Interesting facts you didn’t know about credit cards

Research shows that nearly 80% of Americans own at least one credit card. These plastic cards are everywhere and have remained the dominant means of payment for many years. There are many reasons why credit cards have become so popular. For one, you no longer need to carry around lose cash and you can use your card to pay for unexpected emergencies.

Given the convenience your credit card offers, it comes as no surprise that its usage has almost tripled since 2000. While many people don’t think twice about where their cards come from, this piece of plastic has a storied history, riddled with interesting facts. Here are 20 things you probably didn’t know about credit cards.

Credit Card Circulation

Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The average American wallet has at least 3 credit cards at any given time and the current credit transactions amount to $3 trillion a year. This amount is a testament to the number of credit cards in circulation these days.

The three largest credit card companies boast the highest number of cards currently used. As of Q1 of 2019, Visa has 1.124 billion, Mastercard has 767 million and American Express has 104 million. If you place these cards side by side, they have the ability to cover the span of the earth 3.5 times over. In terms of distance, that’s around 89,981 miles.