A Visual History of the Credit Card
It wasn’t all that long ago that credit cards were made of paper, not plastic, yet still carried the prestige of a mobile society making purchases with the cachet (if not the cash) of paying on credit. Diner’s Club
took its place in the pantheon of credit card history when its founder and president suffered the indignity of being caught out for dinner without his wallet.
The first bank credit card, from Bank of America, arrived in 1958, and things have never been the same since. While the urban myth is that most Americans owe an average of $8,000 on their credit cards, that figure is actually a fiction. (Indeed, the figure is simply the result of dividing total consumer debt by the U.S. population of cardholders, but the debt is not spread evenly).
In fact, analysts Fair Isaac (FICO) confirm that average Americans are light to moderate users of credit:
- About 48% of credit card holders owe less than $1,000
- About 10% of card holders have total card balances in excess of $10,000.
- More than half of all people with credit cards use less than 30% of their total credit card limit.
- Just over 1 in 8 people use 80% or more of their credit card limit.
Take a stroll, or a charge, down memory lane with this visual parade of credit card milestones courtesy of CreditCards.com and The Big Money. And when it comes to affordable life insurance value, look to the leaders at Efinancial for classic value that never goes out of style.
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