Big 6 card issuers grew 4.0% year-on-year (YOY) at the end of the first-quarter (1Q/19) bring U.S. credit cards to 350.0 million. Since the first-quarter of 2018, the nation’s largest issuers have added 13.5 million cards-in-force (CIF). In the prior quarter total CIF stood at 345.7 million.
The Big 6: Chase [JPM], Capital One [COF], Bank of America [BAC], Citibank [C], American Express [AXP], and Discover [DFS], 4.0% YOY growth in 1Q/19, compares a 4.2% YOY gain in 1Q/18, a 3.7% YOY increase in 1Q/17, and a 1.7% gain for the first-quarter of 2016. Since the first-quarter of 2015, the Big 6 have added 42.6 CIF in the U.S., according to figures collected by CardData.
Big 6 Peer Group
The Big 6 are currently growing a four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.30%. Based on current growth it is likely the Big 6 will hit the 400 million CIF milestone in 2024 according to projections by RAM Research.
Chase led the Big 6 peer group in first-quarter YOY growth, driven by the introduction of new high value reward cards and the expansion of co-branded cards. American Express, in second place for YOY growth, has aggressively expanded its business card offerings and re-launching consumers cards such as the Rose Gold Metal American Express card, notes Robert McKinley, Senior Analyst of CardData, CardFlash and CardTrak.
Chase U.S. CIF
Chase U.S. credit CIF jumped 7.8% YOY for 1Q/19 to an estimated 84.1 million, compared to an estimated 81.4 million in the prior quarter, and an estimated 78.0 million one-year ago. For the first-quarter of 2015 Chase posted an estimated 77.9 million CIF.
Capital One U.S. CIF
Capital One U.S. credit CIF was up 3.6% YOY for 1Q/19 to an estimated 57.6 million, compared to an estimated 56.3 million in the prior quarter, and an estimated 55.6 million for 1Q/18. For the first-quarter of 2015 Capital One posted an estimated 43.5 million CIF.
Bank of America U.S. CIF
Bank of America U.S. credit CIF inched upward 1.1% YOY for 1Q/19 to an estimated 42.5 million, compared to an estimated 47.4 million in the prior quarter, and an estimated 47.0 million one year ago. For the first-quarter of 2015 Bank of America posted an estimated 38.5 million CIF.
Citibank U.S. credit CIF increased 2.6% YOY for 1Q/19 to an estimated 43.5 million, compared to an estimated 43.1 million in the prior quarter, and an estimated 42.4 million for 1Q/18. Citibank reported U.S. gross accounts of 34.8 million for 1Q/19, compared to 34.6 million for 4Q/18, and compared to 33.9 million accounts for 1Q/18. For the first-quarter of 2015 Citibank posted an estimated 29.6 million CIF.
American Express U.S. CIF
American Express U.S. credit/charge CIF for 1Q/19 increased 5.5% YOY to 54.1 million, compared to 53.7 million in the prior quarter, and 51.3 million in the year ago quarter. For the first-quarter of 2015 American Express posted 54.8 million CIF.
Discover U.S. CIF
Discover U.S. credit CIF for 1Q/19 rose 1.6% YOY to an estimated 63.2 million, compared to an estimated 63.8 million in the prior quarter, and an estimated 62/2 million in the year ago quarter. (Discover no longer discloses CIF or account data)
All figures shown as estimates are derived from current outstandings, purchase dollar volume and historical data as well as proprietary data. Citibank currently reports gross (open) accounts. Figures exclude cards deactivated voluntarily or involuntarily with account open balances.
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