The first credit card was issued by the Diners Club in New York City, allowing two hundred customers to use it at twenty seven locations in 1950. This industry has come a long way ahead thereafter. While using your card you may not be aware of many interesting facts related to the plastic. I am presenting my choice of top 10 here:
1. The most expensive card to hold at present is the black Centurion Card offered by American Express which carries an annual fee of $2,500 and requirement to spend $250,000 a year for the holder.
2. Visa (Visa International Service Association), was originally offered in 1958 by bank of America. In 1970 an association was formed to include all the banks in the US which agreed to issue this card. The name Visa was given in 1976.
3. Discover card came into the market in 1985 was offered by Sears and gained tremendous popularity because it did not charge any annual fee.
4. Why the banks keep minimum payments very low? Because they can allow cardholders to carry forward more and more debt. Naturally they can charge more interest and fees.
5. Majority of the card issuers prohibit their vendors to ask for details like phone number, address or other personal details from the cardholders for a credit card transaction.
6. The shape and size of all cards is same. This is because these dimensions are governed by an international standard - ISO 7810.
7. It is illegal in some states to charge surcharge for the purchases on credit card. As such, majority of the cards will not allow their vendors to add a surcharge.
8. There is a cardholder agreement for every card in the market. However you need not sign anything when you use your card. If the card issuer updates an agreement, you automatically agree once you use your card thereafter.
9. Credit card issuers cannot send you a card, which you never applied. The only exception is for a renewed or substituted card. You can file a complaint for receipt of a card which you have not asked for.
10. There is a very little meaning to the date of expiry on your card. You can use your card even after the date of expiry because the new card carries the same number. The main reason for replacement is limited life of the magnetic strip (about 3 to 4 years).
Credit cards are part of life now. Knowing more on them can be entertaining as well as useful to you.
Credit card companies go on offering attractive rewards and cash rebates on their cards. You try to chase them all the time. Have you taken a moment thinking more on this plastic? If not, read this article by Chintamani Abhyankar and you will certainly find something extra to add to your knowledge.
Chintamani Abhyankar, is an expert in the field of finance and taxation for last 25 years. He has written many books explaining inside secrets of the magic world of finance. His famous eBook stop donating your money to IRS which is now running in its second edition, provides intricate knowledge and tips on personal finance.