For some reason, possibly the widespread adoption of credit cards as a form of electronic currency, it has become convention that the unit of currency in futuristic and particularly SpaceOpera settings is called the "Credit". It's also a way to avoid using the name of any existing currency, which would tend to fall into CreatorProvincialism or seem outdated as history marches on.

According to to [[ this site]] the earliest use of the term "credit" in this sense is to be found in E.E. "Doc" Smith's story "Galactic Patrol" from 1937, the first entry in the ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series.

Accounting lectures in the future must be terribly confusing things. [[SchmuckBait For fun]] try asking a real accountant [[BerserkButton what they think]] about naming a currency this in RealLife.[[note]]"So as you can see, on 10 June we credited 35 credits to your line of credit and debited 7 credits from your debit card. Then we debited 8 credits from your line of credit and credited 14 credits to your debit account."[[/note]]

A subtrope of GlobalCurrency, [[SubvertedTrope although not always.]] Also a subtrope of FictionalCurrency.

!!Credits as GlobalCurrency


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* An in universe case in ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'': the futuristic CyberPunk MMO ''Gun Gale Online'''s currency is credits.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' (known as "Creds" in street slang). Their global status is very [[DependingOnTheWriter dependent on the writer of the story.]] Other, real world currencies have cropped up occasionally.
%%* ''ComicBook/StrontiumDog''


[[folder: Film ]]

%%* ''Film/OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank''
%%* ''Film/TotalRecall1990'' (1990)
* {{Parodied}} in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', where the currency is always referred to as "[[SpaceX space bucks]]."
* The universally accepted currency in ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' is "Units".


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series by Creator/IsaacAsimov (well, less global than lenticular - it's used across the entire galaxy, except on one occasion where Asimov slips up and refers to "dollars" instead).
* The ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series by Creator/EEDocSmith is the TropeCodifier:
** Credits are used as currency throughout the Galaxy, and later in ''two'' galaxies.
** The villainous Senator Morgan accuses his adversaries of worshiping "the almighty CREDIT!"
* ''Hex'' by Rhiannon Lassiter, which takes place in the 24th century, uses credits as currency worldwide. As everything is computerised at this point, this system may be the logical next step after the use of credit cards and nonphysical monetary transactions became common.
* ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'': As seen in "Dragonsdawn", the original colonists used communal "credits" along with the barter system. As the population grew and scattered and their technology started failing, this shifted to the minted currency "marks" used in the main storyline and the later flashback stories.
* ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' has the World Credit, which must then be converted into Credit US, Credit EU, etc.
* Caseys in ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr'', e.g. kilo-calories, which are supposed to be linked to the remaining level of manpower after the plagues.
* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in "The Marching Morons" (C.M. Kornbluth) a man is roused from suspended animation hundreds of years in the future. Assuming that life is like science fiction, he asks about their money -- supposing they use credits -- and is told they use dollars.


