The Beginning of the Credit Card

Invented By Frank McNamara in 1950

How The Credit Card Came To Be

When Frank McNamara forgot his wallet one night he had to call his wife to bring him money to pay for his dinner. Because of this embarrassment he created the Diners Club Card. Little did he know this was the beginning of the credit card. The diners card allowed people to pay for their food without cash. Americans found this to be a more convenient way to pay and soon banks caught on to the trend. In 1958, Bank of America issued the well known BankAmericard or Visa card which allowed people to purchase not only meals without cash but also services and other products.

How the Credit Card Changed America's Society

With the credit card in hand people could have access to money without lugging around wads of cash. Also credit cards created a new industry and brought in new income for banks. In the second year of the Diners Club Organization they made a profit of $60,000. Overtime more and more people started using credit cards. Today about nearly 175 million Americans have credit cards and each person has about 5.

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A Turning Point in America

The credit card was a turning point America, creating credit scores, loans and debt. Credit scores are something that banks and mortgage companies look at to give someone a loan. If you use your credit card responsibly and pay it off every month the credit score goes up and companies are more likely to give you a loan. On the other hand if payments become out of control you may be in some serious trouble with large amounts of debt to pay off. Because of this the American economy began to go downhill. 98% of revolving debt in America is from credit cards and the average debt per household if $15,956.
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Pros and Cons of Credit Cards


  • You can keep track of your spending
  • You can earn credit to help you with loans
  • Some banks offer cashback rewards
  • You can purchase things you may not be able to currently afford
  • Credit cards are the main reason for debt
  • Risk of fraud
  • More likely to overspend
  • Missed payments can cause unaffordable interest payments

By: Kendel Hidde & Sydney May