MasterCard International reported Wednesday that fourth quarter U.S. credit card outstandings rose 16%, and U.S. credit card gross dollar volume increased 12%, over 4Q/01. MasterCard’s fourth quarter U.S. debit card volume of $31.1 billion was up 13.3% over 2001. Overall, MasterCard’s U.S. 4Q/02 gross dollar volume of $162.7 billion was up 12.2% over 4Q/01. At year-end 2002, MasterCard had 266.9 million credit cards, and 47.1 million off-line debit cards in-force, in the USA. MasterCard reported a total of 250.7 million credit card and debit card accounts at the end of the fourth quarter 2002, a 14.3% increase over the year-ago period. MasterCard-branded cards were used for nearly 6.9 billion transactions last year in the USA, generating $602.2 billion in GDV, a 16.2% increase over 2001. Both strong purchase volume growth of 15.9% and strong cash volume growth of 17.0% drove this high growth rate in the USA. MasterCard’s acceptance locations in the USA were up slightly to 4.3 million at EOY 2002. For complete details on MasterCard’s 4Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).