The U.K. credit card market at a glance
While not as large as the U.S. both in number of people and number of credit card owners, the U.K. remains a very lucrative market for issuing banks and card networks, as well as a host of alternative financial service providers catering to younger, underserved consumers.
In 2017 there were just over 32.3 million adult credit card owners possessing a total of roughly 60 million cards or about two different cards per owner, according to the UK Cards Association (now rebranded UK Finance). Given that the Office for National Statistics reported that there were approximately 52.4 million adults 18 and over in the country in 2018, this gives the U.K. a credit card penetration rate of about 62%,
In comparison, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve about 80% of U.S. adults have at least one credit card.