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Glossary

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Annual Fee

A yearly fee charged by some credit cards for use of the card. Most Discover Cards do not have an annual fee.

APR (Annual Percentage Rate)

The cost of credit expressed as a yearly interest rate.

Balance Transfer

Transferring an unpaid balance from one open credit account to another. You can save on interest if you transfer balances to a credit account with a lower interest rate. A balance transfer fee may apply.

Billing Cycle

The length of time (typically one month) between your statements.

Card Act Agreement

This the new rule that provides details of your agreement.

Cardmember Agreement

A written document that provides details of your agreement with the credit card issuer for using your credit card.

Cash Advance

Using your credit card to get cash from a bank, ATM, or by writing a convenience check. Typically, the card issuer charges a cash advance fee for the transaction and begins charging interest from the date you take the cash advance. Other transactions, which may be considered cash advances, include gaming activities.

Charge Card

A specific kind of card that requires full payment of your balance with each billing cycle. Typically charge cards do not charge interest, but late fees can apply if full payment is not received by the due date.

CID (Card Identification Number)

The CID is the three-digit number at the far right on the back of your credit card and is also called a card verification (cvv) number.  Merchants may ask for the CID to verify that you have the card in your possession at the time you make a transaction.  When using a Secure Online Account Number, please use the three-digit CID generated for that secure account number.

CID Number 

Credit Line

The maximum amount that you can borrow on your credit card.

Credit Report

A report about your credit history that lenders (credit card companies, mortgage companies, loan agents,etc.) consult to determine if and how much money they should lend to you. Your history for making timely loan payments, any outstanding debt and open lines of credit are all shown on your credit report. Your credit report is available from credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Debit Card

A card issued by a bank that directly accesses available funds from a bank account, typically a savings or checking account.

Default

When a customer doesn’t make a required payment to a credit card account, or otherwise violates the terms of the agreement between the credit card company and the customer.

Interest Charges

Certain charges that can be incurred when using a credit card. Interest charges include interest costs.

Interest Rate

The price at which a credit card company or other lender charges a customer for “borrowing” money. It is a percentage of the amount borrowed.

Introductory Rate

A lower APR provided by a credit card company for a limited period of time. A higher APR will apply after the intro APR expires.

Late Payment Fee

A fee charged when a payment has not been received by the specified due date.

Minimum Payment

The smallest payment a customer can make each statement period to keep the account in good standing.

Penalty APR

A higher APR the credit card company charges on new transactions, after the customer has made late payments, exceeded their credit line, or otherwise did not abide by the Cardmember Agreement. If you become more than sixty days late, some credit card companies may apply the penalty APR to your existing balance.

PIN (Personal Identification Number)

A security code that the customer uses with debit and credit cards to authorize transactions such as cash advances. This PIN is different from the user ID and password customers use to access account information online.

Pre-Approved

A potential customer who meets a credit card issuer’s credit criteria based on information obtained from a credit report. If after the customer responds to a pre-approved offer, the credit card issuer determines that the customer no longer meets the issuer’s credit criteria, credit may not be extended.

Prime Rate

An index rate that determines the interest rate a bank will charge customers. It is one way that a credit card company determines variable APRs.

Zero Balance

When your billing statement shows no outstanding balance and no new charges have been incurred.

 
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