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The first credit cards

Mention the term credit card was first used in 1887 in the science fiction novel looking backward by Edward Bellamy.

The credit card idea is originally from the United States, where there are credit cards since 1894. The first were issued by hotels to good customers. In the 1920s followed by oil companies and department store companies, other sectors such as restaurant chains and airlines began after 1945 thus.

This customer credit card – today special credit card (proprietary credit cards) – make credit purchases, performance now payment later, exclusively at the company that issued them. You should make the payment and consolidate the brand and loyalty to the company.

To genuine credit cards – universal credit card (General purpose credit cards)-came only later, and again in the United States. These are issued to consumers with appropriate credit rating and can be used not only for a company to pay, but all those who have completed an acceptance contract for the respective credit card.

The first such universal credit card was that of Diners Club, which was founded in February 1950 in the form of a club. She should be used – as the name says – for the time being only by the Club members, friends and acquaintances of the two founder Frank McNamara and Ralph Schneider – selected New York restaurants in about two dozen to the food on credit  but soon the narrow definition of the target group as well as industry and country limits have been overcome.

The next universal credit card was in August 1951 the Franklin National Bank of Rockville Center on long Iceland in the State of New York. Here it went primarily to bolster consumer lending and easier to administers.

Diners Club remained alone on the market for years in this business field and could expand without competition soon. This expansion only on the United States was directed, it was expanded soon to other countries. This was done by franchisees, which usually give out cards as well as contract partners.

In 1952 he founded Diners Club Great Britain, Diners Club was the first internationally usable credit card. in 1954, Diners followed clubs in France and Spain, 1955 in Mexico in 1956 in the Switzerland, Germany, Australia and Brazil, 1957 in the Benelux and in Italy in 1958. Today, Diners Club in virtually every country in the world is represented.