NEW YORK -- The U.S. region of MasterCard International said on Wednesday that its payment volume for all products grew 26.5% in the first quarter, the highest quarterly rate of growth in a decade.

The volume was $36 billion, pr $8 billion ahead of the first quarter of 1993.

MasterCard trailed Visa U.S.A., which had reported first-quarter volume of $58.8 billion, up 26% from a year earlier.

MasterCard said the number of U.S. credit and debit cards in circulation reached a 15-year high, up 16.5% to 119.3 million. Visa said its number of cards jumped 15.3% to 175.3 million.

Strong performances were recorded across all products, MasterCard said. In particular, Gold MasterCard, affinity, and cobranded cards contributed to first-quarter growth.

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