MasterCard's profit more than doubled in the first quarter as more customers outside the United States used their credit and debit cards for purchases.

Whopping first-quarter earnings surprised investors' expectations recording a share rise of more that 10 percent.

Earnings per share topped at $2.59 per share, way above the average analyst estimate of $2 a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Shares rose $31.48, or 13 percent, to close at $273.98 Tuesday after rising to a 52-week high of $278.72 earlier in the session. The stock is up more than 20 percent since the beginning of the year.

The company's shares have risen 588 percent since their initial offering in May 2006 at $39 a share.

Spending growth also rose in the US, however at a lower rate than the rest of the world.

MasterCard is seeing some evidence of U.S. consumers are reviewing their spending habits: For example, more cardholders are using MasterCard for necessities such as food and gas, fewer luxury items such as home furnishings are being bought, Chief Executive Bob Selander said on a conference call.

The rise in fees to both customers as well as banks also contributed to the 29 percent rise in revenue.

New York-based MasterCard said quarterly net income was $446.9 million, or $3.38 a share, compared with $214.9 million, or $1.57 a share, a year earlier.

The effect of the dollar's tumble against other world currencies, particularly the euro and the Brazilian real, boosted MasterCard's revenue by more than 5 percent.

The use of cards by travelers in foreign countries has also benefited MasterCard.