MasterCard International yesterday reported that its U.S. gross dollar volume for the first quarter increased 7.3% over 1Q/03 to $157.5 billion, compared to a 4.1% annual growth rate for the prior quarter. However, the number of U.S. credit card accounts declined 3.9 million, and the number credit cards decreased 10.6 million, compared to year-end 2003. MasterCard added 2.1 million debit card accounts during the first quarter. Credit card volume was up 8.0% to $126.7 billion, and debit card volume increased 4.6% to $30.8 billion. Combined purchase volume for U.S. credit and debit cards in the first quarter increased 12.5% to $102.8 billion, compared to one-year ago. At the end of the first quarter, MasterCard had 211.8 million credit card accounts representing 262.0 million cards. Debit card accounts stood at 49.6 million representing 54.4 million cards. During the quarter MasterCard processed 1.2 billion credit card transactions and more than 600 million debit card transactions in the USA. For complete details on MasterCard’s 1Q/04 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).