Information about Credit Cards

Credit cards are cards which are used to pay for items on credit. The debt is incurred, not to the company from which the purchase is made, but to the credit card provider. The credit card holder is then responsible for repaying the debt to the credit card company. Usually this is done via a monthly payment. The borrowing arrangement is very flexible and the debt can continue to exist for a long time. Each month the credit card company will notify the borrower of the minimum amount which must be paid that month. This is typically of the order of 2 to 5% of the total sum outstanding.

Credit cards companies usually charge a significantly higher interest rate on debts than is typical for other debt instruments such as bank loans or mortgages. Despite this, the flexibility of credit card borrowing arrangements makes them extremely popular. Each credit card owner will be notified of a maximum borrowing amount for the card.

Each credit card has a unique number, carries data embedded in a magnetic strip and bears the signature of the borrower. Machines in retail outlets are used to read the information from the card, and sometimes the user must also enter a PIN number to verify that he or she is the card’s rightful owner.