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* ''Series/DoctorWho'' (Galactic Credits)
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''. Often mentioned indirectly, as in the episode "Catspaw":
-->'''De Salle:''' "Maybe we can't break it, but I'll bet you credits to navy beans we can put a dent in it!"
** And sometimes directly, as is "The Trouble With Tribbles" where there is a whole scene where people argue over how many Credits a Tribble will be sold for.
** Mirror/Kirk (while in our universe) tries to bribe who he thinks is Mirror/Spock with enough "to make [him] a wealthy man."
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' would ditch money altogether. Or, at least that was Gene Roddenberry's intention. That didn't stop Dr. Crusher from asking a merchant to charge her account on the ''Enterprise'', though. In the ''first episode'', no less. Maybe it was EarlyInstallmentWeirdness.
** The UFP doesn't use money, but at that point the planet where the first episode of TNG was set wasn't a member of the UFP, so they might still have been using money, so obviously there needs to be some medium of remunerative exchange between Federation citizens and non-Federation citizens.
** Quark charges money, despite him working on a Federation-controlled space station. In fact, as mentioned in one episode, he also has his own vouchers, which he claims are as good as latinum, only for Riker to point out that, while that may be true, Quark's vouchers are only good at his establishment, while latinum is valid tender almost anywhere.
*** While Deep Space Nine is controlled by the Federation it operates under the authority of the Bajoran government, which may make a difference. In truth the way the TNG and post-TNG Trek universe depicted money is highly contradictory and complicated. For example while many on Deep Space Nine use money as a matter of routine, there's a whole episode - "In The Cards" - in which Jake repeatedly and positively states that he doesn't have money because he is Human. Despite that, there are many casual mentions of money here and there. Fans sometimes try and write these off as hyperbole. In truth it's just inconsistent writing.
*** The simplest explanation is that only certain planets (Earth, Risa are two mentioned) are moneyless, while most planets have their own currency and use gold-pressed latinum as a medium of interplanetary exchange. Bashir can afford Quark's holodecks because he gets a stipend from the Federation while stationed on [=DS9=], Jake can't because he's not employed by the Federation or anybody else during that episode (although later in the series he does work a couple jobs). One thing they don't explain is how Sisko's dad on Earth can have a restaurant staff without a payroll...
*** Its the same thing with Picard's wine, it's more of a hobby than a way to earn a living.
*** In truth the only reason why the Federation even has credits is to deal with non-federation planets.
** ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' uses several currencies, of which the most basic is Energy Credits or EC for short. These are mostly used on the Exchange, the in-game item auction house.
* Series/{{Andromeda}} used to have this, but it went away with the fall of the Commonwealth. Many systems use "thrones" and "guilders" though.
-->'''Dylan''' : Oh we have plenty of currency. It's just that none of it's . . . current.
* it's mentioned in ''The Comet's Curse'' that the world created a credit bank, making the quarter that they found incredibly rare.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/{{Starfire}}'': The costs for building starships are calculated in "megacredits" for all races/empires.
* In ''TabletopGame/HcSvntDracones'' after the nuclear sterilization of Earth the Mars colonies started using a crypto-currency called the "credit" for simplicity. A while later its value was tied to a system of stock-trading programs owned by every citizen.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'', the local ProudMerchantRace backed the creation of a single currency for the Commonwealth governments. Prior to this, each race used its own currency.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', and its sequels and prequels.
