First & Merchants BankAmericard Visa

The BankAmericard was introduced by Bank of America in 1958 as the first general purpose credit card. Prior to this, credit cards were either issued by specific retailers or were used for a specific purpose (e.g. Diners’ Club was originally used in restaurants). This was also the first credit card with revolving credit that could be paid down incrementally instead of paying the balance at the end of each month. The idea caught on quickly as other institutions began issuing their own BankAmericards. In 1976 BankAmericard officially became branded as a Visa card.
Object Name
credit card
date made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 5.5 cm x 8.5 cm; 2 5/32 in x 3 11/32 in
place made
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
American Enterprise
Coins, Currency and Medals
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
E. Clain-Stefanelli
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America

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