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Credit Card Spending Up, but Consumers Are Paying Balances

Posted on 4/2/2014

Consumers are using their credit cards more but are also more likely to pay off their monthly balances -- suggesting that they are using their cards as transactional tools rather than as debt -- according to the latest edition of the ABA's Credit Card Market Monitor released today. "As a result, the amount consumers are paying in interest as a share of their outstanding credit card balance declined for the 13th consecutive quarter," said ABA EVP Ken Clayton.

The report reflects data from 2013's third quarter and highlights trends in consumer behavior, rewards cards and the distribution of risk in the credit card market. It found a 4.6 percent increase in the total credit lines year-on-year, entirely due to increased credit availability for "super-prime" accounts. Together, prime and subprime accounts continued to decline, falling to 32 percent of the market.

The report also found that rewards cards spending increased by 7.8 percent year-on-year -- with super-prime rewards card spending growing 12.5 percent and subprime rewards spending increasing 5.3 percent.

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