Credit cards (as we know them as we speak) have been first launched in 1958 within the USA by the Bank of America. The first 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 opposite major UK banks. The Bank of America and Barclaycard payment systems have evolved into the Visa network, whilst Mastercharge and the Access model have evolved into MasterCard. Any card issued within the UK in the present day will usually embody a Visa or MasterCard logo. The exception being cards issued by American Specific which can only be used in establishments that accept their cards. There is a fourth smaller network in the USA called Discover.
All main banks and a few building societies in the UK provide cards to current and new customers. Many provide each Visa and MasterCard networks and it is quite common to have one account, with particular person Visa and MasterCard cards.
Within the 1980s the gold and platinum cards had been introduced to the market. Initially these had been offered to prospects who had a high income. They often included a higher than regular credit limit. There was often an annual charge hooked up to the card. The charging of a price enabled the issuer to supply particular benefits reminiscent of free journey insurance to the holder as well as lower interest rates if the total balance was not paid off each month.
Nowadays, the distinction between a gold or platinum card and a standard card has diminished. Simplistically, a gold card will provide the customer a reduced interest rate and longer curiosity free period for a balance switch when compared to these of a normal card. The platinum card will provide even better terms than these available to a gold card. Some gold and platinum cards give the holder additional benefits corresponding to reductions for purchases through selected companies. Most issuers have ceased the practice 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. Generally there are set minimum revenue levels required and normally a better than common credit history before a card is issued to the customer. The minimum month-to-month repayment necessities will normally be much like those of an ordinary credit card. Some issuers nonetheless offer particular reductions or other benefits to the gold and platinum credit card holders, however this practice is much less common than the times that they had been first introduced. Often the initial credit limit is higher on a gold card than for a standard card, and with a platinum card it will be even higher.
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