97% rule applied to Amex and Visa

Rohit Khare (khare@w3.org)
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 14:11:16 -0500

Hmmm... Amex charges 1/2 of Visa's dollar volume with only 7% as many
members. And almost 1:1 on restaurants!

Zipf distribution at work...RK


There are 497 million Visa cards out there, Edwards says, and 300 million
MasterCards. In 1995, consumers charged $372.3 billion on Visa cards.
American Express says it has 37.8 million cards in circulation on which
$161.1 billion in purchases were charged in 1995.

American Express does not release breakdowns on how much was charged for
each kind of service or product. But Edwards said the volume of charges in
restaurants is $16.8 billion for Visa and $17 billion for American Express
-- nearly the same.