Credit cards came into existence for the first time in the 1920s in the United States. Hotels and oil companies in their desire to provide better services and offers to their dedicated customers offered cards on the basis of which the customers could purchase products and services at the business houses. The cards served as a way to identify these customers and provide them the services. At that time, such cards were issued to a few people only.
However, during the Second World War, cards became quite popular and slowly took the form of the credit cards available to premium customers. Banks and financial organizations became involved in rendering short-term credit to customers, who demonstrated high incomes and larger spending. International brands like the MasterCard, Visa and the American Express began marketing the credit cards to potential customers. Global travellers and businessmen found greater convenience in maintaining credit cards and therefore, demand generated for credit cards became very high in a short period of time.
Credit cards were provided to premium customers for a certain amount of annual fee charge to their accounts by credit card companies. There were also a host of features associated with such credit cards. Premium customers could find credit card deals in casinos, bars, snookers, golf etc to cover up all their leisure activities. Of course, they also could find credit card deals in hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. They also could find credit card deals in other credits and cash advances offered through credit cards by credit card companies. Such companies could compare credit cards for the best benefits. With increasing competition for offering credit cards, premium customers could compare credit cards for many offers. Offers and deals were part of the marketing techniques of the credit card companies and hence, they could compare credit cards for these benefits.
Although these services are continued by credit card companies to premium consumers with increasing benefits, over the recent decades, a new category of consumers has been targeted by the credit card companies. This category of consumers comprise of people who are from middle-income groups. Earlier, they were sidelined from the benefits of the credit card, but now credit card companies identify them as significant consumers. Credit cards were offered to them widely. The offer of credit cards is considered to be a high-risk for the banks and the credit card issuing companies. Hence, they charge high amounts of interest rates in addition to other fees. The credit cards management is largely unregulated as government authorities interfere to a little extent in them. As a
result, credit card companies take every little opportunity to inflate the credit card bills of the customers. In order to avoid such inflated credit card bills, the customers need to be vigilant in this regard. They have to take extra precaution while making repayments for the credit used. Repayments have to reach the credit card companies on time to avoid any late payment fee and other interest charges and finance charges associated with it.