Diner’s Club Card, 1955
What’s in your wallet? If the year was 1955, it might have contained a Diner’s Club card. The Diner’s Club began issuing these paper cards to a small circle of members in 1950. The cards allowed businessmen, like department store scion Alfred Bloomingdale and later their wives, to charge travel and entertainment but the entire bill had to be paid at the end of the month.
Prior to Diner’s Club, credit could only be obtained from a store or manufacturer. The Club inspired many competitors including banks that would later offer revolving accounts. The new flexibility of credit cards fueled consumer spending in the decades after World War II and allowed Americans, in increasing numbers, to buy now and pay later.