CompareCards Highlights Where Credit Card Debt Has Increased in 2018

CompareCards by LendingTree released the findings of its study on where credit card balances have increased and decreased the most in 2018.

According to a media release, using anonymized data from My LendingTree users, CompareCards ranked the 30 largest metros in the U.S. by the percentage increases of their respective average credit card balances, versus those during the same period in 2017.

CompareCards provided the following highlights of its findings:

Credit card balances are growing in 20 of the 30 largest U.S. metros, while declining in nine with one city unchanged. The changes in credit card balances range from a 9 percent increase in Miami to a 6 percent drop in San Francisco.

Cities with the largest average credit card balance increases:

Miami Credit card balances jump 9 percent. By a significant margin, Miami's rise leads the 30 largest U.S. cities. It edges out No. 2 Pittsburgh by three percentage points. Despite the big jump, Miami's average credit card balance of $5,639 and credit card utilization rate of 30.4 percent are still lower than most cities onthe list.

Pittsburgh Credit card balances increased by 6 percent. Pittsburgh's credit card balance of $5,771 was a 6 percent increase over 2017. According to LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze, new home purchases may be a big reason. In his recent report, Pittsburgh ranks second in the nation among millennials shopping for a home homes that often need new appliances or renovations, and costs that new homeowners may charge to their credit cards.

New York Credit card balancesincreased by 5 percent. The largest U.S. city is also experiencing one of the largest jumps in credit card balances its $6,125 average balance is a 5 percent increase over 2017.

Cities with the largest average credit card balance decreases:

San Francisco Credit card balances declined 6 percent. Even though it still has one of the highest average credit card balances in the country, second only to Washington, D.C., San Francisco saw the biggest drops. Even better: San Francisco has the lowest utilization rate among the 30 cities inthe study. A booming tech market may be part of the reason, plus strong housing values that can often be tapped for borrowing at a more favorable rate than credit cards.

Dallas Credit card balancesdeclined 5 percent. Although it may have a reputation for being an energy town, Dallas' economy also sports a robust tech sector. And according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the metro's population is growing faster than any other city in the country, buoyed by unemployment rates of 3.6 percent, a level lower than the current national rate of 4.1 percent.

Baltimore Credit balances drop by 5 percent. The metro has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Northeast, largely based on higher-paying service jobs in the information technology, defense contracting and financial services industries.

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  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Gilt and Sarah Jessica Parker Unveil SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal Collection for Spring

    Sarah Jessica Parker, in partnership with Gilt, kicked off the exclusive launch of SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal, Gilt’s first foray into bridal ready-to-wear that would have Carrie Bradshaw swooning.

    The collection includes dresses, skirts, bodysuits and other pieces, ranging in price from $295 to $2,395 and from sizes 0 to 14.

    "Collaborating with Gilt on my first bridal ready-to-wear collection was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," said Sarah Jessica Parker. "The team there is brilliant and allowed me to be imaginative and take risks as I was designing for the non-traditional bride. It has been quite fun to play around with colors, fabrics and details to create unique pieces for all kinds of brides." The collection, comprised of ten styles, is inspired by Parker's vision of a modern, non-traditional bride, and is designed to dress a woman for a variety of wedding milestone moments; from her bridal shower through her wedding reception. Styles offered are a unique mix of classic dresses and gowns, modern bodysuits, full skirts, and a jumpsuit. The color palette includes traditional bridal white, sleek black, plus pops of blush, poppy, light gray and blue.

    Designed in collaboration with Gilt, the collection was produced in New York City utilizing fabrics like cashmere and stretch crepe sourced from Spain, Italy and France.

    The pieces all feature carefully curated details like elegant bows, sophisticated cutouts, feathers, intricate embroidery and beautiful hand-stitched beading. 

    The actress and style icon is no stranger to chic bridal wear. Carrie Badshaw, famously played by Parker, took part in an elaborate bridal photo shoot in Sex and the City: The Movie. The shoot featured gowns from designers like Christian Lacroix and Lanvin. Parker famously wore a black wedding gown for her own wedding to Matthew Broderick in 1997.

    "Not only is Sarah Jessica Parker's style known around the world, her point of view is one-of-a-kind," says Tom Ott, Chief Merchant of Gilt. "Sarah Jessica brings her impeccable taste and fashion sensibility to life in this collection. We think our customers will be delighted with the offering which is stylish and well-priced in the bridal category."

    As part of the bridal launch, Gilt will also offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear line, each of which are complementary to the bridal collection. 

    To correspond with the bridal collection launch, Gilt City will present offers from some of Sarah Jessica Parker's favorite places in New York City.

    The offers were each chosen as a way to help brides plan for and celebrate the big day with highlights including, Leather Spa, Lars Nord Studio Tailoring, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, among others.

    More Information:

  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Tea Forté Introduces ‘Matcha’ Collection

    Convenience meets tradition in Tea Forté’s new Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set and the Matcha Single Steeps.

    The company said its spring harvested, shade grown, stone ground, organic matcha tea is best served in a centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony called chanoyu: a preparation technique known for its centering meditative qualities.

    "The launch of Tea Forté's Matcha collection represents our continued commitment to wellness and cultivating all the potential mental and physical health benefits of tea," says Tea Forté CEO Michael Gebrael. "In addition to our high quality Pure Matcha, we've also blended four distinct flavored Matcha varieties. Prepackaged in pouches measured out for a single serving, our Single Steeps Matcha is ideal for the office, travel, or to keep with you for a boost anytime."

    Tea Forté noted its handcrafted ceremonial tea bowl, handmade bamboo whisk and measuring ladle “encourages serene enjoyment of our premium Kosher, gluten-free and vegan matcha blends.” These include: Pure Matcha, Chocolate Matcha, Coconut Matcha, Ginger Matcha, and Chai Matcha.

    According to a release, in addition to its distinctive taste, matcha is prized for its health benefits. Steeped green tea contains only the antioxidants that can be extracted in water, while with matcha, the whole leaf is consumed.

    Available now in select stores and online at teaforte.com.




Expedia.com has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.

Among other insights, the roundup revealed:

  1. Labor Day was the busiest weekend for car rental
  2. Disney Theme Parks topped the list of things to do
  3. The average hotel stay was two nights
  4. Top destinations based on 2017 air travel included major global cities like New York, London and Bangkok
  5. Popular tourist destinations included Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas