Consumer behavior toward credit card usage is changing, but the attitudes are somewhat mixed.

It’s no secret that credit card debt in America is out of control. But how did we get here?

It all started with Frank McNamara forgetting his wallet at a business lunch — and later inventing the Diner’s Club Card. Not long after, smaller banking institutions began adopting the idea of issuing cards to its loan customers.

In 1955, the first patent containing the words “credit card” was born. By the ’70s, credit card usage was in full swing and most households had one or more. And today? The average household is over $16,000 in credit card debt, and attitudes toward credit cards are changing. Here’s what people are saying on Twitter…

Blame it on education, or not

Although financial literacy is something America continues to struggle with, the Internet changed things. It’s no coincidence that younger Gen Xers and millennials are much wiser about credit card usage. In a recent analysis, Debt.com revealed that over 52.4 percent of millennials pay off their credit card balances in full each month. In general, only 35 percent of Americans are doing that.

Women aren’t falling for it

According to a report from Experian, women have higher credit scores, less debt, and fewer late payments than men.

This doesn’t mean women don’t like credit cards. The study also revealed that over 23 percent of women have more than one card. What’s interesting is that women weren’t guaranteed the right to a credit card until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was signed in 1974.

Money talks and credit cards walk

Until recently, the more credit cards you had, the richer you looked. But nowadays having too many credit cards may indicate a spending problem — or worse, a whole lot of debt. Experts at Debt.com found that 37 percent of Americans said credit card debt will make them look down on a significant other.

Is it all just a game?

Credit cards aren’t inherently bad, and you can get them to work for you. One of the easiest ways to establish good credit is by opening a credit card and making on-time, in-full payments. However, nowhere in a credit card application do they tell you this — because they would prefer that you pay the interest. It’s also possible to boost your credit score without opening a credit card.

When it comes to credit cards that offer rewards, it gets even better for the consumer who is playing by the rules. Nowadays, if people are going to open a new credit card, they want to get something out of it.

Do you want to outsmart your credit card? Make sure to visit our Education Center for tool and tips. Do you think you’re smarter than your credit card? Tell us how by dropping us a tweet @debtcom.

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Meet the Author

Michelle Bryan

Michelle Bryan

Social Media Director

Bryan is the social media director for Debt.com.

Lifestyle

build credit, credit card debt, credit cards, credit score

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Article last modified on March 15, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Have Americans Outsmarted Credit Cards? - AMP.