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Financial Glossary

Don't understand financial lingo? Don't worry, look up the word in our financial glossary to find a quick and simple definition!


Account Holder
An account holder is the person(s) responsible for keeping a credit card account current on payments and authorised to make changes to the account. The account is registered in their name(s).
Additional Cardholder
A credit card account may have more than one card issued to additional cardholders. An additional cardholder is any person that has been issued a credit card and who is not the primary account holder.
Affinity Cards
These are credit cards that are issued by a bank or credit card company but normally cobranded with an organisation that consumers have an affinity. Examples are charities, non-profit organisations, universities and sports clubs. Usually a small donation is given to the chosen organisation when the card is used.
Annual Fee
A fee charged by the credit card issuer each year for the use of a credit card. Annual fees are uncommon nowadays except on some higher end cards that offer exclusive benefits or rewards.
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. The APR is the yearly cost of a lending product; it includes the interest rate and any additional fees or charges. APR's are quoted as a percentage.
An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) allows card holders to withdraw cash, obtain statements and offer other useful services.
Authorised User
An authorised user is any person that is authorised to use a credit card, but they are not responsible for paying the bills. An example of an authorised user is an additional cardholder.
Available Credit
This is the credit you have available to spend. Your available credit is calculated from your credit limit minus your outstanding balance and any authorised but unlisted transactions.
Bad Credit
Bad credit is a term used to express a poor credit rating.
The balance is the total outstanding amount owed.
Balance Transfer
A balance transfer is where the debt on one credit card is moved to another usually offering a lower interest rate.
Balance Transfer Fee
This is the fee charged by the credit card company to transfer debt from another credit card to a credit card issued by them. The fee is normally a percentage of the amount to be transferred.
Card Issuer
The bank, building society, financial institution or company that issues credit cards.
Cash Advance
A cash advance is when you obtain a cash loan from your credit card, for example by using an ATM or a bank withdrawal.
Cash Back
Cash back is a type of rewards program that offers a percentage cash rebate on purchases made to a credit card.
CCA or know as the Consumer Credit Act is legislation that sets the regulations for lenders.
CCD stands for Consumer Credit Directive. This initiative by the European Council came into place on 1st February 2011 and governs how information about credit cards and loans are displayed.
Charge Card
A charge card unlike a credit card requires the account holder to pay the full balance at every billing cycle. A charge card doesn't permit borrowing.
Chip and Pin
Chip and Pin is a technology introduced to reduce unauthorized use of credit cards. A 4 digit pin number must be entered by the card holder when making purchases.
Contactless Payment
Utilises RFID or NFC technology to allow payments to be made with out contact between a credit card and a payment terminal. The card holder only needs to wave their card close to a payment terminal to perform a transaction.
Credit Card
Credit cards are a form of lending, a payment card is used to make purchases, obtain a cash advance or consolidate debt.
Credit Card Cheque
Allow you to write a cheque drawn on you credit card account. They normally have additional charges for using them.
Credit Limit
The maximum you are permitted to borrow on your credit card account at any one time.
Credit Rating
This is a score of your credit worthiness. Credit card issuers will look at your credit rating when determining whether to issue you a credit card and what credit limit to apply to your account.
Credit Report
A credit report is a record of an individual's or business's credit history. It may include information on past borrowing, late payments and bankruptcy.
CVV or Card Verification Value is a 3-digit number normally printed on the signature strip on the back of a credit card. It is a security code that is used for verification.
Debt Consolidation
This involves consolidation of multiple loans into to one single loan. In the context of credit cards, consolidation of debt from multiple credit cards to a single credit card via balance transfer.
Direct Debit
A direct debit is an instruction that allows an organisation take payments directly from a bank account.
The FSA (Financial Services Authority) is the regulator of all UK providers of financial services.
Grace Period
This is the period of time where no interest is charged on new purchases. It's the time between making a purchase on your credit card and the payment due date, which can be up to 50 days.
Interest is the fee you pay for borrowing money. It is normally represented as a percentage.
Joint Account Holder
As a joint account holder you have equal responsibility and authority of the account as do other account holders. They are also jointly and severally liable.
Late Payment Fee
This is a fee charged by your credit card issuer when you do not make a payment by the due date.
Main Card Holder
This is the person responsible and liable for the credit card account. They are responsible for making the repayments.
A multinational corporation who operate a global payment network and card scheme.
Minimum Payment
The lowest amount a card holder is required to pay each month to keep their account in order. The minimum payment will vary depending on the balance outstanding.
Near Field Communication or NFC is a short range wireless communication technology which enables data to be exchanged between two devices, for example a credit card and payment terminal.
Outstanding Balance
Total amount that is still owed on the credit card account.
Payment Due Date
The date by which at least the minimum payment must be cleared into your credit card account. If the date is missed you may be subject to late fees.
Payment Protection
For an additional monthly premium most card issuers offer payment protection insurance. The policy will pay an agreed amount if you can not make payments due to illness, disability or unemployment.
A PIN (Personal Identification Number) is a combination of digits secret to the card holder that is used for authentication.
Promotional Rate
This is an introductory rate that is applied until the expiration of the promotional period. After which time the standard rate is applied.
RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology allows contactless communication, for example between a credit card with an embedded RFID tag and a payment terminal.
A monthly record listing all of the transactions for an account. Also shows how much is owed, the minimum payment and the payment due date.
Store Card
These are credit cards issued by a particular store or retail chain. They can only be used to make purchases at those stores unless the card is endorsed by a credit card company.
Terms and Conditions
Legal documentation in which the credit card issuers states the terms and conditions for use of their credit card product.
Visa is a global corporation providing an international payment network.