College-Affiliated Credit Cards on the Decline

The Penn State Alumni Association received nearly $5 million last year from banks issuing affiliated credit cards. But nationwide, the numbers are nothing to cheer about.

College-Affiliated Credit Cards on the Decline Photo (cc) by acaben

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The number of credit cards issued to college students and alumni associations in 2010 dropped 17 percent, while the revenue that schools receive from the card issuers declined 13 percent.

These are the results of a study released last week by the Federal Reserve. It shows the effects of one of the provisions of the CARD Act where credit card issuers are required to submit copies of all college credit card agreements. Issuers must also include the number of credit card accounts opened pursuant to the agreement, the amount of payments made by the issuer to the institution or organization during the year, and the number of new college credit card accounts that were opened during the year.

Fewer cards means smaller payments to colleges. Issuers paid $73,261,906 to college institutions or college organizations in 2010. This represented a decrease of $11,200,859 or 13 percent versus year-ago levels. Overall, there were 1,704,785 accounts open in 2010, and 46,360 of these were new accounts.

The number of agreements between credit card issuers and colleges and their alumni associations dropped to 1,004 in 2010, a 4 percent decline.

FIA, a subsidiary of Bank of America, had 848 agreements, more than 15 times as many as any other issuer. It was followed by U.S. Bank and Chase Bank.

The Penn State Alumni Association received the largest payment from an issuer: $4,992,488 for its 70,060 accounts. Former students of the University of Texas received $2,364,754 for 31,748 accounts.

To see the full report from the Federal Reserve, which includes a list of all colleges and organizations that has an agreement with a credit card issuer, click here.

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