Credit cards (as we know them at present) have been first launched in 1958 in the USA by the Bank of America. The primary outside the USA was the launch of Barclaycard in 1966 by Barclays bank. In 1967 a rival to the Bank of America System called Mastercharge was created and within the UK the Access credit card was first introduced in 1972 by a consortium of the other major UK banks. The Bank of America and Barclaycard payment systems have advanced into the Visa network, whilst Mastercost and the Access model have developed into MasterCard. Any card issued within the UK today will usually embody a Visa or MasterCard logo. The exception being cards issued by American Categorical which can only be used in establishments that settle for their cards. There is a fourth smaller network within the USA called Discover.
All main banks and a few building societies within the UK offer cards to existing and new customers. Many provide both Visa and MasterCard networks and it is quite frequent to have one account, with particular person Visa and MasterCard cards.
In the 1980s the gold and platinum cards were launched to the market. Initially these have been offered to clients who had a high income. They often included a higher than normal credit limit. There was normally an annual charge attached to the card. The charging of a price enabled the issuer to supply special benefits such as free travel insurance to the holder as well as decrease interest rates if the total balance was not paid off every month.
Nowadays, the distinction between a gold or platinum card and a traditional card has diminished. Simplistically, a gold card will offer the shopper a reduced interest rate and longer curiosity free period for a balance switch when compared to those of a normal card. The platinum card will supply even better phrases than those available to a gold card. Some gold and platinum cards give the holder additional benefits comparable to reductions for purchases by way of selected companies. Most issuers have ceased the follow of charging an annual fee for the holding of a gold or platinum credit card.
Applying for a gold or platinum credit card is easy. Usually there are set minimal revenue levels required and often a better than common credit history before a card is issued to the customer. The minimal monthly repayment requirements will normally be much like these of a standard credit card. Some issuers still offer particular discounts or other benefits to the gold and platinum credit card holders, however this practice is far less common than the days that they were first introduced. Usually the initial credit limit is higher on a gold card than for a normal card, and with a platinum card it could be even higher.
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