Discussion paper

DP12506 Consumer Demand for Credit Card Services

We estimate how demand for credit card transacting, borrowing, and late payment responds to the interest rate and late payment fee. We find that lower rates increase borrowing and lower fees increase late payments. Prime cardholders demand for all services is decreasing in any price. In contrast, subprime cardholders borrow less when fees drop, a response consistent with models of limited attention. We calculate that a 2 percentage point rise in the Federal Funds rate decreases borrowing by 16 percent, or $130 billion, that this effect is greater in higher income communities, and that it exhibits geographic agglomeration.