Leading credit card issuers in the U.S. 2018, by purchase volume

The statistic shows the leading credit card issuers in the United States in 2018, by purchase volume. American Express led the ranking in that year, with credit card purchase volume amounting to 754.92 billion U.S. dollars.

Credit cards in the United States

The concept of using a card for purchases has its roots in the early 19th century, but it was sometime after that in the 1940s that the first credit card was used in the United States. Its uses back then were restricted to the selling of fuel to the growing number of automobile users as the country’s economy boomed.

Credit card adoption levels were very high in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada at the beginning of the 20th century but the cash-orientated nature of the consumer meant that usage rates were relatively low. Today this is no longer the case and card ownership rates as well as purchase volumes have been showing an upward trend.

The main benefits that credit cards supply to customers is that of convenience, they allow the consumer to take out forms of short-term loans, allowing them to pay freely without having to calculate the remaining balance before a transaction is carried out, providing of course they do not exceed the maximum credit line.

Credit cards also have a number of disadvantages to consumers - these are well known. The modern practice of living beyond our means and factors compelling us to making purchases we can ill afford are part of the reason for the suffering resulting from the 2008 global financial crisis, credit cards are the embodiment of this practice. Often banks provide low introductory rates, limited to a fixed term, after which they increase. This can cause the credit card holder to get into financial difficulty and more debt.

Leading credit card issuers in the United States in 2018, by purchase volume

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Release date

September 2019


United States

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Credit cards in the United States"

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