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.
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