Infographic: The Rise and Fall of Credit Card Accounts

Compared to all other loans, credit card accounts rose faster before the recession and fell harder during and after it, according to New York Federal Reserve data.The bank's November 2010 Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit found that looking across all lending products, about 217 million accounts were closed during the four quarters that ended Sept. 30, while 158 million accounts were opened.

"Credit cards have been the primary source of the reductions in accounts over the past two years," the report says, with the number of open accounts down 24% from their peak in the second quarter of 2008. Coming out of the recession, card offers are rebounding, with rewards becoming more generous, though the volume of offers is not to pre-recession levels.

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