According to CEOs across the banking and credit card industry, the American consumer is strong. Savings remain high, and people keep spending at an increasing pace despite persistent inflationary pressures. In fact, healthy spending has helped keep the economy out of a recession so far and benefited many businesses operating in the payment space.

Here are three companies you can buy today to take advantage of this consumer strength.

Robust spending and deposit growth benefit Bank of America's consumer business

Bank of America (BAC -1.54%) is the second-largest bank in the U.S., with over $2 trillion in assets, trailing only JPMorgan Chase.

Half of the bank's total deposits come from its consumer banking segment, where it provides banking services, lending, and investment products. The bank also has a robust debit and credit card network and makes money from various fees and interest charges.

Among bank CEOs, Brian Moynihan has been the most vocal about the financial strength of U.S. consumers. Moynihan noted that their spending and balance sheets are robust, with average deposits above levels from last year. He also pointed out that credit card delinquencies for Bank of America remain below pre-pandemic levels, a good sign that consumers can continue spending and paying down their debt. 

Bank of America benefits from strong spending through its payments network, which earns fees, interest income, and other charges. Through the first nine months of 2022, the bank has seen credit card purchase volume jump 18% to $263.8 billion, while debit card volumes were up 6.8%. This strong spending continued in the third quarter, with each up 12.5% and 10.6%, respectively.

Deposits are another crucial part of its business, as they allow the bank to have a stable funding source to make loans and collect interest income. Average consumer deposits are up 10% from the same period last year. 

This year, the total revenue in its consumer banking segment is up 11%, driven by higher volumes and rising interest rates. Bank of America has benefited from higher interest rates, and robust consumer spending and deposit growth should boost it in the future.

The nation's largest payment network enjoys strong growth from travel and entertainment

Visa (V 0.10%) helps people around the world move money and make payments through its debit cards, credit cards, and other payment products.

The business stands out for a couple of reasons. For one, its status as the world's top payment processor means it benefits from a powerful network effect -- as more consumers use Visa, more merchants accept it, strengthening its network. As a result, Visa processes some 54% of total credit card purchase volume. Second, it also operates an asset-light business model, meaning it doesn't spend much on equipment or inventory. As a result, the company posts stellar profit margins and strong cash flows.

The payment company makes money on transactions through its network, so strong spending leads to more revenue. CEO Al Kelly told investors during the company's earnings call last month that consumer behavior changed in some ways due to inflation, but spending remained robust in the latest quarter. A surge in travel and entertainment also boosted it as pandemic fears have eased. During its fiscal year (which ended Sept. 30), Visa's payment volume increased 15%, driving revenue growth of 22% and earnings-per-share growth of 24%. 

Visa has held up well this year despite inflationary pressures. Consumers keep spending, and management expects stable conditions to continue next year, making it another stellar stock to own.

This company has high-quality customers and a powerful brand

American Express (AXP) operates the third-largest card network in the U.S., trailing only Visa and Mastercard. The company has mastered the perk-based credit card business model, and its strong brand appeals to younger generations.

In its most recent quarter, the company added 3.3 million new cards, with millennials and Gen Zers making up 60% of that growth. Moreover, its high-quality consumer base could be less vulnerable to economic shocks, making it a solid stock despite economic uncertainty. 

The company echoed the sentiment of others, touting strong spending with sustained growth in goods and services and momentum in travel and entertainment spending as we emerge from the pandemic. Through nine months this year, American Express' revenue grew 28%, and its network volume is up 24%. 

Management doesn't see any changes in consumer spending and reaffirmed its guidance for this year and 2023. With a premium loan book, high-quality customer base, and recognizable brand, American Express is another excellent company to buy as the consumer remains strong.