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.

Date Made: 1978

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection, American Enterprise, Coins, Currency and Medals


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: E. Clain-Stefanelli

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: NU.84.17.10Catalog Number: 84.17.10Accession Number: 1984.0606

Object Name: credit card

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 5.5 cm x 8.5 cm x .15 cm; 2 5/32 in x 3 11/32 in x 1/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1444151

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