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The History of Credit Cards and Their Invention

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The origin of credit cards were in the United States by 1920's where customers were issued with credit cards by individual firms like hotels and oil companies, although references about credit cards can be found as early as 1890 in countries such as Europe.

In earlier credit cards sales occurred between the customer and the merchant, who offered the credit card. The companies started accepting cards of each other by 1938.Today purchases can be made using credit cards from numerous third parties.

Credit Card Shapes

Plastic is not the only material for the construction of credit cards. Early tokens of credit seen its creation paper, metal, fiber and celluloid.

John Biggins was the inventor of the first credit card to be offered by a bank. He also invented a program called charge it between local merchants and bank customers. The issue of credit card by Diners club occurred in 1950 in United States. Frank McNamara who was the founder of Diners club did the invention. A customer could eat at restaurants without cash that accepted credit cards of Diners' club. The restaurant would get the payment from diners club who were in turn paid by the holder of the credit card. Technically rather than being a credit card it happened to be a charged card, as the payment had to be made fully by the customer when it was billed.

The issuing of first credit card of American express happened in 1958. This year also saw the birth of BankAmericard (now commonly known as visa).

Credit Card Popularity

The first promotion of credit cards was for salesman who had use for them on roads. Early 1960s saw the offering of credit cards by more companies, which advertised them
as a device that saved time instead of as a credit form. Master card and American Express saw themselves becoming hugely successful overnight.

Active credit cards being mass mailed to those who did not request them and such practices were banned by US Congress in the mid 70's. Although all regulations were not friendly for the consumer. Nowadays credit card lenders keep on increasing the interest rates with no explanation or warning. Lenders are always on the look out for employment of new tactics for extracting larger penalties for the slightest infringement of the payment rules. The most important factor is to read the agreement of credit card rules to ensure there is no trouble from it afterwards. However it is a requirement most people fail to do.

Another is the payment of only required minimum that leads to increase of credit card debts.

Source by Barbara Camie