Fact List Finance

30 Interesting Facts About Credit Cards

credit-card-facts

Here are 30 interesting Credit Card facts.

1-5 Credit Card Facts

Frank McNamara
Image source

1. The first credit card, issued in 1949 and made out of cardboard, was Diners Club. Co-founder Frank McNamara was dining with clients and realized he forgot his wallet. His wife paid the tab, and McNamara thought of a multi-purpose charge card as a way to avoid similar embarrassments in the future. – Source

2. The concept of using a card for purchases was described in 1887 by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel Looking Backward. Bellamy used the term credit card eleven times in this novel, although this referred to a card for spending a citizen’s dividend from the government, rather than borrowing. – Source

3. Prior to 1999, the mythical American Express Black Card was just a myth. The myth became so pervasive that American Express decided to capitalize on it and actually make a black, ultra exclusive credit card. – Source

4. Until 1974, banks could refuse to issue a credit card to a woman unless she was married and her husband co-signed for the card. A divorced woman was considered too much of a risk because she “couldn’t keep a marriage under control.” – Source

5. Russian Dimitry Argarkov edited his credit card contract, which the bank then signed without re-reading. When he didn’t pay back the bank, they tried to sue him in court, but the Judge dismissed the case saying the bank signed the contract, and so were bound by Mr. Argarkov’s terms. – Source

6-10 Credit Card Facts

bank of america

6. In 1958, as an experiment, Bank of America mailed 60,000 residents of Fresno, California a small plastic card with a $500 credit line. BoA figured if it failed, there’d be no media coverage because it was in Fresno. The experiment was hugely successful and the program became Visa. – Source

7. Credit card companies have unpublished backdoor numbers that allow you to speak to an analyst that has the power to approve your application when it has been declined, lower your APR, or raise your limit. – Source

8. A man earned 4 million airline miles for free without breaking any laws by using his credit card to purchase free-delivery $1 coins from the U.S. mint. – Source

9. Banks don’t pay for your credit card’s “cash rewards.” They pass the cost along to businesses, who either eat the loss or pass the cost on to you. – Source

10. All those credit card offers you get in the mail every day are because the 3 major credit reporting agencies/bureaus sell your personal information to credit card companies. – Source


11-15 Credit Card Facts

mythbusters
Image credit: discovery.com

11. Myth busters were not allowed to make an episode about how tractable and hackable RFID chips are due to credit card companies threatening to pull advertisement from Discovery. – Source

12. Credit card companies refer to people who pay off their balance on time each month as ‘deadbeats’. – Source

13. Credit cards with chips take longer to process because they’re equipped with a technology that generates a different encrypted card verification code for each transaction. Cards with only the magnetic stripe use the same code every time, making them more susceptible to counterfeiting. – Source

14. In 2010, credit card processors Visa and MasterCard blocked user donations to WikiLeaks that kept the anti-secrecy group from receiving funds. – Source

15. Secret Service paid cybercriminal Albert Gonzalez $75,000/year as salary to act as an informant, while he simultaneously ran his own multi-million dollar credit card fraud empire. – Source

16-20 Credit Card Facts

brain pain receptors

16. A study showed the brain’s pain receptors activate when we see high prices, but using credit cards instead of cash effectively anesthetizes the pain of paying. – Source

17. There is a credit card, which, if you were to melt it, the metal it’s made out of would be valued at $1,000. – Source

18. It is illegal in 10 US states to charge extra for using a credit card. – Source

19. The name of the stretchy glue that holds new credit cards to the paper is called Fugitive Glue. – Source

20. In 1997, a 19-year-old hacker hacked over 6500 credit cards; other hacker tracked his location and gave it to the FBI because he found him arrogant. – Source

2 Comments

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • #17 is based off an article published in 2011. Gold and palladium spot prices change per hour, and are not remotely valued at the same price as they were in 2011. Also, despite being one ounce in weight, the card is merely a base metal plated with an alloy of 23K gold and palladium; it would only be worth $1000 in melt value if the entirety of the card was cast from the alloy.

Newsletter

Follow Us

From the web