Credit Cards in the United States: Profits Increase

About the profits of the banks and companies that offer credit cards rising in the United States.

PROFITS: ON THE INCREASE

Compare the percent of interest on your savings account with the 18% annual interest fees on revolving charge accounts, and you will begin to see where the profits lie. Although bank credit cards entered the picture late in the game and were sponsored only locally until 1965, they now have become the most popular type of credit card. In 1972 BankAmericard and Master Charge claimed approximately 30 million cards each. Al Griffin, author of The Credit Jungle, states that in California alone, "Bank of America nets $1 million a month from its BankAmericard operations."

In The Cashless Society, author Robert Hendrickson says that over 40 million consumers probably hold 2 or more oil company cards, and airlines have issued approximately 5 million cards. According to Hendrickson, "In 1969, more than 3 million American Express cardholders charged about $1.8 billion worth of goods and services, 2 million Diners Club cardholders charged about $1 billion worth and 650,000 Carte Blanche cardholders charged about $200 million worth."

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