Browse the Top Credit Card Issuers

Browse and Compare Card Offers from Credit Card Issuers of All Sizes

Credit card issuers are the financial institutions responsible for the flashy credit cards in your wallet and the impressive rewards they offer. There are thousands of card issuers worldwide, including banks like Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo; credit unions like Federal Credit Union, Golden 1, Gulf Coast Credit Union, and many others; and other lenders like Capital One or Discover. Card issuers can vary greatly in size, from local credit unions to multinational banks.

Card issuers handle all credit card life cycle aspects, including approving or denying credit card applications, establishing terms and conditions, and determining fees, signup bonuses, and rewards structures. In addition to issuing the cards, they also handle customer-facing issues such as collecting payments and providing customer service.

Credit Card Issuers

Credit cards are typically issued by banks and credit unions, providing these financial institutions with a consistent source of revenue from account fees, interest charges, and payment processing fees imposed on merchants.

Banks hold a dominant position in the competitive landscape of credit card issuers. Some of the largest bank credit card issuers include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. These banking titans have established themselves as major players in the credit card industry, commanding a significant market share.

Who are the Top Credit Card Issuers in the U.S.?

JPMorgan Chase, for instance, boasts a vast credit card portfolio with popular brands such as Chase Sapphire and Chase Freedom. With its extensive network and customer base, JPMorgan Chase has secured a substantial market share, making it one of the top bank credit card issuers.

Bank of America is another prominent player, offering a range of credit card options tailored to different customer segments. Their credit cards, such as Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards and Bank of America Travel Rewards, have gained popularity among consumers, further solidifying their market share.

Citigroup, with its Citi credit cards, has also made its mark in the credit card issuer industry. Their offerings include Citi Double Cash, Citi Rewards+, and Citi Simplicity, each catering to different consumer needs and preferences.

Top Card Issuers for 2024

Which banks and lenders issue the most credit cards in the U.S.? Here are the top card issuers by total outstanding balances as of 2024:

  1. Chase ($154 billion)
  2. American Express ($114 billion)
  3. Citi ($107 billion)
  4. Capital One ($99 billion)
  5. Bank of America ($93 million)
  6. S. Bank ($40 billion)
  7. Wells Fargo ($33 billion)
  8. Barclays ($21 billion)
  9. Synchrony ($21 billion)
  10. PNC ($12 billion)

What are the Largest Credit Unions?

While banks dominate the credit card industry, credit unions also significantly provide credit card services to their members. According to Marketwatch, the top 10 credit unions alone account for more than 27 million customers across the nation.  All told, there are more than 139 million credit union members in the United States – a significant number.

Here are the largest credit unions in the United States as of 2024:

  1. Navy Federal Credit Union
  2. State Employees’ Credit Union
  3. Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  4. Boeing Employees Credit Union
  5. SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union
  6. Golden 1 Credit Union
  7. America First Credit Union
  8. Alliant Credit Union
  9. Mountain America Credit Union
  10. Randolph-Brooks Credit Union

How Do Banks and Credit Unions Differ?

All credit card issuers, whether banks or credit unions, have unique strengths and advantages. Banks, with their vast resources and extensive networks, can offer a wide range of credit cards with attractive rewards and benefits. They also have the advantage of established brand recognition, which often appeals to a broader customer base.

On the other hand, credit unions, with their member-centric approach and focus on personalized service, provide their members with a sense of community and trust. They often offer competitive interest rates and lower fees, which can appeal to consumers looking for cost-effective credit card options. Additionally, more and more credit unions are joining forces to offer reward programs like CU Rewards, which help these smaller lenders provide rewards similar to the bigger banks.

Consumers should carefully consider their needs and preferences when choosing between bank and credit union credit card issuers. Factors such as rewards programs, interest rates, fees, and customer service should be considered to make an informed decision on your ideal choice.

Credit Card Issuers vs Credit Card Networks

Credit card issuers, such as banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, offer credit card accounts and issue credit cards. These issuers are usually prominently displayed on the top of the credit card. In addition to the top credit card issuers, there are thousands of medium-to-smaller issuers across the United States. On the other hand, there are only four major credit card networks.

What is a Credit Card Network?

A credit card network, also known as a payment network, facilitates transactions for credit card issuers. In other words, they act as a network that allows the issuer’s credit cards to be widely accepted.

The four main credit card networks worldwide are:

Visa is the largest payment network, followed closely by Mastercard. Both of these networks are accepted at tens of millions of locations worldwide. If your credit card features a Visa or Mastercard logo, it will probably work fine.

While American Express and Discover are very popular in North America, users may face obstacles when using their cards with those logos overseas. These issues arise from increased payment fees for merchants accepting those cards, but this is becoming less of a problem. However, while more and more global merchants are beginning to accept Discover and Amex Cards, they are significantly less popular than Visa and MasterCard.

American Express and Discover are unique because they are both payment networks and credit card issuers. While both systems also feature credit cards from other issuers, they also provide their own credit card products.


Choosing the right credit card issuer is crucial in obtaining the most suitable card for your specific needs. By taking into account factors such as market share, number of local branches, and proprietary rewards programs, consumers can make an informed decision when selecting a bank or credit union for a new credit card. It is important to choose a card that aligns with your financial goals and provides the greatest value based on your spending patterns and lifestyle.

Check out more

Top Credit Cards

Advertiser Disclosure

BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.