25 interesting credit card facts | finder.com
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25 interesting credit card facts

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Think you know about the ins and outs of credit cards? Think again.

This card has been offered since 1966: American Express® Gold Card

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4x Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4x Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1x).
  • Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 airline fee credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
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The secret lives of credit cards

Credit card fact #1 – Credit cards were originally like today’s store cards — offered by individual stores and only for use at those stores. The first one to be used at multiple locations was offered by The Diner’s Club in 1950 and it was good for use in 27 restaurants in New York City.

Credit card fact #2 – American Express issued its first credit card in 1958 and their Black Centurion card today has a $2,500 annual fee and minimum spend requirement of $250,000 a year. That’s not earnings, that’s spending.

Credit card fact #3 – Visa began life as BankAmericard, offered by Bank of America in 1958. It became Visa in 1976.

Credit card fact #4 – Visa stands for Visa International Service Association.

Credit card fact #5 – The Visa logo colors represent the blue of the sky and the gold of the hills in California where Bank of America was founded.

Credit Card Fact #6 – Mastercard began life as MasterCharge and was formed by four Californian banks in 1967. It became Mastercard in 1979 and it was the first card to use holograms.

Credit card fact #7 – Discover Card was introduced by Sears in 1985. Sears was owned by Dean Witter, which merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997.

Credit card fact #8 – It is against the merchant agreements of Mastercard, Visa, and American Express for a vendor to require you to provide your phone number, home address or other personal information. You also do not need to present a driver’s license or spend above a certain purchase amount.

Credit card fact #9 – A fixed interest rate on a credit card can be changed with only 15 days notice from the credit card provider.

Credit card fact #10 – You do not have to sign anything to agree to the cardholder agreement. You are agreeing to this when you first use your card.

Credit card fact #11 – If you have several debts on one card at different interest rates, payments are applied to the balance with the highest interest rate first.

Credit card fact #12 – A common clause in the terms and conditions is that the cardholder waives their right to sue the credit card company.

Credit card fact #13 – Each American household receives approximately 6 credit card offers a month.

Credit card fact #14 – Minimum payments are so low because it allows the consumer to carry more debt. Someone who can only pay $100 per month can have a credit limit as high as $5,000.

Credit card fact #15 – Credit cards are all the same shape and size, as their dimensions are governed by the ISO 7810 standard, an international standard for identification cards.

Credit card fact #16 – You can often lower your interest rate with a phone call to your provider if you suggest you might go elsewhere if they don’t play ball.

Credit card fact #17 – Credit card numbers conform to the Luhn algorithm, which is a simple checksum test on the number.

Credit card fact #18 – There are generally two types of magnetic strips: high-coercivity and low-coercivity. High-coercivity is stronger and more durable.

Credit card fact #19 – Higher-coercivity are usually black and low-coercivity strips are dark brown.

Credit card fact #20 – Low-coercivity strip cards can be scrambled by a weak magnetic force, including mobile phones.

Credit card fact #21 – A potentially useful credit card trick for anyone under 18 is that they cannot be forced to pay back any charges on a credit card they own, because they are not allowed to enter into a legally-binding contract until they reach 18.

Beginners guide to credit cards

Credit card fact #22 Visa and Mastercard operate zero-liability policies in respect to fraudulent use.

Credit card fact #23 – Credit card companies earned $55.2B in fees in 2006.

Credit card fact #24 – Credit card companies earned $90.1B in interest in 2006.

Credit card fact #25 – finder.com is a magnificent place to learn about and compare credit cards. We’re on your side.

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Compare credit cards

Name Product Filter values Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
$0
17.24% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$0
15.24% to 26.24% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
17.24% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
18.24% to 25.24% variable

N/A

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
$95
15.24% to 26.24% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
15.24% to 26.24% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
$450
19.24% to 26.24% variable

N/A

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
$550
None (Charge Card)

N/A

Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
$0
14.24% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 14.24% variable)
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable
0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99% to 26.99% variable

N/A

30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
17.99% to 26.99% variable

N/A

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
$95
17.99% to 26.99% variable

N/A

Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
$0
17.99% to 26.99% variable

N/A

Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
$0
12.99% to 17.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 12.99% to 17.99% variable)
Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.
$0
11.99% to 17.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 11.99% to 17.99% variable)
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
$0
11.99% to 17.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 11.99% to 17.99% variable)
Earn 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
$0
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
$0
13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable
0% for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
$0
16.24% to 22.24% variable
1.99% for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 22.24% variable)
1% cash back to the nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations of your choice.
$495
17.24% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
$195
17.24% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
$995
17.24% variable
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 17.24% variable)
Earn 1x points when redeemed for airfare through the Luxury rewards program.
$0
15.24% to 26.24% variable

N/A

Build your credit with no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score over 620.
See terms
See terms

N/A

The First Access Card is a true Visa® credit card that does not require perfect credit for approval.
$0
9.24% to 17.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 9.24% to 17.99% variable)
Low APR on all purchases including cash advances.
$0
11.99% to 17.99% variable
4.99% for the first 12 months (then 11.99% to 17.99% variable)
Earn a $100 bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.
$0 to $99
20.24% to 26.24% variable

N/A

Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases.
$0 to $99
20.24% to 26.24% variable

N/A

Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV.
$0 to $99
20.24% to 26.24% variable

N/A

Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore.
$0 to $99
23.9% fixed

N/A

The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card is specifically designed for those with less than perfect credit.
$48
9.99% fixed

N/A

This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.
$35
19.64% variable

N/A

A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
$39
14.74% variable

N/A

No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
$49
10.74% variable

N/A

Build or rebuild your credit with this secured card.

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