Credit Cards: A Brief History
AAA
  1. Credit Cards: Introduction
  2. Credit Cards: A Brief History
  3. Credit Cards: What Are Credit Cards?
  4. Credit Cards: Terms Of Agreement
  5. Credit Cards: Types Of Credit Cards
  6. Credit Cards: Making Payments
  7. Credit Cards: Pros And Cons
  8. Credit Cards: Choosing A Credit Card
  9. Credit Cards: Conclusion

Credit Cards: A Brief History

By Brigitte Yuille

The idea of lending money through a card goes as far back as the 1800s. According to the 2005 FDIC Banking Review's paper called "Overview of Recent Developments in the Credit Card Industry", merchants and financial intermediaries provided credit for agricultural and durable goods. The cards soon began to spread to other industries. Hotels and department stores presented their most valued customers with paper identification cards. The cards were mostly used at that one location; however, some local merchants would accept the competitors' card.

It wasn't until the late 1950s that Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) introduced the BankAmericard, the first general purpose credit card. The bank created a separate credit card operation entity that in the mid 1970s became known as VISA (NYSE:V). In 1966, competing banks spawned rival cards as a result of Bank of America's success. This network of bank owners later created an association that came to be known as MasterCard (NYSE:MA).

Throughout the years, the credit card industry has been the subject of much debate. On the one hand, many critics have blamed credit card issuers' loose restrictions for high fees and rates, which are often hidden in complex credit agreements. The deregulation of the industry that occurred in 1970s and 1980s is often blamed for this. However, in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a new bill into law to curb the most controversial credit card practices, including interest rate hikes, penalties and marketing to college students. (For more information about what this law entails, read How Your Credit Card Is Changing.)

Credit Cards: What Are Credit Cards?

  1. Credit Cards: Introduction
  2. Credit Cards: A Brief History
  3. Credit Cards: What Are Credit Cards?
  4. Credit Cards: Terms Of Agreement
  5. Credit Cards: Types Of Credit Cards
  6. Credit Cards: Making Payments
  7. Credit Cards: Pros And Cons
  8. Credit Cards: Choosing A Credit Card
  9. Credit Cards: Conclusion
RELATED TERMS
  1. Negative Information

    Data in a consumer’s credit report that lowers his or her credit ...
  2. Cardholder Agreement

    A printed booklet a credit cardholder receives that contains ...
  3. Zero Liability Policy

    A condition in a credit card agreement stating that the card ...
  4. Card Reader

    A device that can decode the information contained in a credit ...
  5. Chargeback Period

    The timeframe during which a credit card issuer can dispute with ...
  6. Business Credit Card

    A credit card intended for use by a business rather than for ...
  1. What Canadian credit cards offer the best travel rewards?

    Discover Canada's best credit cards for travel rewards and the benefits that they offer. Learn how these cards can help you ...
  2. Can I get a balance transfer if I have bad credit?

    Transferring funds from one credit card to another is often possible with bad credit, but it will likely cost you in interest ...
  3. What are the different types of cash advances?

    Find out the different types of cash advances along with their different features to determine which option, if any, is best ...
  4. Is it better to get a balance transfer or a personal loan to pay off my credit card ...

    Find out what you should consider before deciding to pay off your credit card debt by taking out a personal loan or using ...

You May Also Like

Related Tutorials
  1. Credit & Loans

    All About Student Loans

  2. Credit & Loans

    Credit And Debt Management

Trading Center