25 Things You Might Not Know About Credit Cards

America runs on credit. It’s a fact of life. If you don’t have good credit you might not get jobs, not be able to rent, not get a loan. And to live in the United States you will almost certainly need a loan at some point in your life. Student loans, car loans, home loans. You get loans to pay other loans. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves much of the world confused, much of America in debt, and much of Wall Street rich. The average American household has several thousand dollars of credit card debt. What is worse is that many of those households willingly carry that debt. Moreover, the average American has several credit cards. These days you can buy almost anything, even if you don’t have any money. As long as you have a credit card you can just make minimum monthly payments and you’ll be fine right? Well, that can work if you don’t mind being a slave. Today we’re going to go over some of the key points concerning debt and credit cards. To summarize – if you don’t know how to use a credit card…don’t. These are 25 Things You Might Not Know About Credit Cards.

25

There are enough credit cards in circulation to wrap around the Earth at the equator three and a half times

There are enough credit cards in circulation to wrap around the Earth at the equator three and a half timesSources: MasterCard, Visa, CreditCards, Image: wikipedia
24

The first general credit cards were made out of paper and had a limit of $300

The first general credit cards were made out of paper and had a limit of $300Source: msn.com, Image: wikipedia
23

The reason credit cards expire is because the magnetic strip suffers a lot of abuse. Typically it will last around three to four years.

The reason credit cards expire is because the magnetic strip suffers a lot of abuse. Typically it will last around three to four years.Source: pbs.org, Image: wikipedia
22

This means that you can technically still use your credit card after it expires as long as you are not asked for the expiration date (ever notice that all the other details stay the same?)

This means that you can technically still use your credit card after it expires as long as you are not asked for the expiration date (ever notice that all the other details stay the same?)Source: lifehacker
21

Credit cards follow the Luhn algorithm, which is a checksum test on a number. It can tell you if the card is valid or not.

Credit cards follow the Luhn algorithm, which is a checksum test on a number. It can tell you if the card is valid or not.Source: wikipedia
20

To see it in action, start on the right and double each second digit (2121 would become 4141). Then add them together and you should end up with a number divisible by 10. If not, the card is not valid.

To see it in action, start on the right and double each second digit (2121 would become 4141). Then add them together and you should end up with a number divisible by 10. If not, the card is not valid.Source: creditcards.com, Image: freestockphotos.biz
19

The average American household receives 6 credit card offers every month

The average American household receives 6 credit card offers every monthSource: Weston, Liz. 2012. Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future, Image: wikipedia
18

In 2006, credit card companies earned more than $90 billion in interest

In 2006, credit card companies earned more than $90 billion in interestSource: businessinsider
17

VISA stands for Visa International Service Association. This is known as a recursive acronym because it refers to itself.

VISA stands for Visa International Service Association. This is known as a recursive acronym because it refers to itself.Source: wikipedia, Image: frankieleon via flickr
16

On the VISA logo, the blue represents the sky and gold represents the hills in California which is where Bank of America was founded (VISA used to belong to Bank of America)

On the VISA logo, the blue represents the sky and gold represents the hills in California which is where Bank of America was founded (VISA used to belong to Bank of America)Source: Hyman, Louis. 2012. Borrow: The American Way of Debt, Image: wikipedia
15

Every second there are more than 10,000 credit transactions around the world

Every second there are more than 10,000 credit transactions around the worldSource: nytimes, Image: wikipedia
14

All credit cards are the same size (85.60 mm x 53.98 mm)

All credit cards are the same size (85.60 mm x 53.98 mm)Source: wikipedia, Image: thebluediamondgallery.com
13

The average credit card debt for an American adult in 2013 was nearly $5,000

The average credit card debt for an American adult in 2013 was nearly $5,000Source: foxbusiness.com
12

Women are more likely than men to pay the minimum amount and carry a credit card balance

Women are more likely than men to pay the minimum amount and carry a credit card balanceSource: Weston, Liz. 2012. Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future, Image: pixabay
11

The minimum payments on credit cards are so low because they are specifically designed to get people into debt

The minimum payments on credit cards are so low because they are specifically designed to get people into debtSource: pbs.org
10

This is because credit card companies only make money when you don't pay off your debt at the end of each month. Why? They make their money on interest and late fees.

This is because credit card companies only make money when you don't pay off your debt at the end of each month. Why? They make their money on interest and late fees.Source: pbs.org
9

If you ever make transactions online or over the phone, know that it is illegal for a vendor to require personal information of you. If you do not want to give out your home address, for example, they cannot deny the transaction.

If you ever make transactions online or over the phone, know that it is illegal for a vendor to require personal information of you. If you do not want to give out your home address, for example, they cannot deny the transaction.Source: businessinsider, Image: freestockphotos.biz
8

The average American consumer has 1.96 credit cards

The average American consumer has 1.96 credit cardsSource: creditcards.com
7

Credit cards are the most profitable sector in the banking industry. It rakes in more than $30 billion annually

Credit cards are the most profitable sector in the banking industry. It rakes in more than $30 billion annuallySource: creditcards.com
6

Because they don't make any money off of them, credit card companies have a name for someone who pays off their debt every month: "deadbeat"

Because they don't make any money off of them, credit card companies have a name for someone who pays off their debt every month: "deadbeat"Source: wsj.com
5

The first digit of the card represents the type of card: 1 and 2 are for airlines; 3 is for entertainment and travel; 4, 5, and 6 are for banking; 7, 8, and 9 are for other uses

The first digit of the card represents the type of card: 1 and 2 are for airlines; 3 is for entertainment and travel; 4, 5, and 6 are for banking; 7, 8, and 9 are for other usesSource: wikipedia, Image: freestockphotos.biz
4

VISA cards start with 4 while American Express starts with 34 or 37. MasterCards is 51 through 55

VISA cards start with 4 while American Express starts with 34 or 37. MasterCards is 51 through 55Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
3

Even if you make your credit card payments on time, the credit card bank is allowed to raise interest rates if you don't make other payments (house, car, etc)

Even if you make your credit card payments on time, the credit card bank is allowed to raise interest rates if you don't make other payments (house, car, etc)Source: msn.com
2

Credit card companies only have to give you 15 days notice before changing the terms of your contract

Credit card companies only have to give you 15 days notice before changing the terms of your contractSource: intuit.com
1

Due to the recession and stricter laws, millennials are less likely to own credit cards than their parents. Given the massive outstanding debt, hopefully the trend continues (although the credit card companies certainly aren't happy about it)

Due to the recession and stricter laws, millennials are less likely to own credit cards than their parents. Given the massive outstanding debt, hopefully the trend continues (although the credit card companies certainly aren't happy about it)Source: businessinsider


SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

NOW WATCH: 25 Craziest Medical Treatments In History

Subscribe to List25

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

25 Amazing Uninhabited Islands That Are Strikingly Beautiful

25 Simple Ways To Keep A Budget And Live Within Your Means

25 Simple Ways To Keep A Budget And Live Within Your Means