7 Fun Facts About Credit Cards

Written By Sushma Singh

Do you own a credit card? Or do you want to get a credit card? But do you know everything about credit cards?

Credit cards have fascinating facts that usually, no one knows or notices. These cards help us every month to manage our expenses have many benefits too in return. Although receiving the statement in the month-end is not pleasing, but the advantages are high too.

7 Fun Facts About Credit Cards

Credit cards have been around for a long time, yet we don’t know a lot about them. Let’s uncover the mysteries of credit cards through these fun facts.

Some of the surprising facts are given below:

1. Who invented the credit card?

The first fun fact about credit cards should start with how it was invented and who was responsible for it.

‘Charge-It’ was the first credit card issued by John Briggs in 1946. He was an employee of Flatbush National Bank of New York, as the balance of this card was recharged monthly, so it got the name Charge-It. It could only be used for the local stores and was only for his customers.

Frank McNamara, head of Hamilton Credit Corporation, once went for dinner and as he had changed his clothes before it, so he left his wallet in his other jacket, which made him face embarrassment. That’s when he thought of inventing a diners club card in 1950. Initially, it was used by 200 people across 27 restaurants in New York. By the end of a year, it increased to 20000 people.

2. To check whether the credit card numbers are valid or not, we have to apply a formula.

Luhn algorithm is the checksum formula through which credit cards can be proved valid easily. In this, every second digit of the card number will be doubled. For example, the number is 1212 than we have to double every second digit i.e., 1414, and if the figure found by adding the resulting digits is divisible by ten, then the card is valid otherwise not.

3. Each credit card’s first digit denotes an industry

The first digit of every card from the same provider has the same digit as their first digit. Following is the list of first digits of different credit cards, which tells us about which industry that card belongs to:

  • 1 and 2- Airline Card
  • 3- travel and entertainment card
  • 4 and 5- Banking institutions
  • 6- Merchandising and Banking
  • 7- Gas cards
  • 8- Telecommunications
  • 9- assignments by national standards bodies
  • 3- American Express
  • 4- VISA
  • 5- Mastercard
  • 6- Discover

Recommended: 7 Best SBI Credit Cards In India

4. Your account doesn’t expire even after expiring of the card

A physical credit card always has an expiry date before which you have to get your card changed. This is because eventually, the metallic tape after swiping loses its power to sensor the number on the machines. It also denotes the theft identification of your card, which will only be known to you if you possess your card.

Even many companies provide you with a new card before its expiry for your comfort, so that your card does not get declined. But that account will still be valid: It’s just that you have to avail the new card for swipe transactions.

5. Farming communities used “credit cards” in the 19th century

Before credit cards came in banking systems, farmers started using this system with their local lenders as they did not have a constant income for the most part of the year, so in the 19th and 20th century they followed this system. Many departmental stores made credit cards out of cardboard in villages to identify the account of the customer.

6. Discrimination towards women

Due to discrimination in the past, women were declined to have a separate credit card. Many single women were also denied. This was until 1974, when an Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed, which will not discriminate in giving credit to people on the basis of caste, gender, religion, race, etc.

7. Credit cards circle the globe 3.5 times

According to the research of Super Money, credit cards were distributed to people about 1.635 billion around the world in 2013. Those cards could stretch 86,931 miles if they were laid end-to-end. This means credit cards covered the globe 3.5 times.

Bonus: Number of credit card transactions per second throughout the world

Ten thousand credit card transactions occurred every single second in March 2009 around worldwide, as researched by The American Bankers Association.

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Sushma is a full-time blogger and financial expert. Join Sushma and 10,000 monthly readers here to learn how to save and invest your money wisely.

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