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 once.

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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