Credit Card Terms Everyone Should Know


15 April 2023


Credit Card Terms

Whether you are a new credit card holder or have been using it for a while, you must have come across some credit card jargon that is hard to decipher. For instance, if you decide to apply for a credit card online, you might need to understand the annual fee, interest rate, and other charges applicable to that card. Even though all credit cards work in the same way, they differ a lot in terms of the benefits and rewards they offer. So, to make it easier for you to understand the basic credit card terminology and choose the best one, here is a quick guide for you.

Annual Fee

Card companies may charge annual fees on credit cards. This might range from a few hundred to a few thousand depending on the benefits you can avail yourself of on the card. However, certain providers may waive the fee for the first year, while others, may offer credit cards that are free for a lifetime. So, depending upon the kind of benefits you seek, you may choose a lifetime free credit card or a card that has an annual fee but may waive it off on spending a certain amount.

Credit Limit

Credit Limit

This is the overall spending limit or credit line provided by the card issuer. There are several criteria such as your credit score, income, repayment history, as well as the length of your relationship with the bank that determines your credit card limit. Banks may sometimes offer you higher limits if you already have high limits on your existing cards along with a strong repayment history.

Additionally, when checking your credit card limit, there are further three terms that you must be aware of Total Credit Limit and Available Credit Limit.

  • Total Credit Limit: This is the credit limit granted by the bank when the card is issued. The total limit can also be increased when you request for the same or if you accept a limit increase offered by the provider.
  • Available Credit Limit: This is the credit limit that is available on one’s credit card at any one moment. In other terms, the available credit limit is the difference between the entire credit limit and the card’s current outstanding balance.
  • Cash Limit: Card issuers also offer a certain portion of your total credit limit as cash limit. This defines the amount of cash you can withdraw using your credit card. However, cash withdrawal from credit cards should be the last resort as cash withdrawal is not eligible for the interest-free period and even a small amount can escalate to a huge debt.

Billing Cycle

Billing Cycle

The billing cycle refers to the period between the closing of the previous statement and the new statement date. Your credit card provider compiles your statement at the end of your billing cycle, and you have until the due date to make the payment.

Due Date

This is the specified monthly date by which all outstanding payments must be made. To avoid late payment penalties and high-interest charges on unpaid dues, you must make the payment on or before the due date.

Total Amount Due And Minimum Amount Due

At the end of each billing cycle, a new statement is generated and it shows the dues that you owe on your card. Total amount due, as the name suggests, is the total sum that you owe to the issuer, and on making full payment, no charges will be applicable.

However, if you cannot afford to pay the total due, card providers give you the option to pay the minimum amount due to keep your card active and avoid late payment charges. It is usually 5% of the total due and also includes any active EMIs, additional fees, charges, etc. An important thing to note is that on making only the minimum payment, the rest of the outstanding balance starts attracting finance charges and new transactions become ineligible for the interest-free period as well. This is why you should always pay the total due and not just the minimum amount.

Finance Charges And APR

Interest rates on credit card balances are known as finance charges and APR is the annual percentage of interest. It is the rate of interest on all transactions from the date of the transaction until the cardholder’s balance is paid back in full. Note that interest on credit cards is compounded on a daily basis.

Being acquainted with these terms will ensure judicious use of the card and help you stay out of debt.


Abdul Aziz Mondol is a professional blogger who is having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, he loves to share content related to business, finance, technology, and the gaming niche.

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Understanding Funeral Insurance

Understanding Funeral Insurance: Protecting Loved Ones

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Equity Release

Should You Consider Equity Release To Pay For Live-in Care?

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With this, you can sell all or a percentage of your home to a provider at below the market value and you become a rent-free tenant in your home. You can even sell percentages of the home at off-set intervals. Another, less well known and potentially more risky option is the sale and rent back scheme where you sell your home, at a discount and become a rent-paying tenant in your home. Points to Consider Home care services are increasingly seen as preferable to standard nursing home care for many reasons, not least among them being able to carry on living in your own home being looked after by a trusted live-in carer who becomes your friend. Lifetime mortgages are considered the most popular option for equity release because it allows you to retain full ownership of your property and some come with an option of paying back some of the loans over time in order to reduce the build-up of interest and retain as much of the value of your property to benefit your estate when you die. You can only apply for equity release once you are over 55 and the amount you receive is dependent upon the value of your home (minimum value £70,000) as well as your age. Your property must be in the UK. Benefits of Equity Release For today’s older homeowners who have seen the value of their homes rise significantly over recent years and with the added benefit of current low-interest rates, equity release gives you an amount of cash to spend now or to put towards a live-in care plan. Risks and Pitfalls of Equity Release The biggest problem with equity release is that you do not receive the full market value for your home, indeed the amount you can access would be much less than you would get by selling your home on the open market in the traditional way. Another disadvantage is that any inheritance your beneficiaries expect to receive would be reduced. The upfront costs and fees involved in setting up an equity release plan could be as much as £3000. 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