These days it is almost impossible to get along without credit cards so knowing what the major credit card companies are may make a big difference in finding out which card will work best for you. The major companies are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
The credit card chaser is the place to compare online credit cards from all of the major companies.
A famous novelist once wrote, “The disappearance of cash and the coming of the credit card changed the shape of life in the United States.” Indeed, conducting business today with cash is practically becoming outdated. The major credit card companies have developed years of customer satisfaction so you may feel safer in choosing one or more of them for your unique needs.
How did credit cards begin?
In the Popeye cartoons, the character Wimpy was known for saying, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” The concept of credit, meaning the purchase of something with the promise of a later payment, has been around practically since humans began trading for goods and services. The form of credit cards we know today can be traced back approximately 50 years.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, credit cards issued by banks started around 1950 but they could only be used at nearby businesses and you had to have an account at that bank. The first credit card developed for extensive use was the Diners Club card, which was created so that people would not have to carry cash around while eating out, attending events or on the road. It caught on quickly with consumers and the credit card was born.
What is the history of the major credit card companies?
Of the four major credit card companies, American Express has the claim of being the oldest. The firm can trace its origins back to the 1800s, when it was simply a courier company. They were the first to make the cards out of plastic and devised the first traveler’s checks.
Visa came next, in the 1960s and was issued by Bank of America. MasterCard was developed soon after as a competitor to Visa and they began using a system in which customers were allowed to carry a balance longer than one month, which until then had been standard practice.
The Discover card, which began as the store card for the Sears department store, was the last of the major credit cards to come on the scene. Now, credit cards are a trillion dollar business with just about every adult in America participating.
What are the benefits of credit cards?
With a credit card, you are able to purchase things now and come up with the money for it later. It also eliminates the need to always have actual cash in your pocket, which can be lost or stolen. As an alternative, if this happens to your credit card, the company has a system in place to help you get it back and remove any erroneous charges.
When used correctly, credit cards can help you manage your monthly bills and expenses as well as provide a convenient way to handle any situation, which might arise where you find yourself in need of money immediately.
What you should look for when choosing the right credit card company for you?
Although all credit card companies offer the ease of purchasing an item or service without the required cash, each has different incentives, interest rates, and benefits that you should consider before making a decision. Examine and compare all proposals, including the fine print, to find the one that will work best for you.
For example, if you travel a lot, you might want to choose a credit card company, which will give you a generous rewards and perks connected to how many miles you accumulate. Anyone who makes a majority of their credit card purchases for specific services can look at cards that provide a cash back option for certain items. If you already have a credit card and you are looking to switch providers, you should select one with a suitable balance transfer program.
Interest rates are also a crucial component because if you intend to carry a balance across several months, the money can accumulate very quickly when you factor in the rate. Other important parts of the contract you should look for are fees and penalties for late payments.
Use our credit card finder to compare credit cards that will fit your lifestyle!