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Who Invented Credit Cards?
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the use of credit cards originated in the United States during the 1920s, when individual firms, such as oil companies and hotel chains, began issuing them to customers. However, references to credit cards have been made as far back as 1890 in Europe. Early credit cards involved sales directly between the merchant offering the credit and credit card, and that merchant s customer. Around 1938, companies started to accept each other s cards. Today, credit cards allow you to make purchases with countless third parties.
Diners Club Credit Card
In 1950, the Diners Club issued their credit card in the United States.
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The Diners Club credit card was invented by Diners Club founder Frank McNamara and it was intended to pay restaurant bills. A customer could eat without cash at any restaurant that would accept Diners Club credit cards. Diners Club would pay the restaurant and the credit card holder would repay Diners Club. The Diners Club card was at first technically a charge card rather than a credit card since the customer had to repay the entire amount when billed by Diners Club.
American Express issued their first credit card in 1958. Bank of America issued the BankAmericard (now Visa) bank credit card later in 1958.