Credit card use appears to be on the rise, reversing a 2008 trend toward debit.
Through the first three quarters of 2011, credit card purchases grew by 8.2 percent, 9 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively. Debit card transactions, on the other hand, rose by 9.6 percent, 8.3 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively, according to figures compiled by First Data. "Credit is back in favor," Silvio Tavares, senior vice president at First Data, told the Chicago Tribune. "Consumers have spent the last couple of years de-leveraging and reducing credit card use, but during the past month - and since April [of this year] - they've been using their credit cards more and are starting to return to pre-recession buying habits." Card companies have also been offering cards in larger number, seeking to take advantage of the renewed surge in demand for credit. Research firm Mintel Compermedia reports credit card mailings surged 85 percent since the beginning of 2010 to reach 1.3 billion offers in the third quarter of this year. However, lenders may need to leverage consumer credit risk management
strategies to protect themselves against excessive losses.