** Though Dollars are mentioned by name in the first game's dialogue, and [[FridgeLogic menus in Paris apparently are in Pounds Sterling]] by 2054.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity''
* ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'' has a little more complex a take on things. The currency, known as ISK (Inter-Stellar [[XtremeKoolLetterz Kredits]][[note]]which just happens to be the currency code for the Icelandic króna[[/note]]), is not so much a global currency as it is a global ''exchange'' currency. Planetary economies and sometimes individual planetary nations almost all have their own currencies, ISK was merely setup as an exchange medium to manage the obscene amounts of money being used at the inter-stellar level - the popular saying goes you can retire comfortably planet-side basically anywhere in the cluster on [[ZillionDollarBill single digit amounts of the stuff]]. And despite that, the economy is such that the de-facto unit of currency is in millions of isk. Ask someone for a price, and they say '50', they mean 50 MILLION isk. Guess the CasualInterstellarTravel isn't all that casual...
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' - Similar to the EVE example. Every country/government/planet has their own currency, while "credits" are actually just a short hand exchange rate for money. There are several high powered accounting firms tasked with monitoring and adjusting exchange rates among every currency, so if you bought a gun your account would be subtracted dollars and they would be given ... whatever they use. Credits is just an easy way for everyone to get an idea of what prices are. They don't actually "exist" like money does.
** One can imagine that money doesn't "exist" either in an interstellar civilization. We're already on the verge of replacing physical currency.
** It's specifically mentioned that there was no universal currency until the Volus created the credit system, earning them an embassy on the Citadel, even though they're not an independent government.
* ''Videogame/WingCommander''
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion''. The standard unit for Galactic governments is the "BC" or "Billion Credits".
* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' and its successors from ''Frontier: Elite II'' to ''VideoGame/EliteDangerous'' as well as open-source clone ''VideoGame/{{Oolite}}''. The earlier games tended to be a little vague about the exchange rate between Credits and RealLife currencies, but one "ton" (which may or may not represent what it does in metric or American Customary Measurements) of something like grain usually sells for between three and seven of them.
* ''{{Freelancer}}''
* ''VideoGame/HaegemoniaLegionsOfIron'': "bc" stands for "billion credits", which make sense since you're building spaceships and conducting massive colony enhancements.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'' - In Omnitopia, complete with an Icon of a Credit Card
* ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' also has [=BCs=] ("billion credits") by virtue of you running an interstellar empire and using money for projects on planetary scales.
* ''{{Neptunia}}''
* ''VideoGame/SaGaFrontier''
* [=EarthGov=] in the ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' series uses credits as its currency.
* ''VideoGame/VegaStrike'' (currently, at least) has even outlaws and aliens not allied with major human groups trade in Credits.
* ''{{VideoGame/Uplink}}''
* ''VideoGame/NoMansSky'' uses Units everywhere as an interstellar exchange currency, even though most of the Galaxy is unexplored.
* ''VideoGame/FZero'' doesn't bring up currency very often, being a straightforward racing series. When it is brought up, like in the story mode cutscenes in ''GX'', it's very clearly referred to as "space credits".
* In ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}'', the Corpus MegaCorp, Grineer Empire, and [[PlayerCharacter Tenno]] all spend credits. It's not clear who backs the Credit, as it's extremely rare for the Grineer and Corpus to ''not'' be in - at minimum - low-level conflict.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', as seen [[ here]].


