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    Today it?s referred as the old plastic but all credit
    card buffs know that the first credit cards were not
    made of plastic but cellulose and metal plates.

    Encyclopedia Britannica documents that, the use of
    credit cards originated in the United States during
    the 1920s, when individual firms, such as oil
    companies and hotel chains, began issuing them to

    Also, in the 1920's, stylish stores in the United
    States issued them to their favorite customers.

    So at that time they were highly localized in
    acceptance. So if you lived in Los Angeles you
    couldn't use your credit card in Chicago.

    But credit cards gained nationwide usage after the
    likes of Henry Ford gave the world mass produced
    automobiles. The ability to travel across America had
    the unintended consequence of popularizing the credit
    card usage.

    The 1950?s saw the founding of the Diners Club, which
    now is one of the biggest credit card companies

    Its founder, Mr. Frank McNamara probably was surprised
    the way his start up turned out to be.

    The card was first intended to enable Diners customers
    to have their meals without paying for them, and
    Diners club would foot the bill. The customers then
    would repay Diners Club.

    In 1951, Bank of America, encouraged by Diners
    success, started a card that is now called VISA. And
    other California banks started their card which later
    became MasterCard. The American Express made its debut
    in 1958.

    At that time, the banks realized that the card
    business was a mass market business, and they later
    began mailing anyone with address (some of them dead)
    offering the new found craze.