concept of credit cards revolves around deferred payments - the ability
to purchase products and services today and actually pay for it at a later
time or over a period of time.
than 50 years this simple concept has become one of the largest industries
in the world. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the credit card
more than 25,000 customer financial institutions around the world
had issued 716.3 million MasterCard-branded cards through the first
six months of 2005.
the first six months of 2005, purchase volume reached $556.0 billion. MasterCard
cardholders can use their cards at more than 23 million locations
around the world, including over 1 million ATMs
and other locations where cash can be obtained.
of December 2000, more than $1.8 trillion in products and services
were purchased using Visa cards, and Visa’s worldwide
market share, at sixty percent, was greater than that of
all other major
payment cards combined. There are more than one billion Visa,
Interlink, PLUS, and Visa Cash cards in the market today.
Visa-branded cards are accepted at more than twenty million
locations in more
than 150 countries, making Visa the closest thing there is
to a universal
The most commonly used credit cards in the United States
are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
want to consider taking advantage of one of the many credit
card reward programs offered today (such as airline miles, hotel
benefits, cash back, or free gasoline).