Almost everyone has held or used a credit or debit card, but few people stop to consider the dimensions of a card.
If you’re designing a card, you’ll need to know what the exact dimensions of a credit card are so you can properly place any text or graphics.
Knowing the dimensions of a credit card can also help you take measurements or make an estimate of a measurement in a pinch.
What are the dimensions of a credit card?
In general, most credit cards are 3.375 inches long and 2.125 inches wide or 85.725 millimeters long by 53.975 millimeters wide.
Not every credit card will be exactly this size, and a more precise measurement depends on what type of card it is and when it was made.
However, most credit cards are standardized so that they can be used in credit card reading machines around the world.
The thickness of a credit card is also standardized, and these cards almost always have a thickness of 0.03 inches or 0.76 millimeters.
Occasionally, a non-standard card, such as one used for parking or a particular store, will be slightly thinner, ranging from about 0.02 to 0.024 inches or 0.508 to 0.61 millimeters, while others are thicker.
What are credit cards made of?
When credit cards were first introduced, they were made of either metal or celluloid plastic, and they had very different dimensions than the cards we’re familiar with today.
These cards had an overall smaller design.
As credit cards evolved, they were made using a number of materials, including paper fibers or other types of fiber.
Most cards are now made of either metal or polyvinyl chloride plastic, more commonly known as PVC.
Both metal and PVC are durable and can be shaped or stamped easily.
Cards made of PVC are usually made up of several layers that have been laminated together.
This gives the card some flexibility, as well as added durability.
Cards that are made of metal can weigh as much as 0.99 ounces or about 28 grams, while plastic cards are much lighter and usually weigh about 0.18 ounces or 5 grams.
Credit Card History
Credit cards were first used in 1928 when the Charga-Plate was issued through businesses to repeat clients.
These cards were often held by the company they were used for, and a customer’s file could be accessed and charged when they came into the store to make a purchase.
In 1934, the Air Travel Card, which was an early credit card for air travel customers, was introduced.
Each major airline eventually had its own Air Travel Card, and these convenient cards were the first internationally valid credit cards.
The Diners Club card was created in 1950, and it was the first card that allowed customers to use it at multiple retailers.
American Express developed the Carte Blanche card in 1958, and this launched a credit card network that could span the globe.
Credit Card Features
Credit cards generally have rounded corners.
They almost always have the name of the bank or business the card came from, the name of the authorized user, the card number, and the expiration date printed or stamped on them.
Card numbers are usually 16 digits long but these numbers can range from 14 to 19 digits depending on the company and card type.