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As of year-end, 3,477 credit unions in the United States, representing 61.1% of the industry, had active credit card portfolios. That’s a notable increase from year-end 2013, when 56.3% of credit unions offered credit cards.
Credit card penetration has likewise increased over the past five years. The percentage of members taking out a credit union credit card has jumped from 15.3% five years ago to 17.5% as of fourth quarter 2017.
Both usage and balances increased in the fourth quarter. At year-end, the credit card utilization rate at credit unions was 32.1%, compared with 31.4% one quarter before. The average credit card balance was $2,952, compared with $2,844 three months earlier. Year-over-year, credit card balances increased 9.1% and surpassed $58.0 billion as of Dec. 31.