In the 1800s“credit tokens”created from fiber, paper, metal or coins are on record as the earliest forms of charge cards. The history of credit cards versus charge cards later took a momentous turn during a dinner conversation between an executive business types and locations. Diners Club, as it would become known, replaced the numerous loyalty and charge cards typically found in the late 1940s. At the same time, travel for both business and leisure took off, leading to a boom in travel related purchases, further fueling the credit card expansion.
Now, the latest evolution in the card industry may soon involve the elimination of the physical card, in much the same way its credit token forebears disappeared.