"Charge plates, often called Charga-Plates, are the predecessors to credit cards. Used until the early '60s, charge plates are made of aluminum or white metal plates. They are about the size of a dog tag and are embossed with the customer's name and address. The back side has a paperboard insert with the issuer's name and the cardholder's signature. Charga-plates were issued mostly by department stores, but also by a few oil companies and store associations. They were sometimes kept in the stores and retrieved by the clerk when an authorized user made a purchase. A charge plate is more valuable with its case. Between 300 and 500 different ones are estimated to exist."Text from the American Credit Card Collectors Society, via. Image via imgur and Reddit.
I'm old enough to remember charga-plates, but not old enough to remember charge coins, first issued in 1865 (!!) and discussed here.
"The coins are the oldest, and there's also a group called celluloids. Celluloids and coins were around in the turn of the last century. I find the coins the most interesting: You have them from most of the major department stores from the last century up until around the 1950s... There are some credit coins worth hundreds of dollars now."..You learn something every day. I'll need to keep my eyes open the next time I visit our local auctioneer.
Celebrity credit cards are also a hot item amongst collectors. In October 2005, Heritage Auctions acquired Henry Fonda's Texaco Credit Card from 1953 from his son, Peter Fonda. It was sold for only $95.60, most likely because it was unsigned. Auctioneers Butterfield & Butterfield sold Elvis Presley's American Express card from the early 1970s several years ago at a jaw-dropping $41,400.