How Many People Use Credit Cards

How Many People Use Credit Cards in 2024?

Published on: June 24, 2023
Last Updated: June 24, 2023

How Many People Use Credit Cards in 2024?

Published on: June 24, 2023
Last Updated: June 24, 2023

Quick Answer 🔍

How many people use Credit Cards in 2024?

196 million people use credit cards worldwide.

Everyone is curious to know how many people use credit cards in 2024 and we heard you! This article is made just for you. 

Credit cards–these small, rectangular pieces could be considered among the most brilliant inventions of the modern age.

In a nutshell, credit cards are lifesavers. It is not all about using them for payment, you know?

Users have the chance to earn rewards, get discounts, and best of all–build a sound credit history to upgrade credit score a.k.a an assessment of one’s chance to get credit in the future. 

How Many People Use Credit Cards in 2024?

Credit Cards

We have to look at the data released by TransUnion. 

The American consumer credit reporting agency reported that there are a total of 196 million people globally using credit cards in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Among these, 20.1 million are new users which represents a year-over-year increase of 60% despite the tight economic situation. 

In the United States alone, 1.06 billion credit cards are in use.

The country only shows a 66.7% penetaration rate or the number of credit card holders against the total population count.

This means users are holding more than one charge plate on average.

Average Number of Credit Cards per Person

Many people need a little bit more purchasing power than what they currently make. This is exactly why credit cards come in handy. 

On the other hand, studies show that credit card holders do not possess only those shiny new cards.

An average adult in the United States has 3.84 cards, rounded to four different cards per person. 

These numbers change depending on age. Baby boomers carry the highest number of credit cards per person at 4.8 while GenZ members are at 1.8 cards per person. 

Credit Card Penetration by Country

Here are the top 10 countries with the highest credit card penetration rates, or the share of individuals with these cards expressed in percentage, in 2021.

  1. Canada – 82.17% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  2. Israel – 79.05% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  3. Iceland – 74.0% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  4. Hong Kong – 71.63% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  5. Japan – 69.66% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  6. Switzerland – 69.21% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  7. South Korea – 68.44% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  8. Norway – 66.74% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  9. United States – 66.70% of the population have credit cards in 2021
  10. Finland – 65.29% of the population have credit cards in 2021

The list of the top 10 countries that recorded the highest credit card penetration rate in 2021 remained consistent with 2017 figures.

The only difference is Iceland which did not make the 2017 list but is now among the top 3 nations with the highest scores. 

What is a Credit Score?

Total card purchases made using credit cards, debit cards, or prepaid cards are expected to hit close to $13 trillion in 2023.

Currently, 28% of all payments worldwide are made through credit cards.

Such an uptrend in usage statistics suggests that these tiny cards are changing the way people use money, and this applies not just in the store payment settings.

It is also about building a sound credit score.

What is a credit score? According to Investopedia, a credit score is a bank or a lender’s prime consideration when assessing if someone is worth a credit.

In simple terms, credit scores directly speak about someone’s reliability to pay their debt, as seen on their previous borrowing history.

Credit Score Levels

As the name suggests, credit scores are calculated using a pointing system that ranges from 300 points to 850 points.

The higher the points, the more attractive your records looking for a lender. 

Generally, someone carrying a 700-point credit score is already considered ideal. But a very good sum does not start until 740 points.

Globally, the average credit score stands at 714 points which is considered a good credit rating.

Take a look at the different levels of credit scores and how they speak about someone’s chance to get a credit.

  • 300 to 579 points – poor credit rating. People with credit scores sitting on this threshold have a 40% chance of getting their lending request disapproved
  • 580 to 669 points – fair credit rating
  • 670 to 739 points – good credit rating
  • 740 to 799 points – very good credit rating 
  • 800 to 850 points – excellent credit rating

What Affects Credit Score?

Note that credit scores are evaluated using different parameters. 35% are generated from payment history or the person’s reliability to repay debt made in the past.

30% comes from the total amount owed in the past, while 15% is from the length of one’s credit history. 

Other factors affecting credit scores include a recent loan made and the types of credit one engaged with in the past.

The higher the amount owed and repaid, the higher the chance someone can borrow a bigger amount of money from the lender.

Similarly, longer credit history is more ideal since this suggests that someone has not just made debt recently just to get approved in their current bid.

How Long Does a Credit Card Approval Take?

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While financial institutions market credit card approval taking only seven to 10 days, it is still a case-to-case basis.

The average data shows it could take up to 30 days to get approved, but some applicants get a nod within minutes after submitting their requests.

A first-time borrower usually gets a credit limit between $500 to $1,000. This increases as time goes by, depending on whether one pays their debt on time. 

Usually, borrowers in the United States are given a 21-day grace period after their billing cycle closes before their debt accrues penalties.


Credit cards are undeniably convenient. Imagine having to carry thousands of bucks when paying the mortgage–it’s just not ideal! 

Today, these tiny little metals offer different perks to consumers which range from free hotel stays, airline points to afford a business class upgrade, cashback rewards, and discounts, among other amazing deals.

On the other hand, credit card debt is on the rise again. Having one requires prioritization and discipline.

Your credit score speaks about your reliability to pay a debt which, in turn, affects your ability to generate credit in the future.

Thanks for reading this article on how many people use credit cards in 2024.



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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.