Adoption of the Credit Card

After the invention of the Diner’s Club Card the adoption of the credit card skyrocketed. Many other companies began using the same concept behind Frank McNamara’s idea, but took the idea much further than he would have ever predicted.  The credit card industry moved much further from use in restaurants to a broader audience of vendors. The adoption of the “buy-now” pay later cards gained wide popularity after World War Two.[1] Bank of America and American Express jumped on to the credit card bandwagon and developed their own cards that could be used just about anywhere.[2] Americans were now able to make purchase at any location, except there was a catch. People now had to pay large sums of credit card debt that most could not afford. However, Americans loved the idea of the “buy-now” pay later method of how credit cards worked regardless of the large interest rates attached. Many credit card companies began attaching rewards to lure more consumers in than ever before. Additionally, credit card companies made it incredibly easy for anyone to obtain a card.[3] The ease of getting a card and the added on bonuses contributed to the credit cards widespread adoption. Though the credit card was able to take off rapidly after its initial invention it was its impact that Americans were soon resenting.



[1] M.J. Stephy. “A Brief History of: Credit Cards.” TIME Magazine, April 23, 2009.,9171,1893507,00.html (accessed April 15, 2013).

[2] G. Gulsun Akin, Ahmet Aysan, Serap Ozcelik, Levent Yildiran. “Credit Card Satisfaction and Financial Literacy: Evidence from an Emerging Market Economy.” Emerging Markets Finance and Trade. (2013): 103-115. (accessed April 21, 2013).

[3] Ibid.