MasterCard reported that its U.S. gross dollar volume for the third quarter increased 7.7% over 3Q/03 to $176.0 billion, compared to a 7.2% annual growth rate for the prior quarter. The number of U.S. credit cards grew by more than five million to 267.5 million since the second quarter. U.S. credit card accounts also grew by more than five million to 218 million over the past three months. MasterCard ended the third quarter with 52.9 million off-line debit card accounts representing 58.3 million cards. Credit card volume was up 4% to $139 billion and debit card volume increased 22% to $37 billion. Combined purchase volume for U.S. credit and debit cards in the third quarter increased 7.7% to $133 billion, compared to one-year ago. During the quarter, MasterCard processed 1.9 billion credit card purchase transactions and more than 550 million debit card purchase transactions in the USA. For complete details on MasterCard’s 3Q/04 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).