Astounding Credit Card Statistics, Vol. 4

Welcome back to the fourth installment of our continuing series, Astounding Credit Card Statistics. In this volume, you’ll learn a few facts about credit card fees, and better understand what your customers – and perhaps even you – are experiencing every day. Armed with a superior knowledge of credit cards, their fees, and the demographics of your customer base, you’ll be that much more prepared in your daily struggle toward profitability.

Credit Card Fees

  • Penalty fees from credit cards will total about $20.5 billion in 2009, according to R. K. Hammer, a consultant to the credit card industry. (Source: New York Times, September 2009)
  • From 1989 to 2004, the percentage of cardholders incurring fees due to late payments of 60 days or more increased from 4.8 percent to 8.0 percent. (Source:, “Borrowing To Make Ends Meet,” November 2007)
  • One-fourth of the students surveyed in US PIRG’s 2008 Campus Credit Card Trap report said that they have paid a late fee, and 15 percent have paid an “over the limit” fee. (Source: U.S. PIRG, “Campus Credit Card Trap”)
  • In the first 3 months of 2009, 27 percent of card offers carried an annual fee, up from 18 percent in 2008, according to the financial research firm Tower Group. (Source: Money Blog, August 2009)
  • Thirty-one of the 39 credit cards did not charge an annual fee. That marked a larger number of credit cards with no annual fee than in 2008, when 35 of 41cards had no annual fee. The cost of those fees ranged from $18 to $150. (Source: Consumer Action credit card survey, July 2009)
  • The average late fee was found to have risen to $28.19, way up from $25.90 in 2008. Consumer Action reported that late fees reached up to $39 per incident. (Source: Consumer Action credit card survey, July 2009)
  • 92 percent of cards included a fee for exceeding the credit limit, including 100 percent of all student cards. The amount of the overlimit fee is $39 on most accounts. (Source: Pew Safe Credit Cards Project, March 2009)
  • 64 percent of respondents said having “no annual fee” was an important reason why they chose the credit card they did the last time they got a new card. (Source: Aite Group survey, January 2008)
  • 95 percent of surveyed issuers have over-limit fees. The average over-limit fee, among institutions with over-limit fees, is $29.13. (Source: Consumer Action credit card survey, July 2008.)