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Point of View: Achieving Sustainable and Profitable Credit Card Loan Growth

Changing Landscape

Consumer behavior involving the use of credit cards is changing. That change is being driven by shifting economic conditions and innovations in product offerings as issuers try to gain a bigger share of a smaller and more regulated market. In 2012, the average consumer carried 1.96 credit cards, down from 3.7 in 2009. With hundreds of smaller affinity based card programs eliminated, the use of affinity based product offerings with affliation specific rewards fell 12 percentage points from 55% in 2009 to 43% in 2013, being replaced by general purpose cards with broad based rewards. The prevalance of “loyalty” features such as reward points, travel points, gas rebates and cash back offers appears to have incented consumers to consolidate their spending to a select few or even a single credit card to maximize their reward potential.

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