficulty and sometimes even bankruptcy. The level of credit card debt varies between states.

Most popular online payment methods in the United States

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American Express94%
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Release date

December 2019


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Base: top 500 online stores by net sales in the U.S. in 2018 for which payment information is available.

The e-commerce market encompasses the sale of physical goods via a digital channel to a private end user (B2C). Incorporated in this definition are purchases via desktop computer (including notebooks and laptops) as well as purchases via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

The following are not included in the e-commerce market: digitally distributed services (e.g. travel tickets), online stores dedicated to digital media downloads or streams as well as online stores dedicated to B2B markets nor sales between private persons (C2C). Market volume, market growth and all monetary figures at store level refer to the annual e-commerce net sales after the deduction of returns.

For more information please visit our methodology page on ecommerceDB.com.

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