Americans hold more than 1.4 billion credit cards

While many reports have documented a growing shift in consumers’ use of credit cards, particularly in their willingness to take on credit debt, recent research shows Americans hold more than 1.4 billion cards.

In total, 181 million people in the U.S. have at least one credit card. This means roughly 77 percent of the adult population now has access to credit.

Additionally, the average number of credit cards held by each card carrier is now 7.7, according to a recently released study by Index Credit Cards, Forbes reports.

Of those more than 1 billion credit cards, Visa holds the largest market share, as 38.5 percent of all of these plastic cards are processed by the company. MasterCard and American Express were second and third, respectively, in total market share, the news source says.

Major credit card companies have recently seen a rise in the number of transactions processed on their networks, as Americans showed a renewed willingness to take on, and pay back, credit card debt during the holiday season. Many economists expect this to continue as rising gas prices put pressure on Americans’ budgets.

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