Alaskans carry the highest credit card balance—here’s the average credit card balance in every state

If you have credit card debt, you’re not alone. On average, Americans carry $6,194 in credit card debt, according to the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review. And Alaskans have the highest credit card balance, on average $8,026.

Carrying a balance month to month can be costly, especially if it’s on a high interest credit card. But you don’t have to struggle with debt forever. If you have good or excellent credit (scores 670 and above), you may qualify for a balance transfer credit card, like the Citi Simplicity® Card which offers no interest for 21 months on balance transfers (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR).

Below, CNBC Select shares the average credit card balance in every state from Experian’s report along with some advice on how to get out of credit card debt with a balance transfer card.

Key findings

  • American’s average credit card debt is $6,194
  • Alaskans have the highest credit card balance, on average $8,026
  • Iowans have the lowest credit card balance, on average $4,774

Top 10 states with the highest credit card balance

While the average credit card balance is $6,194, Americans living in certain states carry much more. Alaskans take the top spot with an average credit card balance of $8,026. Meanwhile, many states on the East Coast have balances above the national average.

  1. Alaska: $8,026
  2. New Jersey: $7,084
  3. Connecticut: $7,082
  4. District of Columbia: $7,077
  5. Virginia: $6,969
  6. Maryland: $6,946
  7. Texas: $6,753
  8. Hawaii: $6,673
  9. Georgia: $6,569
  10. New York: $6,491

Top 10 states with the lowest credit card balance

The further you live from the coasts, the lower the average credit card balance, which is partially due to a lower cost of living. On average, Iowans have the lowest balance at $4,774.

  1. Iowa: $4,774
  2. Wisconsin: $4,961
  3. Mississippi: $5,134
  4. Kentucky: $5,140
  5. West Virginia: $5,144
  6. Idaho: $5,213
  7. South Dakota: $5,235
  8. Indiana: $5,254
  9. North Dakota: $5,265
  10. Arkansas: $5,327

Average credit card balance by state

State Avg. Credit Card Balance
Alabama$5,672
Alaska$8,026
Arizona$6,053
Arkansas$5,327
California$6,222
Colorado$6,416
Connecticut$7,082
Delaware$6,335
District of Columbia$7,077
Florida$6,460
Georgia$6,569
Hawaii$6,673
Idaho$5,213
Illinois$6,253
Indiana$5,254
Iowa$4,774
Kansas$5,769
Kentucky$5,140
Louisiana$5,811
Maine$5,442
Maryland$6,946
Massachusetts$6,213
Michigan$5,399
Minnesota$5,489
Mississippi$5,134
Missouri$5,601
Montana$5,482
Nebraska$5,423
Nevada$6,220
New Hampshire$6,235
New Jersey$7,084
New Mexico$5,851
New York$6,491
North Carolina$5,832
North Dakota$5,265
Ohio$5,560
Oklahoma$5,848
Oregon$5,498
Pennsylvania$5,840
Rhode Island$6,177
South Carolina$5,938
South Dakota$5,235
Tennessee$5,688
Texas$6,753
Utah$5,600
Vermont$5,466
Virginia$6,969
Washington$6,156
West Virginia$5,144
Wisconsin$4,961
Wyoming$5,782
Source: Experian

Get out of debt with a balance transfer credit card

A balance transfer is a smart way to ease the burden of paying off your credit card debt. Balance transfers can add up to substantial savings if you’re carrying a balance on a high interest credit card, where a portion of your payment goes toward interest charges.

Balance transfer cards often have set limits on the amount of debt you can transfer, and you can’t complete a transfer between cards issued from the same bank. Also make sure you read the fine print before requesting a transfer and consider any balance transfer fees.

How much money can a balance transfer save?

If the average American with a $6,194 balance on their credit card pays $200 each month toward their debt, it will take them 42 months — more than three years — to pay off that debt. And they will spend $2,012 in additional interest, assuming an average 16.97% APR.

If you complete a balance transfer with a a no-fee balance transfer credit card, like the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, you’d only pay roughly $452 in interest and pay off debt in about 34 months. That’s a $1,560 savings. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has no balance transfer fee and a 0% APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers completed within 60 days from account opening (then 14.49% to 25.49% variable APR). (See rates and fees.)

Here is additional information on some popular balance transfer cards.

Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

  • Rewards

    None

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 21 months on balance transfers and 0% for the first 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    16.24% to 26.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

On Citi’s secure site

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X), 1X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    14.49% to 25.49% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Discover it® Balance Transfer

  • Rewards

    5% cash back at different places each quarter after you activate bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%). Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    At the end of your first year, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earned

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% APR for the first 6 months on purchases; 0% APR for the first 18 months on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.49% to 24.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

On Discover’s secure website.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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