Canadians and their Credit Cards

See how your credit card usage compares to the average credit card debt Canada

If you are a Canadian adult and you don’t have a credit card, you’re a rarity. According to the Canadian Banker’s Association (CBA), over 90 per cent of Canadian adults have at least one credit card. Credit cards can be an easy, convenient way to make purchases, and they are a quick resource of interest-free cash – that is, if you pay your entire balance before the end of your billing cycle.

If you don’t pay your full balance, you’ll be hit with interest charges. If you only pay the minimum payment, the time required to pay your full balance will be drawn out over a painfully long period of time. And if you don’t pay at all, you’ll be charged penalties and your credit score will suffer.

With statistics from, the CBA, and TransUnion, we have compiled data to show you how Canadians use their credit cards. See how you compare to your fellow Canadians.

It may become clear that your credit use is a lot less controlled than the average Canadian. If your credit card debts are causing you financial and emotional hardships, we can help. Give us a call at 1-888-294-3130 to speak to a trained credit counsellor, or get started online with our Free Debt Analysis.

Credit Card Statistics

Credit card ownership

  • 90% of Canadian adults have at least 1 card
  • Average number of credit cards per Canadian: 2.9 cards
  • 75% of Canadians hold a card without an annual fee
  • 76.3 million Mastercards and Visas are in circulation in Canada

Credit card debt

  • Credit card debt makes up 5.5% of total household debt
  • 60% of Canadians claim to pay their balance in full every month
    • 55% of those who carry balances say they pay much more than the minimum payment
  • Typical APR rates hover around 20%
  • The average credit card debt load per card holder is $3,720

If you try our credit card debt calculator, you would find that the average credit card debt load ($3,720), at standard APR rates (20%), would take more than 20 years to pay back, with $5,590 charged in interest if you only pay the minimum each month. Be one of the many Canadians who pays back their balance in full each month, and avoid interest altogether.

Paying full balances, or even paying more than the minimum payment, might be easier said than done. Depending on your unique financial situation, it might be impossible. If you’re struggling to get ahead of your bills, give us a call at 1-888-294-3130. A trained credit counsellor can take a look at your debts, budget, and income, and suggest a course of action that will get you out of debt. You can also get the process started by taking our Free Budget Analysis online.