When Did Credit Cards Come Out?

A credit card is a plastic card that gives the cardholder a line of credit with which to make purchases or withdraw cash. But when did credit cards first come out?

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The first credit card

It’s safe to say that credit cards have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1950s. At that time, credit cards were only accepted by a few businesses and were primarily used for business expenses. Today, credit cards are accepted by almost all businesses and are used for a wide variety of purchases.

The Diner’s Club

In 1950, the Diner’s Club card was introduced. It was made of cardboard and only accepted at restaurants. Today, credit cards are made of plastic and can be used for a variety of purposes, including gas, groceries, and online shopping.

The first true credit card was introduced by American Express in 1958. This card could be used for a variety of purchases and could be used anywhere that American Express was accepted. In the 1960s, more companies began to offer credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

The American Express

In 1850, American Express was founded in New York City as an express shipping and delivery company. In 1958, American Express launched the first credit card meant for general use. The card was made of cardboard and issued to only a select group of customers.

The modern credit card we use today was invented by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara in 1959. They founded Diners Club, Inc., which created the first “general purpose” charge card and began issuing cards to customers in 1950. Diners Club charge cards were made of cardboard and only accepted at restaurants.

The first bank-issued credit card

In the United States, the first bank-issued credit card came out in 1950. It was called the Charg-It card and was created by John Biggins. The card was only accepted at local stores in Brooklyn, New York.

Bank of America’s BankAmericard

Bank of America’s BankAmericard, the first bank-issued credit card, was introduced in 1958. The card was created by John Biggins and Luther Simpson, two middle managers at Bank of America. In 1966, the card was renamed “Visa”, and in 1976, it became an international organization.

The Master Charge

The Master Charge, later renamed MasterCard, was the first bank-issued credit card. It was created in 1966 by a group of California banks as an alternative to the BankAmericard, which was issued by banks in other states.

The Master Charge was originally accepted only at stores that were part of the BankAmericard network. But in 1967, the Interbank Card Association (now Visa) was formed, and Master Charge became a member. This allowed cardholders to use their card at any store that accepted Interbank cards.

Today, MasterCard is one of the leading credit card issuers in the world.

The first general purpose credit card

It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t use credit cards to make purchases. But there was a time! So when did credit cards come out? The first credit card made its appearance in the early 1950s. It was called the Diners Club card and it could only be used at specific restaurants.


Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products.


The first general purpose credit card, Discover, was introduced in 1986 by Sears. It was originally part of the Dean Witter financial services firm, which was eventually purchased by Morgan Stanley. Discover quickly became one of the most popular credit cards, thanks to its cash back rewards program and lack of annual fee. Today, Discover is the fourth largest credit card issuer in the United States.

The modern credit card

The first credit card was introduced in 1950 by Diner’s Club. It was created for people who frequently ate at restaurants. The card was made of paper and it was accepted at 14 different restaurants in New York City. The concept of the credit card quickly caught on and more companies started to offer them.


EMV is a credit card with a special microchip that makes it more difficult to counterfeit. The chip stores information about the cardholder and transaction, and creates a unique code that changes with each transaction. This makes it much harder for thieves to create fake credit cards or to use stolen credit card numbers.

EMV was first introduced in Europe in the early 1990s, and has slowly been adopted in other countries since then. In the United States, EMV adoption has been slow, but it is gradually increasing. As of 2019, about 60% of credit cards in the US are EMV-enabled.

There are several reasons why EMV has not been widely adopted in the US until recently. One reason is that it is expensive to upgrade credit card machines and point-of-sale systems to accept EMV cards. Another reason is that there has not been a strong incentive for US companies to adopt EMV, since fraud rates have been relatively low in comparison to other countries.

However, there has been a recent increase in counterfeit credit cards in the US, as well as data breaches at major retailers (such as Target and Home Depot). This has led to more pressure on businesses to upgrade their payment systems to accept EMV cards.

Starting in October 2015, liability for fraudulent credit card transactions shifted from banks to businesses if they did not have an EMV-enabled payment system. This means that businesses could be held responsible for fraud if they did not have an EMV terminal and a customer used an EMV card.

This shift in liability was intended to encourage businesses to upgrade their payment systems. As of October 2019, about 40% of US businesses were still not accepting EMV cards.


NFC, or near-field communication, is a technology that allows two devices—like your phone and a payments terminal—to talk to each other when they’re close together.

You’ve probably used NFC before without even realizing it. If you’ve ever used Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay, you were using NFC to pay with your phone.

NFC can do more than just mobile payments, though. You can also use it to pair devices, share files, and even unlock your phone with a tap.

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