Percentage of credit cards with balances rises
'Revolvers' increase to a 4-year high
By Sabrina Karl | Published: February 8, 2017
Data whiz and visual storyteller
After five years of edging downward, the share of active credit cardholders who are carrying a balance has inched up.
Cardholders who perpetually hold a balance are called “revolvers,” and they account for about 6 in 10 of all consumers with an active credit card. The latest reading from the American Bankers Association shows that for the third quarter of 2016, revolvers comprised 59.7 percent of active cardholders, up from 58.6 percent a year earlier.
On the flip side of the coin are the “transactors,” who pay their balance in full each month. Their ranks grew to 41.4 percent last year, but dropped off in the third quarter to just over 40 percent. The calculations excludes dormant accounts – those who have not used their credit cards for the prior three months.
The last time the proportion of revolvers was this high was in 2012, when 61.4 percent of cardholders were carrying their balance. But this year’s uptick is small, and the current level is still well below the post-recession highs seen in 2009-2012.
The American Bankers Association releases a new Credit Card Market Monitor every quarter. The report was released Jan. 31 and reflects credit card data from July through September 2016. Data for the report is taken from a nationally representative sample provided by Argus Information Services.
See related: More infographics
- Millennials most likely to monitor credit scores, plan to improve them – The younger generation is more active in keeping tabs on this important financial barometer ...
- Merchants say mobile wallets coming but won't cut fraud – Most retailers and e-tailers believe mobile wallets will be widely adopted in the next five years, but only about a third think mobile payments will cut fraud ...
- Infographic: We may pay with finger, face, eye or voice in 2027 – A survey found that 80 percent of respondents support payment technologies such as fingerprint sensing, facial recognition and retinal scanning ...