[[folder: Web Originals ]]

* ''Literature/ChakonaSpace'' uses Fed Creds. Galaxy-wide currency and e-currency.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* An interesting RealLife subversion: In coin-op video games, credits (not quarters) were the standard currency, but a credit was whatever coin was typically used in the localization. Of course, in ''MortalKombat'', it was [[XtremeKoolLetterz kredits]].

!![[SubvertedTrope Credits that aren't]] GlobalCurrency.
* ''Series/BabylonFive''': The only credits seem to be the Earth Alliance (i.e. human) ones; other species have their own currency. Since humans are one of the major merchant powers of the ''B5-verse'', credits seem to be accepted fairly widely; it helps that they're all-electronic. Nevertheless, the Centauri ducat seems to have more [[JustForPun currency]] in interspecies transactions--particularly in shady dealings, as the ducat can come in hard cash (gold coins, it seems) and is thus untraceable.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', as far as can be seen. Paper "Creds" don't even exist, it's all plastic cards.
** Also applies to its {{spinoff}}, ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject''.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'' only uses credits in the [[{{Tomorrowland}} Omnitopia]] section.
* In ''{{Traveller}}'', only the Imperium's currency is called credits. And unlike most examples it's often spent as cash instead of electronically, since it's a hassle to transfer from a bank in another star system when it takes at least a week to send the request alone.
* Many factions in ''Franchise/StarWars'' mint and back their own "credit" with varying acceptance. Credits are often on chits or coins, or just transferred electronically, but in ComicBook/MarvelStarWars, they [[ looked like bills.]]
** ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' however has one "credit" that is used by everyone except the sandpeople, despite the civil war and weakness of the backing government.
** It also appears that "credits" may just be a generic term for money- at one point Qui-Gon Jinn, when asked for credits, refers to "Republic daitaris". The merchant he's talking to promptly laughs in his face.
*** Dataries are just a physical form in which the money exist. They are akin to the modern cash cards with some amount of money on them. The currency they are nominated in is still the republican credit. (Which is why they're usually not accepted on the Outer Rim planets (Tatooine, for example)
** It's noted in Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy that the New Republic and the Empire both use credits. But since neither recognizes the other as even ''existing'' as a legitimate government with the authority to issue money, there's no official exchange rate. Instead, anybody who does business on both sides of the border has to rely on the black market's ''unofficial'' exchange rates, which might not be particularly favorable.
* uses "creds" to buy gear for avatars. You get creds just for surfing, and you get them for snitching. Considered a ScrappyMechanic by ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'' fans who don't go to, but an obsession of users.
* ''Film/DemolitionMan'': "John Spartan, you are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute." We don't know quite how widespread the use of credits are, as [[MarySuetopia San]] [[SugarBowl Ang]][[{{Deconstruction}} eles]] is apparently independent from the rest of the US (on which we get no clear information) following "the Big One" earthquake devastating California and leading to a merger of San Francisco with Los Angeles, thus its name.
* ''Literature/FuturetrackFive'' mentions Eurocredits. Presumably a rough equivalent of the European Currency Unit, and what currencies the rest of the world use is never explored.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' franchise, humanity uses credits, which is symbolized as cR. While it was mentioned in the canon, it wasn't until ''[[VideoGame/HaloReach Reach]]'' that the player could actually use them. Their ScaryDogmaticAliens enemy, the Covenant, don't accept credits for the simple reason that they're in the middle of a genocidal war and there's no (official) trade between the two. What little black market trade exists is done via direct exchange of goods, information, or barter.
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' 'verse, the Alliance's central planets use credits (paper bills or electronic transfer) as currency, and 1 credit is about equal to $25 US according to the RPG. The [[SchizoTech lower-tech]] outer planets mint their own coins from precious metals (typically silver, gold, and platinum, in ascending order of value), and also frequently use barter.
** [[WeirdCurrency Bricks of compressed nutrients]]-- non-perishable emergency rations, more or less-- are sometimes shown as being a valuable trade good nearly analogous with cash but very easily traced.
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' most of the inner system and some Extropian habitats in the outer system use a universal "credit" currency. But the Anarchists that make up the majority of the outer system and the Titanian Commonwealth don't even use money, their economies are based on [[MatterReplicator public nanofabricators]] and favors from social networks, though Titan also quantifies citizens' social output as "kroners" used to fund various microcorps.
* The Solarian League in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' uses credits, among at least 3 other interstellar currencies, although many other polities have their own, non-credit currencies.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', Alpha Complex uses plasticredits. Sure, you could just charge things to your Millennium Express account, but plasticreds are off the record and untraceable. (You hope.)
* While credits in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Override'' are used throughout all of known space, there are still currencies used beneath the interstellar level (in fact, Earth alone still has ''several'' currencies -- changing to a single UE currency is a matter of ongoing negotiation and preparation). It is entirely possible that credits are a [[GameplayAndStorySegregation gameplay simplification]], and that what the pilot ''actually'' has is a bank account.
* In ''Series/AlmostHuman'', a few references have been made to money in the form of RealLife digital currency, [[ Bitcoin]]. The future portrayed in the series apparently has it become a common form of payment, though other forms of money have been seen.
* In ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'', [=ComStar=] - a telecommunications NGOSuperPower that controls the SubspaceAnsible network - issues their own currency, the C-Bill, which [[PracticalCurrency directly translates into transmission time]] on the network. The C-Bill's name is derived from [=ComStar's=] 'Letters Of Credit' used in the organization's early history when negotiating transmission privileges with governments. While C-bills are the preferred payment method of PrivateMilitaryContractors due to its stability and nigh-universal acceptance, the various Great Houses each produce their own currencies, collectively referred to as 'H-Bills'.
* ''VideoGame/StarControl'' uses Interstellar Credits when trading with the [[ProudMerchantRace Melnorme]]... and ''only'' with the Melnorme. You can trade with others, but it generally works on a barter system (or trading favors) rather than with any form of currency. Building new ships, adding new crew, and adding new parts to your flagship is not done with currency but is taken directly from the resource stockpile you've accumulated from mining planets.
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' uses "credits" specifically for XCOM, as the Council abstracts the fact 16 different nations are funding the project. It also makes things handy to ensure all transactions go through the Council. Note that in this game, a single credit is worth a lot: The complete maintenance of a top-of-the-line fighter plane, a monthly cost that would be around tens thousands of US dollars, amounts to only 20 credits a month.