Credit playing cards (as we all know them at the moment) had been first launched in 1958 within the USA by the Bank of America. The first outdoors the USA was the launch of Barclaycard in 1966 by Barclays financial institution. In 1967 a rival to the Bank of America System referred to as Mastercharge was created and within the UK the Access bank card was first launched in 1972 by a consortium of the opposite main UK banks. The Bank of America and Barclaycard fee methods have developed into the Visa community, while Mastercharge and the Access model have developed into MasterCard. Any card issued within the UK at the moment will normally embrace a Visa or MasterCard brand. The exception being playing cards issued by American Express which may solely be utilized in institutions that settle for their playing cards. There is a fourth smaller community within the USA referred to as Discover.
All main banks and a few constructing communities within the UK provide playing cards to present and new prospects. Many provide each Visa and MasterCard networks and it’s fairly widespread to have one account, with particular person Visa and MasterCard playing cards.
In the 1980s the gold and platinum playing cards had been launched to the market. Initially these had been supplied to prospects who had a excessive earnings. They typically included a better than regular credit score restrict. There was normally an annual price hooked up to the cardboard. The charging of a price enabled the issuer to supply particular advantages reminiscent of free journey insurance coverage to the holder in addition to decrease rates of interest if the total steadiness was not paid off every month.
Nowdays, the distinction between a gold or platinum card and a standard card has diminished. Simplistically, a gold card will provide the shopper a lowered rate of interest and longer curiosity free interval for a steadiness switch when in comparison with these of a standard card. The platinum card will provide even higher phrases than these obtainable to a gold card. Some gold and platinum playing cards give the holder extra advantages reminiscent of reductions for purchases via chosen corporations. Most issuers have discontinued the observe of charging an annual price for the holding of a gold or platinum bank card.
Applying for a gold or platinum bank card is straightforward. Generally there are set minimal earnings ranges required and normally a greater than common credit score historical past earlier than a card is issued to the shopper. The minimal month-to-month repayments necessities will sometimes be just like these of a regular bank card. Some issuers nonetheless provide particular reductions or different advantages to the gold and platinum bank card holders, however this observe is way much less widespread than the times that they had been first launched. Often the preliminary credit score restrict is larger on a gold card than for a standard card, and with a platinum card it may be even larger.