If I remember correctly, in one of the earlier books Ford Prefect attempts at paying a bartender with his Amex card while he's fully aware that only Earth had this primitive form of plastic currency. Seeing that he has no way out, he resorts to bribing the bartender with an entry about his bar in the guide. Then, as stated in Mostly Harmless, how did credit card become an accepted form of payment in the Galaxy?

  • Once we finally adopted chip-and-pin technology, credit cards were finally advanced enough. :)
    – DavidW
    May 5, 2021 at 22:07
  • Can you find the specific passage in Mostly Harmless? It might have been something special about that situation.
    – DavidW
    May 5, 2021 at 22:09
  • @DavidW It is mentioned in chapter 6, when Ford is in Mr Vann Harl's office. He steals it along with Harl's Ident-i-Eeze.
    – chelwin
    May 5, 2021 at 22:13
  • 1
    Isn't the original joke about no one accepting American Express rather than credit cards in general? Even on earth, still in 2021 let alone the 80s plenty of places do not accept AmEx.
    – Jontia
    May 6, 2021 at 5:49
  • Remember that Earth is considered unfathomably backward and unfashionable by even those people who know about it. It's the difference between showing up with a check made out from Deutsch Bank and one from the First National Bank of Ruritania.
    – Cadence
    May 6, 2021 at 6:46


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