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Credit Card Data

With so many websites offering free financial tools, it can be hard to know whom to trust. At NerdWallet, we thoroughly research financial products and companies, and adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to find you the best choices. We even share how we make money so you can rely on our expert advice and recommendations with clarity and confidence.

NerdWallet’s credit card research team spends thousands of hours a year studying data from the financial services industry, government and other sources to spot trends, opportunities and dangers that consumers should be aware of. Among our most-read research:

American Household Credit Card Debt Study

Every December, NerdWallet analyzes data from multiple sources, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Census Bureau, to determine how much debt Americans are carrying, why they have it and how this debt will grow.

Annual Travel Credit Card Study

Every spring, NerdWallet examines travel trends, frequent-flyer programs, offers from card issuers and other data points to help you get maximum value from travel credit cards.

  • 2017 study: When should you use cash to book a trip, and when are you better off using airline points?
  • 2016 study: Americans miss out on big bonuses by applying for travel cards at the wrong time.

Annual Consumer Credit Card Report

Every fall, NerdWallet surveys the credit card landscape to identify important trends for consumers.

  • 2017 study: Unsecured cards marketed to those with poor credit come with high fees and low limits that leave cardholders perpetually maxed out.
  • 2016 study: People with bad credit are a huge market, and predatory issuers are taking advantage. Subprime credit card debt is more expensive.
  • 2015 study: EMV shift could paradoxically lead to more fraud. Annual fees are costing some rewards card holders dearly. Millennials should exercise caution when applying for cards.
  • 2011-2014 landscape study: Consumers are willing to pay higher fees for higher rewards. Lengthy 0% APR periods are a hit. Consumers pay more attention to fees than APRs.

Other credit card studies and surveys

Credit card statistics