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25 Interesting Credit Card Facts

They might seem like a boring financial product, but there is some fascinating history behind these little plastic rectangles.


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Credit Cards - Fun Facts

Credit Card Fact #1 – Credit cards were originally akin to modern store cards, offered by individual stores and only for use at those stores. The first one to be used at multiple locations was offered by The Diner's Club in 1950, and it was good for use in 27 restaurants in New York City.

Credit Card Fact #2 – American Express issued its first credit card in 1958 and their Black Centurion card today has a $5,000 annual fee and a speculative minimum spend requirement of USD$250,000 a year.

Credit Card Fact #3 – Visa began life as BankAmericard, offered by Bank of America in 1958. It became Visa in 1976.

Credit Card Fact #4 – Visa stands Visa International Service Association.

Credit Card Fact #5 – The Visa logo colours represent the blue of the sky and the gold of the hills in California where Bank of America was founded.

Credit Card Fact #6 – Mastercard began life as MasterCharge, and was formed by four Californian banks in 1967. It became Mastercard in 1979, and was the first card to use holograms.

Credit Card Fact #7 – Discover Card was introduced by Sears in 1985. Sears was owned by Dean Witter, which merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997.

Credit Card Fact #8 – It is against the merchant agreements of Mastercard, Visa, and American Express for a vendor to require you to provide your phone number, home address, or other personal information.

Credit Card Fact #9 – A fixed interest rate on a credit card can be changed with only 15 days notice from the credit card provider.

Credit Card Fact #10 – You do not have to sign anything to agree to the cardholder contract. You are agreeing to this when you first use your card.

Credit Card Fact #11 – A very pertinent credit card fact is that if you have several debts on one card at different interest rates, payments are applied to the balance attracting the higher interest rate first.

Credit Card Fact #12 – Credit card companies are all headquartered in US states with a high cap, or no cap, on interest rates.

Credit Card Fact #13 – Each American household receives approximately 6 credit card offers a month.

Credit Card Fact #14 – Minimum payments are so low because it allows the consumer to carry more debt. Someone who can only pay $100 per month can have a credit limit as high as $5,000 if they only have to pay 2% of that amount.

Credit Card Fact #15 – Credit cards are all the same shape and size, as their dimensions are governed by the ISO 7810 standard, an international standard for identification cards.

Credit Card Fact #16 – You can often lower your interest rate with a phone call to your provider, if you suggest you might go elsewhere if they don't play ball.

Credit Card Fact #17 – Credit card numbers conform to the Luhn algorithm, which is a simple checksum test on the number.

Credit Card Fact #18 – There are generally two types of magnetic strips: high-coercivity and low-coercivity. High-coercivity is stronger and more durable.

Credit Card Fact #19 – Higher-coercivity are usually black and low-coercivity strips are dark brown.

Credit Card Fact #20 – Low-coercivity strip cards can be scrambled by a weak magnetic force, including mobile phones.

Credit Card Fact #21 – A potentially useful credit card tricks for anyone under 18 is that they cannot be forced to pay back any charges on a credit card they own, because they are not allowed to enter into a legally-binding contract until they reach 18.

Credit Card Fact #22 – Visa and Mastercard operate zero-liability policies in respect to fraudulent use.

Credit Card Fact #23 – A common clause in the terms and conditions is that the cardholder waives their right to sue the credit card company.

Credit Card Fact #24 – Credit card companies earned $90.1B in interest in 2006.

Credit Card Fact #25 – Credit card companies earned $55.2B in fees in 2006.
Images: Shutterstock

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SkylerApril 1, 2015

    Who was the inventor of Credit Cards?????

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanApril 1, 2015Staff

      Hi Skyler, thanks for your inquiry!

      The inventor of the first bank issued credit card was John Biggins of the Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn.



Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
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Citi Rewards Card - Exclusive Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
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Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Earn Flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year. Ends 4 November 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.

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