Kate: Hi Dan.
Dan: Now Kate, today we're talking about credit cards. So could you please tell me what those are?
Kate: Sure. Well, credit cards are the plastic cards we use instead of money. You can use credit cards to pay for items in shops or to take out cash; that is money in its physical form, such as coins or notes.
Dan: So this week's question for you Kate is: In what year was the first ever credit card introduced? Was it:
Kate: That's an interesting question. I had no idea they even went back as far as 1962. I thought they were much more recent than that. So in that case I'm going to go for c, 1962.
Dan: OK, we'll see if you're right at the end of the programme.
Kate: Now one of the obvious advantages of using a credit card is that it's often more convenient than carrying cash. If something's convenient it means it's easier generally or more suitable.
Dan: As you're not using actual money, some people say that credit cards can encourage you to spend more than you can really afford, and you could fall into debt. Could you explain what that means Kate?
Kate: Of course. Well the word debt, spelt D-E-B-T, is when you owe money to someone else. And unfortunately credit cards often mean that people build up an awful lot of debt. So they're often not a terribly good idea. Have you ever had a credit card Dan?
Dan: I have what they call a debit card, so I never accumulate money. I just pay off what I already have, and I'm never in debt to anyone.
Kate: Well that's very sensible. I think credit cards can be a very good idea if you're travelling or if you're abroad, and you're a bit worried about not being able to get money out of the cash machine. But then unfortunately by the time you get back to your own country you've run up lots of debt on your credit card, which you have to pay off.
Dan: That's the thing; they're good for emergencies, but maybe you don't want to use them for everyday life. OK, let's listen to the British journalist Mark Flint, as he explains why credit cards became so popular.
Kate: You'll hear the expression that credit cards were 'catching on'. To catch on in this context means to become popular.