Nilson Report

Issue 1214 | Feb 2022


Companies featured in this issue include:

Top Issuers of General Purpose Credit Cards in the U.S.

Market Shares of Outstandings for Top U.S. Issuers in 2021

Top 20 U.S. Credit Cards Issuers—Ranked by Outstandings, Purchase Volume, Purchase Transactions and Cards 2021

U.S. Mastercard and Visa Credit Card Issuers—Purchase Transactions

Top 50 Mastercard & Visa Credit Card Issuers in the U.S.

Global Brand General Purpose Cards

Publicly Traded Companies in Payments

Top 50 Mastercard & Visa Credit Card Issuers in the U.S.

U.S.-based issuers of Visa and Mastercard credit cards generated 39.45 billion transactions for purchases of goods and services in 2021. The five largest issuers are ranked below based on purchase transactions in 2021.

1. Chase, Delaware
11.26 million purchase transactions
2. Capital One, Virginia
5.19 million purchase transactions
3. Citi, South Dakota
4.66 million purchase transactions
4. Bank of America, Delaware
4.53 million purchase transactions
5. U.S. Bank, Ohio
1.48 million purchase transactions

Full access to the Top 50 Mastercard & Visa Credit Card Issuers results in the United States is available when you subscribe to the Nilson Report.



Top 50 U.S. Mastercard and Visa Credit Card Issuers

Please note: Only subscribers can access the charts included with this article.

The 50 largest issuers of consumer, small business and commercial credit cards carrying the Visa and Mastercard brands combined owned $683.09 billion in outstanding receivables at year-end 2021. This was an increase of 7.4% from $635.95 billion for the top 50 at year-end 2020. The industry average increase in Visa and Mastercard credit card outstandings for 2021 was 6.4%.

New to the top 50 in 2021 were Upgrade, a fintech, with a 539.5% increase in outstandings; Ally Bank, which bought Fair Square Financial’s credit card business; and Zions Bancorporation, which ranked 51st last year. Among the 50 largest, 41 issuers showed growth in outstandings, including Upgrade (up 539.5%), Goldman Sachs (up 92.3%), Continental Finance (up 70.3%), Mercury Financial (up 28.3%), BMO Harris (up 18.2%), Alliance Data (up 17.0%), Credit One Bank (up 14.6%) and Mountain America FCU (up 12.4%).

When measuring Visa and Mastercard purchase volume, the industry average increase was 25.5% last year. Among the top 50 issuers, the average increase was 24.5%.

Among the top 50, 49 of the issuers showed increases. Those with the largest percentage increases were Mercury Financial (up 102.5%), Goldman Sachs (up 91.1%), First Horizon (up 83.7%), Schools First FCU (up 46.3%), MUFG Union Bank (up 40.9%) and Mountain America FCU (up 39.7%).

Credit unions (CUs) accounted for 13 issuers among the 50 largest ranked by credit card outstandings. At those CU issuers, outstandings were a combined $29.62 billion, which was an increase of 5.8% from year-end 2020. 

Credit unions accounted for 7 of the top 50 issuers based on purchase volume. Collectively, that group of CUs generated $50.98 billion in purchase volume in 2021, up 35.7% from the prior year. 

Prior issues: 1192, 1170, 1148, 1126, 1104, 1081

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