American Express started their own credit program in 1958.
Like the original Diners Club Card, it was first a charge card intended to fund travel and entertainment expenses
and bills were due in full at the end of each month.
In 1959, American Express introduced the first card made of plastic.
The issuing bank then launched their corporate credit card program for commercial customers in 1966.
It was initially made of paper, but soon became plastic. It had a $300 spending limit and cardholders could carry balances month-to-month, for a fee.
It could be accepted by any merchants willing to take it.
Until this point, banking and financial services in the U.S. were largely conducted locally, not nationally.
To better compete with the growing credit card industry, in 1966 Bank of America began licensing its cards to be used by other banks,
expanding its reach around the nation.
To strengthen the network, by 1970 Bank of America joined a group of banks to form National BankAmerica,
Inc. which was later renamed Visa in 1976.
Source: The Balance
A small plastic card
A small plastic card containing a means of identification, such as a signature or picture,
that authorizes the person named on it to charge goods or services to an account, for which the cardholder is billed periodically.