Credit Cards Glossary

Definitions of terms commonly used for credit card applications.

Credit Card Terminology


Annual Fee

Yearly fee charged by the car issuer for using the credit card.

Balance Transfer

The act of transferring the outstanding balance from one card to another. Balance transfers are often done to take advantage of a lower interest rate.

Business Credit Cards

Credit cards that are reserved specifically for businesses, from business-for-self to large enterprises.

Cash Advance

The act of withdrawing money from a credit card through a bank, ATM or convenience cheque.

Cash Back Credit Cards

Credit cards that offer a cash refund based on the total usage of the card.

Credit Limit

The maximum amount that you can charge to your credit card.

Grace Period

A period of time during which interest is not charged as long as a payment is made before the period is over. It starts at the statement date and ends at the payment due date.

Interest Rate

A percentage that is applied to your outstanding balance to determine the interest charges payable.

Low Interest Credit Cards

Credit cards that carry a low interest rate. This low interest can be on purchases, cash advances, and/or balance transfers.

Minimum Payment

The minimum payment that must be made each month in order to keep your account in good standing.

No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Their name says it all. These credit cards can be used as an emergency fund since they cost nothing to the individual to keep.

Over-Limit Fee

A penalty fee resulting from charges to the card exceeding the credit limit.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

A password used to identify the authorized cardholder when making purchases with the credit card.

Secured Credit Cards

Credit cards that must have a security deposit. These cards are generally meant for people with bad credit or no credit.

Student Credit Cards

Credit cards that often have features that appeal to students, i.e. student rewards, no annual fees, etc.

Travel Credit Cards

Credit Cards that offer travel rewards that can be redeemed for discounts on flights, hotels, car rental and other travel related expenses.

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