5 Surprising Facts About Credit Cards You Didn’t Know Until Now

Aleksandra_Gigowska

Credit Card Expiration Date Doesn’t Matter

Every single credit card you’ve ever pulled out of your wallet has an expiration date pressed right into the front of it. However, have you ever noticed that whenever you receive a replacement card at the end of the “expiration” period the card number is exactly the same? This is because the expiration date really isn’t an expiration date at all. It simply gives your credit provider a general idea as to when a new card should be issued (after all, most credit cards start to deteriorate after extensive use). The expiration date does help with fraud prevention though as it is just another set of numbers required during an online or over-the-phone purchase.

Sears Created the Credit Card

Now, the idea of credit has been around for a long time. However, the concept of a credit card first began with Sears back in 1911. The store issued cards with the printed number on it as an account number (it didn’t include the magnetic strip until later). Sears even went on to create the Discover Card. However, the Sears card no longer exists, as Citigroup bought up the card, the credit debt and the membership list.

Diner’s Card Was the First Multi-Location Card

You may have heard of the Diner’s Club Card before. Chances are you’ve seen logos for the card, but you may have never actually seen it in person. While the Diner’s Club Card is more or less a thing of the past, it served as the very first credit card that could be used at multiple locations (up until this point cards, such as the Sear’s card, could only be used at a specific location). As you might guess, the Diner’s Club Card was created for eating at restaurants in New York.

Your High Interest Rate is Illegal (But There’s Nothing You Can Do About It)

All states have what is known as a “usury law.” This is a law put into effect that establishes a maximum interest rate financial institutions can charge. This rate varies wildly from one state to the next (in California it is 7 percent while it is 16 percent in New York). Chances are, your credit card interest rate is far higher than the state allowed usury law. So how is this possible? Due to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling on Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis vs. First of Omaha Services Corp, state laws do not apply to a national bank.

Turn Down Your Higher Interest Rate

There may be a time where a credit card company tries to increase your interest rate. However, under the Credit Card Accountability Disclosure Act, you can refuse the higher rate. Just call them up, tell them you won’t pay it and ask for it in writing. Just be warned if you try this, the bank may try to raise your monthly minimum payments, lower your credit line or cancel your cards, so take all of this into consideration.

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