US Credit Card Industry Trends

The return of spending normalcy appears near as March month-over-month growth continues.

As we begin to analyze and understand the impact of a year as significant as 2020, the importance of continued industry trend awareness has never been more vital. As an insights-driven company, we have monitored month-over-month (MoM) and year-over-year (YoY) comparisons to better inform our customers of trends that may be impacting their business.


Let’s dive right in.

To start, spend and balances have seen their best performance since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Total spend is not only up compared to the prior year, but we’ve seen an increase from 2019, which is encouraging as many merchant categories see a spike in spending. This growth occurs when there are vaccine rollouts, stimulus payments, and improving weather— all of which have impacted these numbers. Despite being below 2019 levels, it’s positive to see a significant uptick in the heavily affected travel categories with expected accelerated growth. There was a YoY decrease regarding balance transfers but an increase MoM, which continues the 4-month growth trend.

With changes occurring in consumer spending, what’s happening with delinquencies and losses?

Asset losses increased from February to March, which outpaced the MoM increases in 2019 and 2020 due to asset delinquencies growing from Sept 2020 through Jan 2021.

To round out our analysis, let’s touch on acquisitions and credit line activity.

Despite the pandemic, the acquisition YoY decline is lessening. While MoM volume increases due to seasonality, as expected, anticipating that this slow and steady upward trend will continue.

Credit line activity was affected by the impact of COVID-19, particularly on balances. In March, we saw credit line activity increased MoM, although it remains below the 2020 level, which can attribute to declining balances.

Overall, March proved to be a positive month for credit card month-over-month growth, signaling toward the return of spending normalcy and recovery.

Stay in touch with our blog as we will continue to publish data-driven insights on trends from some of the best experts in the card and payments industry.

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