为产品和服务收费已经成为一种生活方式。人们在购买毛衣或大型家电时不再带现金，而是向他们收费。有些人这样做是为了方便不携带现金;其他人“把它放在塑料上”，这样他们就可以买到一件他们买不起的东西。允许他们这样做的信用卡是二十世纪的发明。在二十世纪初，人们不得不为几乎所有产品和服务支付现金。尽管本世纪初期个别商店信用账户增加，但可以在多个商家使用的信用卡直到1950年才被发明。这一切都始于Frank X. McNamara和他的两个朋友前往晚餐。 1949年，弗兰克·麦克纳马拉X，汉密尔顿信贷公司的负责人，出去跟艾尔弗雷德·布卢明代尔的Bloomingdale的商店的创始人麦克纳马拉的老朋友和孙子，和拉尔夫·斯奈德，麦克纳马拉的律师吃。这三名男子正在Empire State Building旁边着名的纽约餐厅Major’s Cabin Grill吃饭，讨论汉密尔顿信贷公司的问题客户。问题是，麦克纳马拉的一位客户借了一些钱却无力偿还。这位特别的客户在向他的贫困邻居借用他的一些充值卡（可从个别百货商店和加油站购买）时遇到了麻烦，他们在紧急情况下需要物品。对于这项服务，该男子要求他的邻居支付他原来购买的费用加一些额外的钱。不幸的是，对于那个男人来说，他的许多邻居都无法在短时间内偿还他，然后他被迫从汉密尔顿信贷公司借钱。
Charging products and services has become a way of life. Instead of bringing cash when buying sweaters or large appliances, people charge them. Some people do this to make it easy to carry no cash; others “put it on plastic” so they can buy something they can’t afford. Credit cards that allow them to do so are inventions of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century, people had to pay cash for almost all products and services. Despite the increase in individual store credit accounts in the early 2000s, credit cards that could be used in multiple merchants were not invented until 1950. It all started with Frank X. McNamara and his two friends for dinner. In 1949, Frank McNamara X, head of Hamilton Credit Company, went out with old friends and grandsons of McNamara, the founder of Bloomingdale’s store in Alfred Bloomingdale, and Lal Snyder, McNamara’s lawyer eats. The three men are eating at the famous New York restaurant Major’s Cabin Grill next to the Empire State Building to discuss the problem customers of Hamilton Credit. The problem is that a customer in McNamara borrowed some money but was unable to pay it back. The special customer was having trouble borrowing some of his prepaid cards (which could be purchased from individual department stores and gas stations) from his poor neighbors who needed items in an emergency. For this service, the man asked his neighbor to pay for the original purchase and add some extra money. Unfortunately, for that man, many of his neighbors were unable to repay him in a short time, and then he was forced to borrow money from the Hamilton Credit Company.