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The highest users of retail credit cards are found in…

BY Marianne Wilson

Some metro areas are home to heavy users of retail cards while other locations have a population who use retail cards more sparingly.

That’s according to a study by CompareCards, which found that residents of McAllen, Texas, are by far the highest users of retail credit and charge cards. The report also revealed that the average balance on a U.S. retail credit card is $2,699.

McAllen earned a final score of 87.2 and ranked first in the following three categories:

• The number of people who have retail cards (72%);

• The number of retail card owners who carry a balance on their retail cards (45%), with an average retail card balance of $3,207; and

• The percentage of credit card debt carried on a retail card (17%).

Honolulu has the lowest retail card usage, with a final score of 9.4. Although it didn’t rank last in any individual category, it ranked extremely low in all.

In other findings from the study:

• Charleston, S.C., lands a score of 68.8 with 63.4 percent having retail credit cards. Although it is second on the list, Charleston has the highest average balance on retail cards ($4,026), and 32.9% who have a retail card carry a balance. Retail balances make up 13.1% of their total credit card debt.

• Bakersfield, Calif., rounds out the top three locations that use the most retail cards with a score of 66.1, and an average retail card balance of $3,053. A sizeable 68.1% of people have retail cards, 37.3% keep a balance on their cards, and retail card balances make up 14.5% of their total credit card debt.

To view the full report, which was compiled after combing through TransUnion credit data from users of My LendingTree, the free credit monitoring service of the parent company of CompareCards, click here.

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