You may not believe some of the facts that you’ll learn about credit cards. However, these facts go a long way back and not a lot of people really know them. Some are trivial facts while some are just downright “I didn’t know that” fact. See which facts you did and didn’t know.


Credit cards don’t really have an expiration date

This may be a shocker, but yes it’s true. Credit cards don’t usually have an expiration. The expiration date that you have visible on your card is more for the card issuer to send you a new replacement. Also, it is used to transact online or on the phone since the merchant can’t see your card. It’s a way for them to know that you have the card on hand.


Sears is a founding father for the credit card

The Sears outlet stores? Yes, the Sears outlet stores! Sears used to be the golden retailer of America. It was able to send out catalogs every month. When it was Christmas, every child’s dream was to have something out of the Christmas catalog. But, how was Sears the founding father of plastic? Well, Charles R. Geisst says that Sears was the first retail store to provide a “rewards card” program in 1911. It continued to be used until 2003 when Citigroup bought it along with its membership list. Sears also launched Discover Card, which was announced in 1986 during the Super Bowl.


Credit cards were only used in New York.

You got that right. The first credit cards were only used in New York City restaurants. The Diners’ Club Card was the first card to be used in multiple locations while in New York. It was a sign of status and eliteness back in the 1950s. You were able to use this card for 28 different restaurants and two hotels. But this started a big change and the members for this card grew to at least 100,000 within its first year.


Credit cards were thought to be a fad

So, the founding father and creator of the Diners’ Club Card, Frank McNamara, thought that this card was going to be just a fad. And that everyone basically wanted one because, well, it showed that you had a high status. He ended up selling his share of the company for $200,000, which is equivalent to about $1.6 million in today’s inflation rate. Imagine, just after ten decades after the card was created, it had over 1.3 million members. Get this; you can use it basically anywhere that offered card as payment.


Women have a higher chance of paying late and carrying a balance

For men, this may not seem like a shock, but for women, it certainly is. In a statistical report by Finra in 2012 says that “women were more likely to engage in costly credit card behaviors than men” Women also scored lower in financial literacy compared to men. However, don’t be disappointed. According to the study, when men and women with high literacy were surveyed together, there was no longer a gender separation on who spends more.


Financial fraud is usually related to credit cards

Did you know that about 47 percent of fraudulent acts in the United States involve credit cards? At least 31.8 million U.S. consumers were subjected to credit card fraud back in 2014, and the numbers only rise up each year. Furthermore, each replacement card costs about $12.75 per card which costs issuers a whopping sum per year. Although identity theft can cost millions even billions of hard earned money, credit card fraud has both the consumer and the bank left almost empty-handed. So, be careful with your cards, and watch out for those menacing scams on the streets.


By adding the numbers on your credit card, you can see if a credit card number is valid

Beyond the nitty-gritty of credit cards, did you know that if you add the numbers on your credit card, you’ll know if it’s valid? Some people know this, but some don’t. If you follow the Luhn algorithm, you can easily find out whether or not a card is valid. Starting from the numbers on the right, double every other digit on the card. Add the doubled digits to the ones that aren’t doubled. If you have a number 10 or above, like 10, 11, or 15, you will have to add the numbers. For example, 11 would be 1+1 which would be equal to 2. If the total sum is divisible by 10, then the card is valid. This is only important though as it provides accidental errors, like putting the wrong number in the wrong order. It isn’t designed to protect against criminals, sadly.


Even if you don’t use your credit card, you could still use it for good credit

This is probably something you didn’t know. Have you had a couple of credit cards in the past that you didn’t use, so you decided to call up and close them? Well, next time you don’t use a card, just keep it. Don’t close the account. The longer you have a good credit history with that credit card, the better credit report and credit score you’ll have. If you have debt, you can pay it off, but again, don’t close it.

Did you already know some of these things about credit cards? Most people don’t know how far credit cards have come or how dangerous they could be; but at the same time, they can severely affect your credit history. Work with Calcite Credit Union to make sure your credit card rate is the best it can be!