Are you a Plastic Pro? Take Our Credit Card Test to Find Out.

July 30, 2015


We accept them every day every day from our customers, but how much do we really know about credit cards?

For instance: Did you know that there are enough cards in circulation to span the earth over 3.5 times if placed side by side?

Did you know that the first credit card was introduced over 100 years ago?

Take our 10-question quiz below to test your credit card knowledge and learn more about one of the world’s most prominent payment methods.

Good luck!


1. The percentage of Canadians that pay their credit card balance in full each month is:

            a. 40 percent

            b. 60 percent

            c. 50 percent


Answer: B. 60 percent. By paying the balance in full each month, cardholders do not pay interest on their purchases.


2. Western Union introduced the first charge card system in:

            a. 1892

            b. 2003

            c. 1914


Answer: C. 1914. It was a proprietary, closed system that meant holders of the card could only use them to purchase goods or services from the company that issued the card.


3. In the world of credit card processing, the “acquirers:”

            a. authorize and settle credit card transactions made by cardholders .

            b. Receive credit cards in the mail.

            c. Purchase credit card mailing lists for marketing use.


Answer: A. Authorize and settle credit card transactions made by cardholders. The acquirers make it possible for the merchants to accept credit card payments.


4. The world’s largest cardholder group belongs to:

            a. MasterCard

            b. Visa

            c. UnionPay


Answer: C. UnionPayUnionPay has issued 4.7 billion cards worldwide - making it the world’s largest cardholder group.


5. In 1950, the first credit card was introduced that could be used in multiple locations.  The issuing institution was:

            a. Diners Club

            b. Visa

            c. Sears


Answer: A. Diners Club. In 1950, Frank McNamara, head of Hamilton Credit Corporation, founded the Diners’ Club Card: the first card that could be used in multiple locations. He established the card after forgetting his wallet at home and realizing how useful it would be to have a card you could use instead of cash. Although it could only be used at 28 restaurants and two hotels, it became a status symbol among the New York’s business elite, and grew to 10,000 members within the first year.


6. The first two digits of a credit card number indicate:

            a. The issuer of the card

            b. The owner of the card

            c. The owner’s credit score


Answer: A. The issuer of the card. The first two digits indicate the major issuing industry – such as banking, airline, telecommunications and fueling companies.


7. The name for the governing bodies that oversee the world of credit, debit, cheques and other electronic payments are called:

            a. Acquirers

            b. Abolitionists

            c. Associations


Answer: C. Associations. The associations are networks of issuing banks and acquiring banks that process payment cards of a specific brand.  They represent the governing bodies in the world of credit, debit, cheques and other forms of electronic payments. The associations provide the electronic infrastructure that allows the exchange of data and funds between all of the players in a transaction so it happens quickly, accurately and, most importantly, safely.   


8. The concept of “revolving balance” introduced in 1959 refers to:

a. Allowing credit card holders to keep a balance on their credit card without paying it off completely every month.

b. Allowing credit card holders to increase or decrease their credit limit as they see fit.

c. Allowing credit card issuers to increase or decrease interest rates as they see fit.



9. The most exclusive credit card available is the:

            a. Dubai First Royal MasterCard

            b. JP Morgan Chase Palladium Card

            c. American Express Centurion Card


Answer: C. American Express Centurion Card. The American Express Centurion Card charges an annual fee of $2,500 USD after the initial $5,000 initiation fee.  You must also have charged at least $250,000 on the American Express Platinum card within one fiscal year [to be eligible?].  The average Centurion cardholder has an annual income of $1.3 million USD and assets of nearly $16 million.


10. Smart cards, otherwise known as “chip-and-pin” cards were first introduced in 1971 and used in:

            a. Finland

            b. France

            c. Turkey


Answer: B. FranceThe first computer-on-a-chip was born in 1971 in Intel's laboratories. In 1974 Roland Moreno, a French independent inventor, mounted a chip on a card and devised a system to use the card for payment transactions. By the end of the year Honeywell Bull had produced the first CP8 Transac cards and the first adopters were also both French: France Telecom and Carte Bancaire. 


So how did you do? Award yourself 2 points for every correct answer and check below for your credit card IQ.

16-20 Points – Plastic Pro

You possess a great deal of knowledge on the history and inner-workings of credit card payment systems. You personally have only one or a handful of cards that you use strategically.  You understand how credit cards work and can apply this knowledge to your business.


10-14 Points – MasterCard Moderate

You know the basics of credit card usage, but limited history and background on the payment processing system itself.  Credit cards are a part of your everyday financial activity, but you don’t spend much time analyzing their impact or significance on your overall business strategy.


0-8 Points – Charge Card Chump

You know very little about credit cards, although you may have a wallet full of plastic.  Whether you don’t have the time to learn all the inner workings of the credit card system, or you simply aren’t interested, you pay with credit cards whenever you see fit and accept them at your business without overanalyzing their use. 

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