Credit cards (as we know them right this moment) were 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 launched in 1972 by a consortium of the other main UK banks. The Bank of America and Barclaycard payment systems have advanced into the Visa network, whilst Mastercharge and the Access model have advanced into MasterCard. Any card issued in the UK at the moment will normally include a Visa or MasterCard logo. The exception being cards issued by American Categorical which can only be used in institutions that accept their cards. There is a fourth smaller network within the USA called Discover.
All major banks and a few building societies in the UK provide cards to present and new customers. Many provide both Visa and MasterCard networks and it is quite widespread to have one account, with particular person Visa and MasterCard cards.
In the Eighties the gold and platinum cards had been launched to the market. Initially these were offered to prospects who had a high income. They usually included a higher than normal credit limit. There was usually an annual price connected to the card. The charging of a charge enabled the issuer to supply special benefits similar to free travel insurance to the holder as well as decrease curiosity rates if the total balance was not paid off every month.
Nowadays, the distinction between a gold or platinum card and a normal card has diminished. Simplistically, a gold card will supply the customer a reduced interest rate and longer curiosity free period for a balance switch when compared to these of a traditional card. The platinum card will provide even higher terms than those available to a gold card. Some gold and platinum cards give the holder additional benefits corresponding to discounts for purchases by means of selected companies. Most issuers have ceased the follow of charging an annual price for the holding of a gold or platinum credit card.
Making use of for a gold or platinum credit card is easy. Usually there are set minimum income levels required and normally a better than average credit history before a card is issued to the customer. The minimum month-to-month repayment necessities will usually be just like these of a normal credit card. Some issuers nonetheless provide special reductions or different benefits to the gold and platinum credit card holders, but this practice is much less frequent than the days that they have 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 can be even higher.
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