Greeks drop credit cards

The number of credit cards and expenditure using them declined for a third year in succession in 2011 as a result of the recession, according to data presented on Tuesday in Athens by Visa Greece.

Consumer spending via Visa credit cards posted an annual decline of 12 percent last year, amounting to 3.3 billion euros. On the other hand, debit cards saw an increase both in use and number as consumers spent 9.4 percent more using them, with total spending coming to 914 million euros.

The number of Visa credit cards dropped considerably, coming down from 3.5 million in 2009 to 3 million in 2010 and to 2.5 million last year, while the number of debit cards grew by 7.1 percent last year, climbing to almost 8.5 million.