When Was the First Credit Card Issued?

The first credit card was issued in 1950 by Diner’s Club. It was meant to be used as a charge card at restaurants.

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The First Credit Card

In 1946, the first credit card was issued by John Biggins of Brooklyn to help people make purchases without having to carry around large amounts of cash. The card was used at local businesses and could be used anywhere that accepted credit cards.

The Diner’s Club Card

The Diner’s Club Card was the first credit card offered to consumers. It was introduced in 1950 and allowed customers to charge their meal at a participating restaurant to their Diner’s Club card. This convenience quickly caught on, and by 1951, there were over 42,000 Diner’s Club members.

The Bank of America Card

The first credit card was issued by The Bank of America in the year 1958. It was created as a way to allow customers to buy now and pay later. The card was made of cardboard and had the bank’s name embossed on it. There was no magnetic strip or any way to swipe it, so customers had to present it to the cashier in order to make a purchase.

The idea quickly caught on, and other banks began to issue their own versions of credit cards. By the 1960s, there were dozens of different credit cards available. Today, there are hundreds of different credit cards from dozens of different issuers.

The First Charge Card

In 1950, Diner’s Club issued the first “charge card.” A charge card allowed customers to charge their meals and other expenses to their account with the issuer, and then pay the balance in full at the end of the month. In 1951, American Express followed suit with its own version of a charge card.

The American Express Card

In 1958, American Express launched the first charge card in the United States. The card was intended for business expenses, and it could be used for travel and entertainment as well. Today, American Express is one of the largest credit card issuer in the world.

The Master Charge Card

Master Charge, now known as Mastercard, was introduced in 1966. It was the first credit card to be issued by a bank, and it quickly became one of the most popular credit cards on the market. Master Charge allowed cardholders to borrow up to $500 and provided them with a grace period of 20 days to pay their balance in full. The card also offered purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

The First Credit Card Network

Diners Club issued the first credit card in 1950. It could be used at 27 restaurants in the US. The card was made of paper and was very flimsy. It had to be used within a year and the bill had to be paid in full every month.


Visa Inc. is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Foster City, California. As the world’s largest card issuer by purchase volume, Visa operates and licenses electronic payments products and services worldwide. Visa does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers.


MasterCard was originally known as Interbank Card Association (ICA) when it was founded in 1966. MasterCard has always been a payments association of banks, and it was created as an alternative to BankAmericard, which later became Visa. MasterCard was first known as Master Charge from 1966 until 1979.

Unlike Visa, MasterCard did not originally issue credit cards itself. Instead, it acted as an association of member banks who could issue their own MasterCards. This changed in 2004 when MasterCard decided to start issuing its own credit cards directly to consumers.

Today, MasterCard is one of the leading credit card networks in the world. It has over 2 billion cards in use and is accepted at over 35 million merchants worldwide.

The First Co-Branded Credit Card

In 1958, American Express and Diner’s Club collaborated to launches the first co-branded credit card. Prior to this, credit cards were only available through individual companies. The co-branded credit card allowed cardholders to use their card at any establishment that accepted American Express or Diner’s Club. This was a major breakthrough in the credit card industry and set the stage for the modern credit card system.

The American Express Gold Card

In 1966, American Express introduced the Gold Card, the first co-branded credit card. The card was available only to members of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (now simply American Express), who were required to charge a minimum of $25,000 per year on the card. There was an annual fee of $35 and a 1.5% fee on balance transfers.

The Visa/MasterCard Co-Branded Card

The Visa/MasterCard co-branded credit card was first issued in 1987. It was created as a joint venture between the two companies in order to offer a more convenient and standardized way to pay for goods and services. This type of credit card quickly became the industry standard and is accepted by most merchants around the world.

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