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Credit Cards

Bottom Feeder

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
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#1
So how many of y’all remember things back before credit cards, back before they removed our legal coinage and replaced it with alloys and paper? I can easily remember walking down main street (whole town pop 4K or so) with four silver dollars in my pants pocket whining because of the weight of them. Ah, well, so got me thinking; when did credit cards ramp up? If you don’t mind, here’s a short (expurgated) version of their history from Wikipedia.

Credit Cards

The concept of using a card for purchases was described in 1887 by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel Looking Backward. Bellamy used the term credit card eleven times in this novel, although this referred to a card for spending a citizen's dividend from the government, rather than borrowing, making it more similar to a Debit card.

Charge coins and other similar items were used from the late 19th century to the 1930s. They came in various shapes and sizes; with materials made out of celluloid (an early type of plastic), copper, aluminum, steel, and other types of whitish metals. Each charge coin usually had a little hole, enabling it to be put in a key ring, like a key. These charge coins were usually given to customers who had charge accounts in department stores, hotels, and so on. A charge coin usually had the charge account number along with the merchant's name and logo.

The Charga-Plate, developed in 1928, was an early predecessor of the credit card and was used in the U.S. from the 1930s to the late 1950s. It was a 2½" × 1¼" rectangle of sheet metal related to Addressograph and military dog tag systems. It was embossed with the customer's name, city, and state. It held a small paper card on its back for a signature. In recording a purchase, the plate was laid into a recess in the imprinter, with a paper "charge slip" positioned on top of it. The record of the transaction included an impression of the embossed information, made by the imprinter pressing an inked ribbon against the charge slip.

In 1934, American Airlines and the Air Transport Association simplified the process even more with the advent of the Air Travel Card. With an Air Travel Card, passengers could "buy now, and pay later" for a ticket against their credit and receive a fifteen percent discount at any of the accepting airlines.
The concept of customers paying different merchants using the same card was expanded in 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara, founders of Diners Club, to consolidate multiple cards. The Diners Club, which was created partially through a merger with Dine and Sign, produced the first "general purpose" charge card and required the entire bill to be paid with each statement. That was followed by Carte Blanche and in 1958 by American Express which created a worldwide credit card network (although these were initially charge cards that later acquired credit card features).

In September 1958, Bank of America launched the BankAmericard in Fresno, California, which would become the first successful recognizably modern credit card. Until 1958, no one had been able to successfully establish a revolving credit financial system in which a card issued by a third-party bank was being generally accepted by a large number of merchants. It was eventually licensed to other banks around the United States and then around the world, and in 1976, all BankAmericard licensees united themselves under the common brand Visa.

So there it was, a vision over 130 years old brought to fruition, a roaring success, and now facing the smart phone generation and it’s almost certain demise.

BF
 

Uglytruth

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I think stagflation, the Carter years, 16% interest rates, not teaching math to get dumb people to just sign here, mail order / internet order, ease, convenience, merchants knowing people spend more but loosing 2-3%, also a way to hide that you are broke AND a way to show off that you are rich both at the same time. Debt levels were also raised to questionable heights. Old charge cards like grandma has were maybe a weeks take home limit and that was also the rule of thumb for house payments. Forget that today I put my own limit on mine & they keep trying to raise it.
 

PhucilliJerry

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#3
I don't love that I use them so much, but cash back is nice (for me, not the merchant!) I use cash at small businesses whenever possible. I have probably 20 credit cards right now and my wife probably has 8 or so. 90% of those were on deals to sign up where you get a $200 bonus cash back on a $500 spend; or $300 or $400 on a $1000 spend. 40% off a month's worth of groceries or some metals is hard to pass up. I only use 3 regularly based on cash back percentages, one for 5% back on gas, one for 3% back on groceries and the other is 2% back overall.

Just never carry a balance and pay small businesses with cash and you'll come out on top and not feel too bad about it......

If you can't beat em, join em and make them give you a nice discount on what you want/need.
 

Uncle

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#4
I have a Visa that gets me 2.5% back on fuel and some % at other vendors. Issue is ALL transactions are free so I load it and spend till it gets declined. Another major advantage is that my 'over-draft' is less than 100 USD, so it is basically a debit card with benefits.

I get more than enough back per month to pay for my private banking facilities. Retards on call, so they visit me, and I don't have to see the inside of a branch.

Golden Regards
Uncle
 

D-FENZ

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They ran my two small auto repair shops about 140k last year in processing fees. When will people recognise this banker tax on purchases? Trust me the merchant doesn't pay this tax you do.
Do you offer a discount for those who offer cash?
 

offourse2

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Nope everybody pays. Not sure if it is currently but used to be illegal in my state. Except for gas stations.
 

Alex Lemas

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They ran my two small auto repair shops about 140k last year in processing fees. When will people recognise this banker tax on purchases? Trust me the merchant doesn't pay this tax you do.
That's why some sort of block chain payment will kill the bankers. Peer to peer transactions
 

Usury

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That's why some sort of block chain payment will kill the bankers. Peer to peer transactions
Sounds good in theory but given the potential to be ripped off with no recourse, I don’t see it going mainstream. Until a major institution steps up to guarantee against fraud that is....and they won’t be doing that for free, so why bother changing the process for no net gain. My 2 cents.
 

Uglytruth

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Where do the card companies / banksters make their money?

3% charged to merchant raises the cost of every item sold by 3% whether paid for by cash, check, debit or credit card. When you factor in the gross consumer spending and % of sales paid for with plastic it's HUGE! Money that could be spent somewhere else.

Around 25% interest charged to credit card balances. 1/4 trillion a yr. is some good change for lending fake digits. That's only US card debt. Again money that is not going into the economy.

* The Fed’s monthly G.19 Consumer Credit report – drawn from banks’ lending reports – shows revolving debt of $1.028 trillion in December 2017.
 

Rusty Shackelford

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They ran my two small auto repair shops about 140k last year in processing fees. When will people recognise this banker tax on purchases? Trust me the merchant doesn't pay this tax you do.
It would be recognized if retailers and merchants had a cash price and a credit price...several gas stations have duel fuel prices based on cash or credit...the way it is now the cost of credit is passed on to every customer....cash payers included
 

Uglytruth

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It would be recognized if retailers and merchants had a cash price and a credit price...several gas stations have duel fuel prices based on cash or credit...the way it is now the cost of credit is passed on to every customer....cash payers included
And lots of people use cards because of the rewards / cash back. Gotta brain wash the masses into thinking they are getting something for free.