Mass Affluent and Credit Cards - US - February 2009
This report expands on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Who Are the Mass Affluent?—U.S., April 2008, specifically focusing on the relationship between these consumers and the credit card industry. The attitudes, behaviors and values of mass affluent consumers are all examined. The impact of current economic conditions on both mass affluent consumers and credit card issuers is also analyzed.
Some of the major themes of this report include:
- Economic conditions weakened dramatically in 2008. Housing prices and equity markets both declined at historic rates, dramatically impacting the mass affluent consumer. Turmoil in the financial markets has resulted in turmoil in the financial services industry, creating both opportunities and risks for credit card issuers
- Mass affluents are heavy users of credit cards and rely on their cards for more than half of all their purchases. They also spend significantly more via payment cards than the average consumer. Thus changes in spending habits will have a significant impact on credit card usage
- Some 60% of credit card issuers are revising lending standards, further tightening mass affluent consumers’ access to credit
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