The first credit card

The First Credit Card

We all know that Americans are very playful in finance, and the same is true in the field of personal finance. The first credit card was issued by Americans in 1951, and it was the Diners Club card.

According to legend, it was because the inventor Frank McNamara forgot his wallet when he went out to eat, so he thought of inventing a card that can be used in multiple stores without having to pay in cash (in fact, forgetting the card to go out does not work, anyway, the boss Frank earned quite a few $$)

The direct translation of Diners Club is literally “food club”. Of course, its influence is far less than that of the later card issuers.

1958: American Express joins the fray

Express was decades old at the time, and it used to focus on issuing traveler’s checks. In 1958, it also joined the fray by issuing its first credit card.

As soon as Amex’s dad got his hands on it, he was so flamboyant that he upgraded the Diners Club’s paper credit card to a plastic card. The Centurion logo in the upper left corner has not changed much until now.

At that time, having a credit card was already standard in the upper class of the United States.

1959: Bank of America begins issuing credit cards to the general public

Different from the first two credit cards issued to the 1% of society, Bank of America began to issue the first public credit card in 1959. The credit system was not perfect at that time, and it is said that there were quite a few people who did not repay.

This year Dinners Club issued more than 1 million copies, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and expanded its business to Europe, Canada, and Cuba.

Later, banks followed suit, and the number of cards issued increased dramatically.

The 1970s

Visa, Mastercard, and these card organizations were established, and credit cards began to develop globally.

What money do you make with a credit card?

It is almost the same as now, that is, to invent a new business model, and then sit on the ground and make money.

Annual fee

The Dinners Club card had an annual fee of $18 per year in the early days, which is about $200 in today’s value

Interest

Credit cards are earning interest money from the very beginning, and the interest rate is much higher than that of ordinary bank loans

Merchant settlement fee

No credit card organizations charge merchants around 1%-3%, compared to more than 10% in the early days. Because it can be understood that the credit card has brought more high-end customers to the merchants, the Dinners Club is a food club.No credit card organizations charge merchants around 1%-3%, compared to more than 10% in the early days. Because it can be understood that the credit card has brought more high-end customers to the merchants, the Dinners Club is a food club.No credit card organizations charge merchants around 1%-3%, compared to more than 10% in the early days. Because it can be understood that the credit card has brought more high-end customers to the merchants, the Dinners Club is a food club.

 

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By Michael Caine

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