History of the Credit Card

by Jesus Garcia

A Stroll Through Memory Lane

The first credit card, Charg It!, was introduced by John Briggs in 1946. Following him was Frank McNamara and the Diner's Club Card in 1950, mainly used for entertainment purposes. American Express, formed the first ever plastic charge card in 1959, which would soon after reach across the globe with different currencies. In 1966, general purpose cards were brought onto the field through American Express (along with a national organization of various credit-issuing banks- the ICA). As it evolved, programs and rules were made to prevent mistakes and reduce fraud. Then the introduction of the Discover Card of the 1986 Super Bowl introduced a "pay over time" card, which remains to this day.

Some Credit Card Facts

The magnetic strips on credit cards last up to 4 years.

The average American household receives 6 credit offers each month.

About 1.4 billion cards are in circulation in the U.S.

Standard sizing for a credit card is 85.60 mm x 53.98 mm.

Cards function on closed and open loop systems