Have you ever been online at the department store, waiting behind a
woman paying for her purchase with multiple credit cards? It is not
the norm for consumers to have this many credit cards, but reports
indicate that over 85% of American citizens have at least one credit
card. Credit cards have become a vital means of ID. For example, if
you want to rent a hotel room, you will be required to use a major
credit card for payment. In addition, when used intelligently,
credit cards are convenient and enable you to buy things with almost
a month to make a payment prior to finance charges being tacked on.
Unfortunately, many credit card users are not able to utilize these
advantages as a result of carrying a monthly balance on their
plastic. Finance charges associated with credit cards can be as high
as 24%. This is a result of making impulse purchase for items they
can not afford and/or do not really need.
History of Credit Cards
In the 1920s, oil companies and hotel chains were the first
groups in the United States to offer credit cards as a means of
making purchases. After the second World War, credit card use began
to rise steadily.
In 1950, the Diners Club, Inc. introduce the first credit card that
can be used at different businesses and stores; commonly known as a
universal credit card. Consumers were charged an annual fee while
being billed every month or once/year. American Express introduced
their first universal credit card in the late 1950's along with the
phrase 'Don't leave home without it!'.
Bank credit-cards were introduced in the 1960s. Banks would issue
credit to the accounts of merchants as sales slips were obtained.
This equated to merchants being paid almost instantly with
cardholders being billed at the end of their billing cycles. In
turn, cardholders are obligated to pay their bank either monthly
installments plus interest or the entire outstanding balance at
In 1959, Bank of America in California introduced the first national
bank plan with the BankAmericard. In 1966, other states began
licensing this system...which was eventually became Visa in 1977.
Shortly after, additional major bank cards like MasterCard
developed. As a means of offering additional services, such as
lodging and meals, many of the smaller banks that previously only
offered credit cards on a regional or local basis created
relationships with the larger national and international banks.
History of Credit Cards
Who Invented Credit Cards
Types of Credit Cards
Applying for a Credit Card - Read the Fine Print!
Use Credit Cards Wisely
Application Tips for People with Bad Credit
Cancelling Credit Cards
Lines of Credit Vs. Credit Cards
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