Credit card terms explained – Glossary A-Z – Jargon Buster

In the process of getting a credit card, you might come across a massive array of jargon(technical terms) which you may not have an idea about what they mean. It is very important to have certain knowledge about the jargon before signing up for an agreement. So here we provide you with a quick guide.

Credit card terms explained - Glossary A-Z

Credit card terms explained – Glossary A-Z

Account Number

A unique number assigned to a customer. It can be found on your credit card.

Annual fee

Many credit card issuers will not cost an annual fee, It is the amount you need to pay in order to use the credit card. The annual fee is different for different cards.


It is abbreviated as Annual Percentage Rate, It is the total cost of borrowing in a course of 12 months if you owe money on your credit card. However, if you pay it on time,you will not pay any interest.

Balance transfer

If you have a credit card whose balance is still to be paid. You could shift to a new card where this card will pay your balance on your old card, the interest rate on your balance transfer may be as low as 0% for the introductory period. So you owe the new card the balance instead of the old.

Cash advances 

When you use your credit card in ATM or bank to pull out cash on your credit card account. Cash advances usually attract a high-interest rate and can incur a handling fee.

Cashback credit cards

When you credit card bank or issuer will pay back some percentage of your spending on using the card.

Credit history

It is a report or a statement that includes all your credit transactions like information of your personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, hire purchases and the information of your missed payments and delinquints.

Credit Limit

It the maximum amount you owe on your credit card.If you try to cross your limit, your card may be declined. If you still managed to go over this limit, you may also have to pay your card issuer extra charges.

Credit rating

It evaluating your creditworthiness based on your credit report.

Credit Scoring

The credit scoring system awards point to the information you provide on your application form, plus the information recorded on your credit report. A credit card issuer first uses your credit score to determine whether to provide you with a card or not and if so what to set your credit limit too.

Foreign exchange commission

It is commission added by credit card company when it calculates the cost of purchases made abroad back into pounds sterling. 

Handling Fee

This is a charge that your credit card issuer adds in your balance when you make some transactions using your card abroad, using a credit card cheque, or drawing cash from your card.

Interest-free Period

It is the period between when spending on something by using the card and the dates that you need to pay your monthly credit card bill. This period would be 50 days or more and is interest-free if you settle your bill in full every month.

New purchases credit card

It is a type of credit card with an introductory interest rate on new purchases for a limited time.

Outstanding balance 

This money you still owe on your credit card after making a payment on your monthly bill.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)

It is the extra fee that you need pay along with your monthly bill on your credit cards as an insurance policy,It helps you in the case where you are unable to make payments on your bills due to illness, or redundancy. The insurance can pay your agreed amount.

Contactless payment technology

It is a new quick way to make purchases by simply holding your credit cards against the reader at the till where you can enjoy the same fraud protection as Chip and PIN.


It is the credit card bill which shows how much you spend in the period, what you owe, the minimum amount you must pat, and the latest date you can pay it. 


Any payment made (or cash is withdrawn) by you or an additional cardholder using the card or card number.

Typical rate

It is the APR  that a bank offers to most of the people who apply for a credit card. The interest rate you will be offered will be based on your credit history and you won’t necessarily get the typical rate.


It is the interest rate that changes according to the market conditions

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