Customers tend to stick with their primary credit card

A new analysis by TransUnion reveals that no matter how many different credit cards you dance with, chances are you stay with the one you brought.

While the average consumer possesses five different credit cards, they use their primary card for 78 percent of purchases during the Christmas season. That is consistent with patterns from the first 10 months of the year, when the primary card spend percentage is 79 percent. The rate inches up to 82 percent for those with higher credit scores.

While subprime consumers also display primary card loyalty, they do so at lower rates. Through November, their primary card use percentage is 70 percent. It drops to 68 in December.

TransUnion’s Nidhi Verma suggests some ways for card issuers to take advantage of primary card loyalty.

“Credit card issuers can use new marketing segmentation tools that utilize spend and balance data to seek out certain consumers, knowing that they will remain loyal even as their card spend increases. Further, consumers could benefit by receiving more attractive credit card offers tailored to their usage preferences.”

TransUnion discovered that as of this fall 161.7 million consumers had access to an open general purpose bankcard and they, on average, carried 2.6 ope cards. Roughly 113.6 million could access a private label credit card. Those consumers carried an average of 2.5 open label cards in their wallets.