Credit Card Trends to Watch for 2023

Issuers and Networks Tackle Inflation, Gen Z’s Growing Power, and Regulatory Hurdles

About This Report
High inflation and growing interest rates are putting the credit card industry in a precarious position. As 2023 progresses, issuers and networks will rethink their strategies and marketing schemes to protect their bottom lines.

Turmoil in the credit card industry won’t let up for the rest of 2023, as high inflation persists and regulatory pressure looms. To protect their bottom lines, issuers and networks will rethink everything—from their target audiences and rewards strategies to marketing tactics and ad budgets.

Marketers Refocus Strategies as Gen Z Hits Adulthood

Gen Zers are ready to spend. The majority will be adults in 2023, meaning increased spending power. And they rely heavily on digital when making purchases: Gen Z will surpass Gen X in the number of US digital buyers by 2025, per our forecast.

But a new, digitally native generation presents novel challenges for credit card marketers. Gen Zers live online and tend to conduct more research pre-purchase. That makes them less susceptible to awareness-building campaigns for cards.

Here are three ways providers will reach Gen Z consumers in 2023:

  • Strategists will put customization into overdrive. Gen Zers value individuality and tend to choose brands that offer personalized experiences. These can include personalized payment flexibility options or the ability to pick a top rewards category.
  • Marketers will emphasize affinity and cause-based marketing. Gen Zers want to use companies that align with their interests or support causes they believe in. To target this segment, cards will promote features like Cardless’ sports-team-affiliated cards and Citi’s ThankYou points, which can be donated to a chosen charity.
  • Brands will build their presence on TikTok to reach its 45.7 million US Gen Z users. We expect TikTok to dethrone Snapchat as the generation’s most used social media platform in 2024. Credit card brands will race to make up major ground on the app by then: Mastercard and American Express currently have a limited presence (e.g., partnerships with influencers on sponsored videos), but others like Visa and Capital One have empty pages.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Marketers Refocus Strategies as Gen Z Hits Adulthood
  2. Promotions Emphasize Card Value and Low Costs
  1. Issuers and Networks Ease Up on Ad Budget Growth
  2. Regulators Swipe at Credit Card Profits
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

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Grace Broadbent


Eleni Digalaki
Principal Analyst
David Morris
Principal Analyst
Melissa Rosenberg
Senior Researcher