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Extra Credit

Ever been curious about the emergence of the credit card industry? Frontline and the New York Times have joined up to develop a documentary about the secret history of the credit card. The program has come at a good time, too. In Shell Beach, California, Walter Cavanagh holds the record of possessing the most active credit cards.

Ever been curious about the emergence of the credit card industry? Frontline and the New York Times have joined up to develop a documentary about the secret history of the credit card. The program has come at a good time, too. In Shell Beach, California, Walter Cavanagh holds the record of possessing the most active credit cards.

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His total? 1,496 active cards, 1,495 of which are secured in a safety deposit box — and one that he pays off every month. He has an additional 2,000 cards that are doubles — or were issued by now-defunct companies. How many credit cards do you have in use at one time? How do you use them differently?

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