The history of credit cards
The credit card goes way back but first started with a smile and a few kind words “Can you charge it to my account”? Of that started way back in the 1800’s and all has evolved to the wonderful world of plastic. In the 1920’s some businesses and oil companies started use credit for some of their businesses. In 1946 the first credit card was established through the National bank it was called the “charge it “program. Of course having this gave people prestige and satisfaction of being able to purchase things now and pay later. It was not soon after that businesses all around started to adapt this concept and jump on the ban wagon. Soon cards were made and issued with certain limitations depending on one status.
Interest rates on credit cards have come a long way as well, but I would not necessarily say for the better. The first type of interest was called the Previous Balance Model and was charged by the previous month on what was spent. What followed this was the average daily interest on ones balances. Not being able to add the previous month balance the Model Balance was dropped and we were all introduced to the wonderful effects of the “Compound Interests”. Compound interest is the interests that we are charged on our credit now which is done on a daily basis. This is frustrating but now we know why credit card companies are a multibillion dollar business. On a happier note I have found some fun and interesting facts that have happened in the history of the credit card. Perhaps if we can laugh about our debts we will be able to have a bit sigh of relief.
- Credit card companies earned over 55.2 billion in 2006 and that number has quadrupled since.
- Minors are not actually obligated to pay back debts unless a parent has co-signed.
- Master Card was the first to come out with the hologram on the credit card in 1984.
- Visa stands for Visa International Security Association.
- At least 1 out of 15 people who have credit cards carry at least 5.
- A $10,000.00 dollar credit debt can take up to 20 years to pay off.
- The average credit card debt per household is $20,000.00.
- The diners club initially issued just 200 cards that could only be used in New York.
- In the 1800’s debt were written down and paid with food, gift or cash.
- The exclusive Black Centurion Card has a $2,500.00 annual fee and you must spend at least $250,000.00 a year.
No matter if we laugh or cry about it we all use credit cards to get by. We should be more careful and aware of what we purchase and the ways that we spend so freely. Being in debt for the better part of your life is never a good financial situation to be in. Play it smart when we decide to pull out the loved plastic.