Credit card usage rampage reaches 2008 levels

Gathering at home with up to seven credit or debit cards is commonplace. With two bank accounts and a mortgage, the arrival of these plastic cards doubles to 88 million circulating throughout Spain in 2022.

The latest data from the Bank of Spain show that credit cards are being used more and more and debit cards less and less. Moreover, many applications or online payments do not allow debit payments.

By June 2022, there were almost 41 million credit cards in Spain, 7% more than in the same period in 2021 and 15% more than in 2008. The figure has been rising since the end of 2018, when the year closed with almost 37 million cards.

Debit falls by almost 3% to 47.5 million cards issued by June 2022, a figure that contrasts with the increase in this type of payment from 2015 onwards.

The Bank of Spain’s report highlights a new attack on revolving cards. An infinite credit at a very high interest rate that the agency has described as “revolving credit comparable to a permanent credit”.


If there are more cards, there is much more use of them. The pandemic already triggered the payment, but now it has tripled compared to 2008. The year 2021 closed with 6.1 million transactions and almost 200 billion euros in transactions. In June 2022 the amount exceeds 100 billion euros. Their use has risen by 23% and the amounts paid out by 25%.

Banks have already stocked up for a possible scenario of defaults. The numbers, for the moment, are not dramatic. Non-performing loans rose by one point in August, to 3.86 %, and the forecast is that it will not go up because the new criteria for loans or mortgages are very hard to dissuade people.

Original Story: El Debate | Chema Rubio 
Photo: BBVA website
Translation and edition: Prime Yield