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Origins Of Popular Products: The Surprising History Behind The First Credit Card

We have a section of our site is calledOrigins Of Top Businesses.”

It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses. 

We’ve added a small variation to that section.

It’s called “Origins Of Popular Products.”

Today, I’ll share with you how the first credit card came to be…

the first credit card

In 1949, Fred McNamara was having lunch with Alfred Bloomingdale.

It was just two wealthy guys enjoying an old school “power lunch.”

They were finishing their meal when something unexpected happened.

Frank McNamara had forgotten his wallet.

Instead of being embarrassed, he decided that he would make sure it never happened again.

Luckily for him, his wife rescued him and came with some cash and paid for the tab.

He and Bloomingdale decided to launch a network of restaurant charge accounts so that other wealthy people wouldn’t have to worry about carrying around cash to pay for their tabs.

In February 1950, McNamara went back to Major’s Cabin Grill with his partner Ralph Schneider.

This time, when the bill arrived, McNamara paid for it with a small cardboard card, known today as a Diners Club® Card.

This event was later hailed as the “First Supper,” which paved the way as the world’s first credit card.

In its first year of business, Diners Club® grew to 10,000 members from New York’s business elite, with 28 restaurants and two hotels prepared to accept monthly billing in respect of this select clientele.

Sources: Wikipedia,, & CNNMoney

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.