+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)


Private Label Credit Cards: A Market, Not Just a Niche

  • ID: 4583507
  • Report
  • May 2018
  • Region: United States
  • 21 Pages
  • Mercator Advisory Group
Private Label Credit Cards: 300 Million Cards and Counting


  • ACI Worldwide
  • Bank of America
  • Citi
  • First Data
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid

Private label credit cards, which can only be used in a defined group of retail locations, are a unique and very competitive market segment within the credit card industry. While similar in some ways to co-branded general purpose credit cards, private label credit cards (sometimes abbreviated PLCC) are a complementary product that addresses different needs. They have particular appeal to consumers with low credit scores and a need to finance large purchases. New competition from fintechs like Bread and Klarna is putting pressure on the industry, requiring greater innovation.

The research report, Private Label Credit Cards: A Market, Not Just a Niche, sizes the market for private label credit cards and analyzes the growth potential of this often-overlooked market segment.

"The wheels fell off the private label credit card business in the 1990s as general purpose credit cards simplified the consumer’s wallet with a single solution," commented Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service and author of the research report. "As the economy soured, retailers needed cash on their books to purchase new inventory, rather than supporting consumer credit," Riley continued. "Large financial institutions now dominate the space and partner with retailers to relieve the demands of consumer credit. There is plenty of room to grow with smaller retailers as e-commerce and mobile payments develop."

Highlights of the research report include:

  • A comparison of merchant co-branded general purpose credit cards and private label credit cards
  • Estimates of the private label credit card market through 2022
  • Leading providers of co-branded credit cards and private label credit cards
  • Market opportunities and measures to counter fintech models
  • Credit underwriting standards for private label credit cards.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • ACI Worldwide
  • Bank of America
  • Citi
  • First Data
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid

1. Executive Summary
2. The Private Label Credit Card Environment
  • Private Label Credit Cards Are Different than Co-Brands
  • CMMS Survey Indicates Declining Consumer Adoption
  • Softer Credit Standards
  • Barriers to Entry
  • U.S. Economy Provides Healthy Opportunities for Private Label Card Issuers

3. Sizing the PLCC Market
  • The Automotive Sector
  • Non-Automotive Sectors
  • The Addressable Private Label Retail Market: $1 Trillion

4. Private Label Credit Cards and Co-Brand Relationships among the Top 25 U.S. Retailers
  • Learnings from the Top 25 Retailers
  • Learnings from Top Financial Service Companies Servicing Retail Leaders
  • Plenty of Opportunities Outside of the Top 25 Retailers

5. Industry Outlook for Private Label Credit Cards Through 2022
  • Opportunities for Healthy Growth
  • Tracking Toward 320 Million Accounts

6. Conclusions: What This All Means for Current Issuers in the Co-Brand and Private Label Space7. References
List of Figures and Tables
Figure 1: Consumer preference for private label cards in the U.S. declined in 2017
Figure 2: Credit quality is lower for private label credit cards than for general purpose credit cards
Figure 3: U.S. retail sales will approach $6 trillion by 2022
Figure 4: Some retail sectors are highly receptive to private label credit cards
Figure 5: By 2022, purchase volumes will approach $300 billion, of which $115 billion will revolve from month to month
Figure 6: Private label credit card account growth will trail general purpose credit card growth through 2022
Table 1: Co-branded cards differ from private label credit cards
Table 2: Top 25 U.S. retailers and their credit card programs, excluding auto retailers
Table 3: Co-brand card plans exceed private label for the top 25 retailers
Table 4: Most issuers focus on a small number of retail programs
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • ACI Worldwide
  • Albertsons
  • Alliance Data Systems
  • Aldi
  • Amazon
  • American Express
  • Apple
  • Bank of America
  • Barclays
  • Bridgestone America
  • Capital One
  • Carlyle Group
  • Chase
  • Chevron/Texaco
  • Citi
  • Comenity Bank
  • Costco
  • Credit First National Association (CFNA)
  • CVS
  • Dollar Tree
  • Exxon
  • Federated Stores
  • First Data
  • Fiserv
  • Ford Motor Company
  • GM
  • H-E-B Grocery
  • Home Depot
  • Kohl’s
  • Kroger
  • Macy’s
  • Mastercard
  • McDonalds
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Nordstrom
  • Publix
  • Rite Aid
  • Royal Ahold
  • Sears
  • Synchrony
  • TD Bank
  • Target
  • Toyota
  • U.S. Bank
  • Verizon
  • Visa
  • Walgreens
  • Wal-Mart
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown