When the first credit card was used in the 1950s, no one could have imagined how the landscape of personal finance in America would change over the next 60 years. But slowly, credit cards have become what some Americans label as a “way of life.” As Dave pointed out on The Dave Ramsey Show recently, that’s sad. Listen to the radio show clip.
In 1970, only 15% of Americans had a credit card. In 1978, you had to be a millionaire, or pretty close, to get an American Express Gold Card. But sometime in the 1980s, credit card companies figured out how lucrative marketing debt at 18–32% interest could be.