Top 10 Credit Card Companies in the World

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Ever wonder who the top credit card issuers in the world are? Or just in the United States? Well, you can put your wonders to rest.

As of the end of February, there were 576 million credit cards in circulation in the United States alone, according to CNBC.

And U.S. consumer revolving debt was an astounding $864.4 billion as of the beginning of the year, with 98% of it tied to credit card debt.

So who are the top issuers of all these credit cards, you ask?  See the complete list of top credit card issuers below.

Top 10 Credit Card Issuers in the World

1. Bank of America/MBNA – $194.7 billion (includes credit cards from US, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Spain)
2. Chase – $184 billion, 119.4 million credit cards (top U.S. credit card issuer)
3. Citi – $148.9 billion, 92 million credit cards in U.S. circulation (2nd largest U.S. issuer)
4. American Express – $105 billion
5. Capital One – $68.8 billion (nearly 7% of U.S. credit card market)
6. HSBC – $58.5 billion (only 2% of business is U.S. based)
7. Discover – $49.6 billion, 54.4 million credit cards in circulation
8. Wells Fargo – $36.4 billion, 17.3 million credit cards issued in U.S.
9. Barclays – $32.6 billion (UK)
10. Lloyds TSB/HBoS – $19.3 billion (UK)

Well, you may be surprised to hear that Bank of America was the leader, with $194.7 billion in credit issued. Talk about a massive collective credit limit. However, that figure includes business outside the U.S., in places like the UK, Canada, and Spain.

The most popular card is the company’s BankAmericard Cash Rewards credit card, which comes with tiered cash back rewards categories that do not rotate.

Chase came in a close second with $184 billion in credit issued via 119.4 million credit cards, though it is the largest credit card issuer in the United States. The New York City-based bank is in nearly every other U.S. household in some shape or form, which is clearly scary for you too-big-to-fail worrywarts.

Popular Chase credit cards include the Chase Freedom card and the Chase Sapphire card, both of which offer big cash back bonuses.

The third largest credit card issuer was Citi, with $148.9 billion in credit issued via 92 million credit cards. It is the second largest U.S. credit card issuer. One of their newer credit cards is the Citi Simplicity card, which aims to be fee-free with clear rules.

They’ve also been the most aggressive issuer in the balance transfer market, offering 0% APR for as long as 24 months at one time, which isn’t quite as long as the longest offer in the UK.

In a surprising fourth place was American Express, with just $105 billion in outstanding credit. While they’re perhaps the most ubiquitous name in the credit card world, they are nowhere near the largest.

Perhaps because many merchants still don’t accept American Express, and opt for Visa and/or MasterCard instead.

Amex has a ton of credit card options, from the pricey Platinum Card all the way to the annual fee-free Blue Cash Everyday card, along with everything in between.

Rounding out the top five was Capital One, with a much smaller $68.8 billion in credit extended. The company is definitely growing, though it will be difficult to move any higher on this list without some sort of miracle.

They offer the popular Capital One Cash Credit Card, which comes with 50% more cash back, along with the well-known Capital One Venture Card, a travel rewards credit card.

If you’re curious where Visa and MasterCard are on this list, note that they’re not credit card issuers, but rather payment processing companies. Plenty of the issuers on this list offer both Visa and MasterCard-branded credit cards.

Read more: The most expensive credit cards.

Author: Colin Robertson

Colin created this blog after spending several years in a job that required him to scour credit reports on a daily basis. His goal is to help individuals better understand their credit and get the most out of credit cards.

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