Chase passes Bank of America to become top credit card issuer

Chase became the largest U.S. issuer of Visa and MasterCard credit cards in 2006. 

Chase's outstanding credit card loans for MasterCard and Visa increased to $147.8 billion in 2006, according to SEC documents.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America acknowledged that the bank lost some former Wachovia customers, although fewer than predicted, adding that some Visa and MasterCard customers also moved to American Express.

For years, Visa and MasterCard barred member banks, like Bank of America and Chase, from issuing credit cards on rival networks run by American Express and Discover.  But in October 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that such bans violated antitrust laws, with the court permitting U.S. banks to issue American Express and Discover cards.

MBNA was one of the earliest banks to issue American Express cards, with Bank of America eventually announcing plans to also issue AmEx cards in December 2005.

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Updated: 03-21-2019