Experian provides insight into credit card trends of the top 20 major metropolitan areas

Study finds New Yorkers have the most open credit cards, while Phoenix has the fewest

Experian provides insight into credit card trends of the top 20 major metropolitan areas
Study finds New Yorkers have the most open credit cards, while Phoenix has the fewest

Costa Mesa, Calif., Aug. 9, 2010 — Experian®, the global information services company, released its findings today on credit card trends, which provide insight into U.S. card usage. The study shows that nationally, consumers are opening 26 percent fewer credit cards* than they were three years ago. The study also reveals that out of the top metropolitan areas studied, the number of open bank cards were typically higher than retail credit cards, with the exception of four areas — Pittsburgh, Miami, Columbus and Atlanta — whose residents seem to favor their retail cards. 

Additionally, the results show that New Yorkers lead the way with the highest number of open cards, and Phoenix residents have the fewest. A closer look at New York reveals that while its residents have more open cards, the data shows they aren’t using those cards as much as some of the other cities, such as Atlanta, where the highest average monthly balance is $6,753 on revolving accounts. San Francisco and Houston have the lowest average monthly balance, with $5,323 and $5,328, respectively.
Results ranked by highest to lowest number of open cards and average aggregated balances are detailed below:


Metropolitan Area

Average number of Open Credit Cards

Average Balance

1. New York



2. Pittsburgh



3. Boston



4. Philadelphia



5. Minneapolis



6. Chicago



7. San Francisco



8. Baltimore



9. Washington D.C.



10. Miami



      St. Louis



11. Columbus



12. Los Angeles



13. Seattle



14. Detroit



15. Atlanta









16. San Diego



17. Dallas



18. Tampa



19. Portland



20. Phoenix



“As expected with the current financial environment, we can see that the average person has fewer cards in their wallet and is using credit differently than in the past,” said Michele Raneri, senior director of analytics, Experian. “This implies that many American consumers are relying less on cards and potentially trying to pay down debt.”

For more information on average debt levels per consumer in the top 20 metropolitan areas, please see Experian’s previous study, Experian ranks top 20 major US metropolitan areas by average debt per consumer.

Below are some tips for using credit wisely:

• When you are extended a line of credit, use it, but use it carefully. Most important, make your payments on time.

• Set up a budget and stick to it. You need to be aware of how much debt you already have and how much you are adding to that debt by buying with credit.

• Shop around for credit. Lower interest rates, lower or no annual fees, cheaper service charges and additional benefits such as frequent flier miles or special insurance rates are available. Find the credit that is right for you.

• Once you have signed a credit agreement, you are responsible for it unless the creditor agrees to release you from the agreement.
For more information on managing credit, visit http://www.experian.com/crediteducation.
The data was pulled and analyzed by Experian Decision Sciences using a statistically relevant sampling of Experian’s File OneSM consumer credit database. Credit files analyzed had all personal identification information removed. They then were filtered through Premier AttributesSM, the credit industry’s most robust, accurate and comprehensive set of credit attributes that provides consumer data at the most granular level, facilitating enhanced modeling opportunities. Experian’s credit study data score averages are based on VantageScore®.

Kristine Snyder 
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5192

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft. 

For more information, visit http://experian.com.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2010, was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. 

VantageScore® is owned by VantageScore Solutions, LLC.

*Credit cards for this study are defined as all open revolving trades, including home equity lines of credit.  

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