Once upon a time, in a land far far away, people only used cash when they bought things.
Credit was a personal issue between the dealer and individual customers.
In the 1920s, gas companies and hotel chains started issuing cards for credit exclusively for use in their own establishments.
By the late 1930s, some of these firms began recognizing one another’s cards, but it wasn’t until 1950 that the Diners Club came out with a fee-based card to use with a large number of unrelated businesses.
Soon after, American Express took a similar approach.
BankAmericard, which became Visa, issued the first bank credit card in 1959.
MasterCard appeared in 1966.
Canadians own over fifty million Visas and MasterCards.
Thirty percent of Canadian credit card holders don’t pay their full bill each month.