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The “credit card effect” describes a finding where greater value is given to consumer items if credit card logos are present. One explanation for the effect is that credit cards elicit spending behavior through associative learning. If this is true, social, economic and historical contexts should alter this effect. In Experiment 1, Year 1 New Zealand university students valued consumer items less in the presence of credit card logos. Experiment 2 replicated this effect. These findings support the idea that New Zealand students’ negative conditioning history with credit card stimuli results in a “negative” credit card effect, whereby credit cards limit rather than facilitate spending. This “negative” effect suggests that the presence or absence of a “positive” effect in previous studies depends on previous associations with credit card stimuli.