Fun Facts About Credit Cards

If you are like most people, you swipe your credit card multiple times a day, without really knowing much about the rectangular plastic card that you keep in your wallet. Let’s take a look at some surprising facts about your credit card:

Valid Credit Card Numbers Follow The Luhn Algorithm

All valid credit cards follow the Luhn algorithm, which means if you double every second digit starting from the right and add all the resulting digits, the number will be divisible by 10 if it is a valid credit card number. 

You Can Tell Which Industry Issued A Credit Card By Looking At The First Digit On The Card

If the number on your card starts with a 1 or 2, it indicates you have an airline card; 3 indicates a travel and entertainment industry card; cards with 4 and 5 as the first digits are issued by banking institutions, and so on.

Your Card Expires Every Few Years, Although Your Account Doesn’t

Although your account doesn’t expire, you may have noticed that you receive a new credit card every three to four years. The expiry date helps you get a new card before the old one starts to get damaged. The expiry of your card also protects against identity theft.

The Maximum Liability For Fraudulent Or Unauthorized Use Is $50

In case of unauthorized use or fraudulent charges, the maximum liability you’ll have to pay is $50. Once you report the fraudulent charge to your bank, you won’t have to pay any further charges.

Credit Cards Were Used In The 19th Century By Farming Communities

Farmers in the 19th century would rely on credit to make purchases from local stores, given they had a seasonal income.

Single Women Were Not Authorized To Get Credit Cards Till 1974

Until 1974, when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed, single women could not get a credit card. Married women could also not maintain a separate credit card. Women were only granted credit cards if their husbands would co-sign.

Diners Club Offered The First Credit Card That Could Be Used At Different Locations

Diners Club, in the year 1950, was the first company that launched a credit card that could be used in different locations. Diners Club credit cards were initially only accepted at 14 restaurants in New York. Despite this, it became a popular choice and more than 20,000 people began using it within a period of one year since its launch.

The First Credit Cards Were Sent To People Unsolicited

Bank of America sent its first credit cards to residents of Fresno, California in 1958. Over 2 million people across California received credit cards from Bank of America by late 1959. Eventually, the Federal Truth Act was passed, which made it illegal for banks to send unsolicited credit cards.

While receiving your monthly credit card statement is not likely to be a fun experience, these facts may just change the way you think about your credit card.