How do credit cards in the US differ from other countries?

credit cards

Over 70% of Americans use credit cards to pay for their day-to-day conveniences. This often creates a perception amongst Americans that the practice is common worldwide. However, that is not the case. In fact, while credit card companies may be the same across the world, there are differences in their adoption across different countries and cultures. Nonetheless, the credit card companies do have certain aspects to their cards that are common all across the world. To better understand credit cards at a global level, it would be best to do a global card comparison. So, how do credit cards in the U.S differ from other countries?

You get 0% upon purchase for longer in the U.S

In the U.S, major credit card companies give users a 0% introductory APR for an average of 15 months. In other countries, this tends to be shorter. For instance, in New Zealand, the introductory APR is 6 months before it is reverted to the normal rate. Once it is reverted to the normal rates, the charges vary according to the card companies, both in the U.S and across the world. For someone looking to use a card anywhere in the world, it would be best to compare rates between different cards, and find one with the most favorable rates. One of the best tools to compare credit cards in NZ is CreditCards Compare. They give you a breakdown of the charges of all the different card companies in an easy to understand manner. It’s an amazing way to get the best deal on cards.

Americans tend to use credit cards more

Any American who has traveled abroad must have noticed that the credit card culture is not as prevalent, as it is in the U.S. For instance, while the average American spends $4000 a year on credit cards, the expenditure in Germany is under $500. The figure is much lower in the less developed countries. This difference can be attributed to two major factors, namely: Income and Culture. In the developed world where credit card usage is low, such as in Germany and France, this can be directly linked to a culture where people simply don’t believe in living beyond their means. Most people in these countries would rather pay cash, and forego what they can’t afford to pay for in Cash. That’s quite a contrast to the U.S where the average person cares more about convenience that frugality.  In the less developing world, where card usage is much lower than in the U.S, it can be attributed to income. Credit card usage is directly tied to the middle class. In low-income countries, the middle class is just not big enough to support credit card usage. However, as their income levels grow, their card usage levels are likely to catch up. For instance, credit card usage is on the rise in China. This can be linked to the growing income levels in a country that now has a middle class of over 700 million people, and is now the second largest economy in the world.