Americans Own Nearly One Third of All Visa and Mastercard Credit Cards in the World

December 7, 8:44 am

The use of credit cards ramped up in 2023 as inflation continues crunching consumer purchasing power and pushing prices of goods and services to never-seen highs. As of Q3 2023, there were nearly 2.4 billion Visa and Mastercard credit cards worldwide, meaning that every third person owns them. Still, most were issued in the United States.

According to data presented by, Americans own 714 million, or nearly one-third of all Mastercard and Visa credit cards worldwide.

The Number of Visa and Mastercard Credit Cards in the US Jumped by 37 million Year-over-Year

Consumers worldwide use credit cards more than ever, as high prices make life costs unbearable for many. This surge is best shown by the total number of new Visa and Mastercard credit cards, the two largest operators in the market.

Last year, Visa processed 61.6% of all credit card transactions in the United States and 40% globally, according to Money Crashers data. Mastercard, America's second-largest card processor by purchase volume, processed 25% of all transactions in the United States and almost 30% globally. However, the final 2023 figures might be even higher, as Americans use Visa and Mastercard credit cards more than ever.

According to Statista and the official company data, the total number of Visa and Mastercard credit cards in the country jumped by 37 million year-over-year, rising from 677 million in Q3 2022 to 714 million in Q3 2023. Visa, the largest credit card provider in the market, issued 15 million new credit cards in the United States in the past year, with their total number rising from 376 million to 391 million. However, Mastercard, the second-largest operator in the US market, saw even more significant growth. Statistics show the total number of Mastercard credit cards in the United States increased by 22 million year-over-year and hit 323 million in Q3.

US Credit Card Industry Growing Faster than the Global Market

Thanks to a sizeable share of Americans who use Visa and Mastercard credit cards regularly, the US credit card industry is growing faster than the global market. Over the past year, the total number of Visa and Mastercard credit cards in the United States jumped by 37 million, or more than 5%. On the global level, the growth was a bit smaller, with the total number of credit cards of the two providers rising by 92 million or 4% year-over-year. As of Q3 2023, there were 2.38 billion Visa and Mastercard credit cards worldwide, up from 2.29 billion in the same period last year.

Tens of millions of new credit cards and the surging number of transactions have helped both credit card providers to hit a record payment volume. Statistics show Visa hit $6.2trn in total payment volume between January and September, 42% more than in the same period a year ago and $324bn more than in the entire 2022.

Mastercard's nine-month payment volume jumped by 10% and hit an all-time high of over $3bn. The impressive results have helped the credit card issuer to add almost $85bn to its stock value year-over-year. In November 2022, Mastercard's market cap was around $300bn, and now it's nearly $385bn. According to the AltIndex platform, the overall sentiment for investing in Mastercard on the top investing forums is positive. The company has a sentiment score of 78 out of 100 and overperforms most of its industry peers.

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