50 facts about Credit Cards

I stumbled upon this post which  lists 50 Fun Facts About Credit Cards. Now when I am also a Credit Card proud owner to spend money lavishly without caring about debts summing up in my account, I enjoyed reading these facts.



Here are some of them which I personally liked and you may also like to know –


  • In the beginning, credit cards were just charge accounts, offered by individual stores and only usable at those stores.
  • Visa actually stands Visa International Service Association.
  • The Visa logo colors were chosen because the blue represented the sky and the gold represented color of the hills in California where Bank of America was founded.
  • In 1984, MasterCard was the first to use a hologram on its cards to deter fraud.
  • Offering a discount for cash payment (over credit card payment) is permitted by all of the card companies.
  • When you use your card, you agree to the cardholder agreement, you don’t have to sign anything. If you get an update to the agreement, you also agree to the updates once you use your card.
  • Credit Card dimensions are governed by the ISO 7810 standard, an international standard for identification cards. Banking cards, as well as driver’s licenses and retail cards, follow ID-1 (passports follow ID-3). If your card has a smart chip, it follows ISO 7816, and if it has RFID, it follows ISO 14443.
  • The expiration date on the card is “fake.” You can still use the card after its expiration date because the card number on your replacement will be the same.
  • The first digit of the number is the Major Industry Identifier. 1/2 are for airlines, 3 is for travel/entertainment, 4/5 for banking and financial, 6 for merchandising and financial, 7 for petroleum, 8 for telecommunications. 0 and 9 are for other assignments but you’ll likely never see them. If you look at an American Express card, you’ll see it starts with a 3, a throwback to their travel/entertainment roots.
  • The first six digits will correspond to the issuer, including the major industry identifier. 34xxxx/37xxxx are for American Express, 4xxxxx is for Visa, 51-55xxxx is for MasterCard, and 6011xx is for Discover.
  • The rest of the digits (except the last one, which is a checksum digit) is your account number.
  • Credit card companies are all headquartered in states with high or no cap on interest rates.
  • Credit card companies earned $90.1B in interest in 2006, up from $89.4B the year before.

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