Costa Rica: Credit Card Portfolio Up 30%

Between April 2012 and the same month this year, the credit card portfolio of state banks grew by 8.5%, while among private banks the increase was 33%.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The increase in the private sector is not surprising, since Banco Promerica alone has 35 types of credit card rates, being the issuer with the most diversity in the country. The dynamism is also reflected in income from fees which the banks charge for the use of plastic, accounting for 46% of total revenues.

A recent study by the Ministry of Economy (MEIC), reveals that more than $1.197 billion is owed by Costa Ricans via credit cards, distributed amongst 1.2 million cards in circulation in the country.

More on this topic

Plastic Money in Costa Rica: Report up to July 2013

October 2013

Credit card debt grew by 1.5% to a total of $1.482 billion, while the number of cards in circulation up to July 31, 2013 was 1,731,673.

A press release from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade of Costa Rica reads:

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) through the Department of Economic and Market Research has conducted its latest study on debit and credit cards.

Interest Rates on Credit Cards in Costa Rica

December 2012

A study by the Economy Ministry reveals significant differences in the interest rates charged by credit card issuers.

A statement from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) reads:

Survey of Credit and Debit Cards

Significant differences have been identified in interest rates charged by credit card issuers

Costa Rica: Credit Cards Charge Up to 54%

December 2009

A MEIC study found that credit card issuers charge interest rates between 20% and 54%.

There are 27 issuers in the country, whom collectively offer 407 different products, according to the study by the Economy, Industry and Commerce Ministry (MEIC).

The most expensive credit cards are: Compra Facil, issued by Medio Pago (54% interest rate), Vista International issued by BCT (50.4%) and Master Card issued by Citi (49.32%).

New rules for credit cards in Costa Rica

December 2008

Congress is studying the "Credit and Debit Card Market Regulation" proposed law.

One of the elements of the new law is to provide better information on interest rates and charging conditions, like not charging interests when complains are being resolved.

According to the article: "Advertising, marketing practices, detail on balances and interests, contractual changes and internet shopping are some of the aspects of credit cards that may face regulation, should the law be approved... It will be the first law to regulate this activity in Costa Rica, and would put the country up to date with similar laws that exist in other nations".

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