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
- Virtual people, real lessons: How card use affects credit score (April 2017)
- Nearly half of Americans emotionally overspend (January 2017)
- Currency conversion: Is your credit card giving you a fair rate? (November 2016)
- Rejected for a credit card? 7 in 10 would boycott the bank (November 2016)
- One year after EMV shift, Americans taking it in stride (October 2016)
- Cash-back cards better than travel cards for most Americans (June 2016)
- Americans struggle with basics of credit cards and scores — Do you? Try this quiz (March 2016)
- 7 in 10 see added stigma in credit card debt (January 2016)
- Americans plan to spend average of $338 on partners for holidays (November 2015)
- Americans’ preference for store credit cards will cost them this holiday season (November 2015)
- How credit card reward rates stack up (October 2015)
- Identity theft and credit card fraud: Which states are most vulnerable (September 2015)
- Map: Most popular credit card type in each state (August 2015)
- Credit card, student loan and mortgage debt in the U.S. (August 2015)
Credit card statistics
- Historical credit card interest rates, nominal and inflation-adjusted (April 2017)
- Credit card issuer and network statistics (February 2017)
- Consumer credit behavior and market statistics (November 2016)